Does this sound familiar?
You have been told you need to be on all social media platforms but you can’t even master one.
You are trying to reach your target audience but don’t know if it's working.
This blog post is for you!
Before we can properly use anything in business or life, we have to understand its purpose.
So let’s start with the purpose of social media.
Purpose vs. Benefit
The purpose of social media is to be SOCIAL! The purpose is engagement with other humans. Therefore you have to make your business’s social media as human as possible. You have to think about your customer: who are they, where are they, and what do they need?
Only then can you build a following, a relationship, and repeat customers.
I do want to differentiate purpose from benefit because they are different and you may have confused the two (as I did years ago). The benefit of social media is that you can inexpensively increase brand awareness and market your business. If you approach social media strategy with the purpose in mind first, it will alleviate the pressure, transform your content and help you attain the benefit authentically.
You have probably been thinking
Which social media platforms should I use for my business?
to use it for its purpose and attain its benefit.
Let me relieve some pressure …
You do not need to be on all social media platforms for your small business.
I recommend you become familiar with the top 8 social media platforms so you can then make a decision on what is best for your business and your customer. If you need a deeper dive into the top 8 platforms, see this blog post.
Once you have an understanding of the platforms, I want you to ask yourself and your team 3 questions. When deciding which social media platforms are best for our clients we ask these questions to decide what is best for their marketing strategy.
1. Think about your target audience and their lifestyle. Which platforms does your target audience use the most?
2. Which platforms align with your brand personality and aligns with the type of content you want to share?
Established businesses with a dedicated marketing team can be on almost all of the platforms because they can customize their content for each platform. But when you are a small business with a smaller team, you need to be strategic and realistic. I believe strongly in quality over quantity for social media platforms.
Once you have learned what each platform does and what it can be used for, think about the type of content your audience wants to see from your business. Here are some examples to get you thinking ….
Are you sharing informational content related to career or industry? Then LinkedIn is a great place to be active.
If you share a lot of blog posts with helpful how-to content, Pinterest would be a great platform to focus on.
Are you selling product that a specific audience needs? A Facebook Group may be a great way to build community.
If you have great photography and your target audience is on Instagram a lot, focus on Instagram.
Do you create funny videos on the fly, Tik Tok and Snap Chat would be good for you.
I do recommend that all businesses have a Facebook page for SEO (search engine optimization) and for creating digital ads on Facebook and Instagram. If you need help understanding each of the top 8 platforms so you can make a strategic decision, see our blog post here.
3. How many platforms can you REALISTICALLY manage?
This is something I am very serious about for small businesses. I have seen too many businesses create an account on every platform, link them to their website and then never keep them updated. Social media platforms are meant to be active and social. If you can’t keep 8 different platforms going well, then don’t advertise that you have 8. Be active on 2 and do them well.
Once you have made your list of platforms to be on, the next step is to think about the content that will serve your audience so that they engage with you (remember it’s about being social). You also need to think about what content is better for a social media ad (sale or offer) and what is best for a post. Your followers do not want to follow you if all you do is sell. Remember the purpose of social media is to be social, not sell. So your daily posts should be social and answering a need. Your ads can sell.
Deciding how to do this well involves strategy and thinking creatively. This is what we do well. So if you get to this point and need a consultant to help you through this, email Eloise at email@example.com