Social media has truly leveled the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to compete effectively with their larger counterparts. Still, understanding which social media platform will work best for your business can seem like a daunting task. One of the biggest blunders we see small businesses make is thinking they need to have a profile on every single social media platform simply because it exists. Not only is this untrue, but it’ll also cause you to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels if you’re trying to reach customers in a meaningful way on a platform that doesn’t lend itself to telling your brand’s story.
In our most recent article, 10 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses, we discussed the importance of understanding your target audience. Now that you’ve determined who you’ll be creating social media posts for and what their interests are, here a few additional tips to help you narrow down which platforms will be the best ones to use in order to reach them.
Start with a buyer persona. This is a fictional character that’s created based on the very real demographics of your target customer. It may seem silly, but it is an effective way to get into the head of your audience. You’ll need at least one, but some companies develop hundreds. The more information you have, the better the results.
Give your buyer persona a name. Know the age, gender, education level, and household income. What is your character’s relationship and familial status? What are her interests and her needs? What motivates her to purchase your product or service? Why may she buy from another company?
Get Familiar With Each Social Media Platform
Knowing your customer means we have a better idea where to focus our social media effort.
- Facebook – A good bet for all audiences, 72% of internet users have a Facebook account, and it fairly represents all demographics. This is despite Facebook’s population getting older. Simply put, everyone is on Facebook.
- Twitter – Users of Twitter are looking for real-time updates and conversation. Active users live-tweet during their favorite television shows, or comment about ongoing, active news events. They are about the now.
- LinkedIn – This platform is for professionals, and it’s very important if you are a B2B company. Active users are looking to make business connections, recruit, or seek new employment. Most are over 30, college educated, and earning over $70,000 per year.
- Instagram – Instagram users are younger – the largest group is between 18-29 years of age – and highly visual. The platform is otherwise fairly evenly split between other demographics such as gender and race.
- Pinterest – The majority of Pinterest users are female and over 30. They have at least some college, and earn more than $50,000 a year. The social bookmarking site is ideal for companies marketing fashion, home decor, crafts, and items that can create visually intense media.
In the beginning, you may need an active presence on all the major social networks at some level. The best social media platforms for your business will ultimately be determined by what works and what does not. One will need to analyze engagement across all platforms, and then focus efforts on those with the most engagement.
Contact us to discuss which social media platforms are right for your business and strategies that will drive audience engagement.