May 7, 2017
With over 80 percent of Americans using social media on a daily basis nowadays, many small business owners are starting to ask themselves, “Should we be on every social media platform to reach our customers?”
The quick answer? Probably not.
The best answer? It depends — and not just on whether or not you have the time or energy to do so. Whether you’re a solopreneur working from home or you run a ten-person storefront in the heart of downtown, there are some important factors to consider before you begin engaging in a wide variety of social networks.
First Things First: Consider Your Goals
Instead of jumping the gun and creating profiles on every imaginable social media channel for your business, begin with your goals. Consider the following business objectives and decide which might be your primary and secondary goals:
- Increasing leads and sales
- Raising awareness about your company or organization
- Reaching new customers
- Retaining current customers
- Increasing return on investment (ROI) for advertising
Once you have a good idea which goals you currently want to focus on, write them down. Studies show that when people write their goals down, they are more likely to stay focused on what matters most and are more likely to achieve those goals!
Research Your Audience
If you’ve already been in business for some time, you’ve probably already done this a few times — or maybe you already know who your current customers are. However, in order to truly make any social media strategy effective, it’s important you not only understand your current customer base, but new markets that have the potential to increase your leads and sales too.
Start with learning the top two or three current audiences you engage with. Then, consider a few markets you may not have tapped into yet. Think about what their demographics are (think: age, gender, education level, income), what industries they work in, what their hobbies are, what they value, who they interact with, and/or why they may or may not be interested in your product or service.
Looking for more ideas on how to research your audience? Check out this Entrepreneur article: 10 Ways to Learn About Your Target Audience.
Learn About Each Social Media Platform
One of the best (and most challenging) parts about the advancement of new social media platforms is that there is something for everything and everyone.
For very visual posts and product photography, social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook might be your best bet. And if you are hoping to take advantage of the latest skyward trend toward video, apps and websites such as YouTube, Vine, Vimeo and Snapchat are popular for personal and corporate use alike.
However, some platforms are constantly adding more features to beat out the competition. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all have the ability to upload and share videos — even in real-time!
Twitter is also still a popular platform, especially for sharing time-sensitive news, hearing customer feedback, advertising and connecting with other organizations. Another option to consider is LinkedIn, which is helpful for businesses to find employees and connect with other organizations in the industry.
Take some time to learn about the primary benefits (and pitfalls) of each social network, and consider which might best align with your current primary marketing goals.
Try Adding One Social Network at a Time
After you’ve determined which social media platforms to try, test them out one at a time. Spend a few months focusing on a specific strategy on one platform. It’s best not to try and spread yourself too thin, especially if this marketing method is entirely new to you.
You should also remember to begin collecting data, reviewing your post engagements, and making adjustments for the future. If you start with Twitter and it works well for you, see how you can improve your profile on that network over time! If it’s not working well, take a look at the platform’s analytics data to see why that might be — or consider if another platform might work better for you instead.
And When All Becomes Overwhelming?
Hummingbird Collective offers blogging, SEO, social media and other digital marketing services to small businesses and nonprofits in the Denver area and beyond. We love working with passionate organizations who are ready to take the next step in their digital marketing efforts. Reach out to us online for more information about our digital marketing packages, or call us at (720) 442-0772 to tell us more about your story!