Choosing your social media platforms is like choosing a pair of undies.
Ladies, if you’re in the business of rockin’ a skimpy little thing then a thong is what you need. On the other hand, regular old bikini underwear will do the trick when you’re throwing on your boyfriend jeans and t-shirt. The point is, there are certain underwear made for certain occasions. Well, each Social Media platform was made to fit only certain kinds of businesses. So, instead of trying to be on every single Social Media platform, think about which ones fit your business.
Now, as a small business owner there are two things we never seem to have enough of, time and money! That means we need to carefully and methodically plan out every single move we make. We’re going to figure out how to evaluate each Social Media platform and select only the ones that make sense for our business and provide the biggest opportunity.
We usually recommend selecting 2-3 platforms and focusing all of your social media efforts on only those channels. Let’s take a look at each one.
Facebook is, by far, the most universal platform out there. Literally everyone and their mother and grandparents have a Facebook account! Most statistics you’ll see say that anywhere from 70-90% of online adults are on it. What does that mean for your small business when trying to decide if Facebook is the right platform for you? Well, whether you are B2C or B2B, targeting millennials or baby boomers, you can’t go wrong with Facebook! Here are some statistics on Facebook users to further justify that whoever you are targeting is probably on Facebook:
Twitter is the “right here, right now” platform. It has the unique ability to be relevant no matter what’s going on, from a presidential debate to the crazy shenanigans during Super Bowl’s halftime show. However, unless you have the right hashtag, your tweet could get lost in the nearly 60 million tweets per day. There’s also lots of statistics that show tweeting an upwards of 10 times a day is needed to yield results. So, here are some characteristics your business needs to have If you want to be successful at Twitter.
- Have the knowhow to find relevant hashtags & use them in your tweets.
- Have the stamina to tweet at least 5-8 times a day.
- Be available nearly all hours of your business day to engage with tweets.
LinkedIn is all about those savvy, career-minded professionals. You very rarely (I won’t say never) see crazy cat videos or twerk mashups (THANK GOD!) in your feed. While many people use LinkedIn for things like career opportunities, staying in touch with old colleagues and growing their professional network, they also go to LinkedIn to digest content! Literally, they eat up content on LinkedIn. What does that mean for your small business?
- Are you targeting professionals?
- Are you a B2B?
- Do you plan on creating high-quality content on a consistent basis?
Instagram is a visually driven platform; a paradise for the creatives. It helps small businesses create visual components that connect people to your brand. However, to get the most out of the branding potential Instagram offers, be sure to create images that follow your branding and tone of your business. Collaborating with a photographer or brand consultant (**cough, cough… US!) is a wonderful way to create your own stock images that perfectly emulate your brand. Now, to be completely honest, most businesses are better off bypassing this platform. Not sure if Instagram is right for you?
- Products as opposed to services are better for Instagram.
- Products that are personal in nature to clients are great for Instagram.
- Retailers, restaurants, salons, and hygiene products are great examples of ideal Instagram industries.
We like to think of Pinterest as a mashup between Instagram and Facebook. The best pins feature stunning and beautifully created images, similar to Instagram’s visual basis. But, behind each pin is a link to content and/or a website. However, the unique feature of Pinterest lies in the intent of the users. Most people use Pinterest for inspiration, self-improvement, and discovery, and to try new things. If your company produces and creates informational content that falls along those lines AND can be explained using beautiful visual elements, then you should be posting branded images on Pinterest that link back to your site! Here are a few fundamental rules you should meet before using Pinterest:
- Because roughly 75% of people using Pinterest are on a mobile device, you need an impeccable mobile experience to get the most out of Pinterest.
- Is your content inspiring, unique, engaging?
- Are you available Saturday afternoon? The best time to Pin is around that time!
Ah, good ole’ Google+. Thankfully Google has lightened the reigns regarding their Social Media platform. Overall numbers for Google+ are rather low, making it a much lower priority. However, if you have a physical location then Google+ is a platform you should consider. Your Google+ profile syncs with Google My Business, the little box that appears at the top right of searches for specific businesses. They feature images, hours of operations, reviews, address, phone numbers and more. Here are some things to consider if you think you want to add Google+ to your Social Media strategy.
- Is local big for your business?
- Do you receive and want to showcase your YouTube activity?
Still need some help determining which platform you should use?
Check out some examples on posts for each platform using our wonderful undies analogy!
Just remember, there is no exact formula or equation for selecting the best Social Media platforms for your business. However, looking at the differences, demographics, and uses of each platform can give you a great sense of what will and won’t work for your business. To tweet, like, or pin? The answer is up to you. But whatever you do, DO NOT try to be on all platforms. Trying to be on every single social media platform can actually do your small business more harm than good.