TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOU
Welcome to the social media graveyard. This is where all those extra accounts go to be forgotten. You know, the ones who held such promise and energy the first couple weeks in, and then fizzled down to the bottom of the growing to-do list for a business owner or marketing team. Finally, it fades away, only to be discovered at random, revealing that no one has touched it in months (if not years).
One of the most common questions we get when we’re creating websites is “what social media accounts should I sign up for?”
Before we dive into answering this, let’s first go over a brief explanation of the social media accounts that should definitely be on your radar:
TWITTER is good for rapidly building a loyal following and connecting with customers. Following others, engaging with those you’re connected to, and staying active should be part of any marketing strategy for Twitter. Twitter can also be time-consuming in terms of staying engaged and at the forefront of those you’re connected with. If you’re just tweeting and not engaging with others, Twitter can lose some of its effectiveness.
FACEBOOK is a great platform for making a connection with your customers, and it’s the social network with the largest number of users. If you’re using Facebook, be sure to give your business page a purpose and be clear about what you’re sending out. Because Facebook is more visual, make sure you are delivering value with the content you post (value can involve a plethora of different components given your industry).
LINKEDIN is an effective way to showcase your business professionally. Linkedin has adopted many of the same features as Twitter and Facebook, in terms of having posts, and the ability to follow and comment on what you see happening in real-time. In terms of reaching a professional audience, LinkedIn is definitely worth considering, but should only be explored if there’s a consistent strategy in place and a goal of keeping your communications professional.
PINTEREST is fantastic for sharing images of your products and services, as well as letting your customers see the personality of your company through other pin boards. However, it is going to require some time and strategy to determine what you should be pinning and what boards you should have. If it ends up being a free-for-all, then it may not be effective.
YOUTUBE is perfect for bringing your business to life, with video footage that’s informative, educational or entertaining. The videos are also an added value when featured on your website accompanied by some of your blog articles. The downside is that doing videos *the right way* can be costly and time-consuming. Not investing the proper time and energy could reflect badly on your business.
Okay, now let’s address the question:
“What social media accounts should I sign up for?”
The answer is never “all of them,” in fact, more often than not, we recommend signing up for 2 accounts (maybe 3 tops). We recommend this because:
TIME: Any social media account is going to require time and thought. If you don’t have a person or a firm solely dedicated to providing consistent updates, strategy, and tools for measuring effectiveness, realistically you won’t have time to tend to multiple accounts.
CUSTOMERS: Some of your clients/customers/end-users aren’t active on all of the social media accounts. So if you’re trying to sign up for all of them just for kicks, you’re missing your mark. Some up front research or simple investigating on where your clients spend their time is important.
STRATEGY: Having a solid plan for executing your social media is like having fuel for your car. Without it, you’re not going anywhere, and you’re not going to see the results you’re looking for. As many of us know from blogging and any experience with doing updates, it takes time to determine what your messaging is and the best way to send it out. There are so many factors that come into play (how often to post, what content to share, etc).
We always recommend hiring a professional to help with your social media plan of action. Even a couple of hours of a consultant’s time to provide insight would put you further down the road than having a completely blank slate.
If you are venturing out solo for social media, our best advice would be:
- Figure out who your customers are and where they spend their time.
- Determine your GOALS of what you want to have happened as a result of your social media efforts.
- Come up with a strategy for the content you’ll be posting online.
- Having valuable content is key. If you want genuine followers, have something genuine (useful, fun, informative, etc) to say.
- Plan your content out ahead and use an application such as HootSuite to pre-time your posts so you’re not always attached to your computer.
- Be sure to still have some live quality time engaging with those who are connected to you.
These tips will help you solidify your social media plan and pick the outlets that work best for you.