Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and the "hot" social start-up of the week — sometimes the options for building your brand on social media seem endless.
The key is to choose wisely and avoid spreading your brand too thin, because not every form of social media lends itself well to every industry.
Here are some important points to consider:
How visual is your business? Do you deal in fashion, fine art, design, or even food? Those industries are very visually oriented, and therefore would most likely do best on more visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, which prioritize photos over text. Contrastingly, if you’re a writer, a consultant, or some other type of business that deals more with words, numbers or data? Those types of businesses would likely do better on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
How timely are the marketing materials or announcements you want to get out there via social media? If the answer is “incredibly time-sensitive” – such as a food truck business that wants to let its fans know exactly where they’re going to be in one hour for the lunch rush – then a more immediate platform such as Twitter is a smart choice. If you are a retail store that’s having a week-long sale, and you even have photos that can go along with the announcement, then a good plan may be to post it on your Facebook or Instagram page at the beginning of the week and a few days later, plus schedule a reminder tweet to go out on Twitter once a day, all week. (Don’t forget your email marketing, too!)
How much time do you have to devote to social media? If the answer is “not much,” then perhaps it’s best to pick the top two or three platforms that fit your type of business, and give those platforms the best focus you can, keeping in mind that some platforms take more work than others when it comes to engaging your followers. It’s better to pick fewer platforms you have the time to do well than sign up for 10 different platforms and let them stagnate. Conversely, if the answer is, “I just hired a team of three employees who will do nothing but my marketing and social media,” then in some ways, the sky is the limit! You can afford to sign up for several, and have those team members brainstorm ways to differentiate your approach to each as well as keep an eye on them daily to respond to comments and questions and really engage your followers.
One further question you should ask yourself — is perhaps one of the most important of all — is who is your target audience?
In other words, who are you trying to reach? Is it young millennials who are always chasing the latest trends and technology? Is it stay-at-home moms, or job-seekers? Or the deep pockets of high-earning adults who are drawn to expensive, luxury goods?
Once you pin down exactly who makes up your biggest target audience, you’ll know more about just where to find them. A few good resources for this information include Pew Research Center's internet division — or engage an expert who can help assess your options.
Canoe Media Services was created by journalists to help businesses tell their story effectively through branded content marketing, social media, blogs, email and more. Learn more at www.canoemediaservices.com.