Social media can be a great way to inexpensively reach a wide audience of current and potential clients, but there are a lot of platforms to choose from. While it’s a good idea to claim social media profiles from a wide variety of sites, there are only so many channels a small business owner can focus on, so how do you choose? Here are some easy tips to help choose which social media platform your business should be using.
Before we begin, it’s important to discuss the “why” behind using social media for your business. While social media may have started mostly as a way for teens to share music and angsty photos, social media has exploded in the US in the past 15 years. According to Pew Research, only 5% of US adults used at least one social media channel in 2005, but that number had risen to 72% by 2018 and continues to rise. This increase has been seen, to varying degrees, across all adult age groups with younger adults predictably leading the charge.
Let Demographics Take the Lead
Before you begin to use social media to attract new customers, it’s important to know who you’re trying to attract. That’s where customer demographics come into play. Simply put, demographics are the general characteristics of your customer. Where do they live? What language do they speak? How old are they, what are they interested in, do they have children, how do they spend their time? The more you know about your customer, the better you are able to reach them through their social media network of choice. Once you have a general idea of who your customer is, you can match their demographic to the social media they’re most likely to use and begin to market to them in a new way. Hootsuite offers a detailed breakdown of the most popular social media channels by their respective users.
Keep in mind that social media networks evolve over time. It wasn’t that long ago that Facebook could only be accessed by college students with a “.edu” email address or that Pinterest was solely inhabited by wealthy, suburban moms. It’s a good idea to check in on your social media strategy every so often to make sure that the channel you’re reaching is still a fit for those you’re looking to target.
Let Your Product/Service Be Your Guide
Let’s say you have a product with mass appeal. You’re not simply trying to talk with business folks on LinkedIn or the DIY set on Pinterest, no, you’re trying to reach a little bit of everyone. For businesses that don’t have one type of customer, social media can feel a bit overwhelming — like you need to do it all to do any of it right. In these cases, it might be best to allow your products or services to determine which social site is best. If you’ve got a visually appealing product, things like food or pretty consumer goods, an image-based social media site like Instagram might be perfect. Service-based businesses, especially those with a lot of technical knowledge, but not a lot of aesthetic appeal, can thrive with a YouTube channel. Using the strengths of your industry and letting that dictate your social media channel can help you achieve better results than trying to make a channel fit just because your business is “supposed” to be on a certain site.
Social media can be a great way to grow your business and stay in front of your best customers, but as a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. Let Neur take care of your social media presence with turnkey social media management services that help you reach your goals without the hassle and a social media brand lock service to make sure your business is always ready to put your best [digital] foot forward!