Which social media for business?
One of the first things I get asked is ‘which social media platforms should I use for my business?’. And there is a long answer and a short answer – I’ll give you the short answer.
I’m usually talking to someone who’s hasn’t got any social media set up for their business or hasn’t really been using it if they have some set up. In which case the answer is to initially set up a solid group of platforms that are usually good for businesses. Then to run those platforms for a few months (about 3 to 6 months) – 1. to populate your social media with content and 2. see which ones are working best for you – through some appropriate posting, working each platform and advertising if that’s within your budget.
This initial group of platforms is:
- LinkedIn (if you’re business, products or service is geared towards other ‘business’ people)
- Yelp &/or Foursquare (if you’re involved in/connected to the drinks/food trade)
Each platform has their own set of merits and need to be approached in slightly different ways for each one – frequency of posts, type of content etc.
But please don’t be put off by this! I’m outlining a purist approach to social media. Dependant on your business, your target audience, your social media resources & budget, your IT ability & experience and other digital marketing activity (such as your website) – this may seem all too much.
My main response to this is more about frequency and quality rather than the investment of massive amounts of time. Don’t get me wrong – if you’re going to do it, and if it’s got the potential to work for your business, you need to do it well enough to be able to gauge the success of it. And, this may involve some trial ‘paid for’ adverts. But if this investment is going to give you a ‘cost effective’ return, especially compared to your other marketing/promotion activities, then why wouldn’t you want to do it.
It is then a bit of an evolving process to carry on with those platforms that work for ‘your business’ – in terms of inputs and outcomes. Reduce or stop working with those platforms that are not as successful for you and possibly adding another platform and start working through the same process. But never just look at your social media in isolation. Ideally it should be all working in conjunction with your website (e.g. fresh content, links to and from your site and landing webpages on your site), your blog (if you run one), your email communication with potential customers and existing customers.
So, if this is your first step into the world of social media, think about setting it all up properly, make it as easy as you can to do it, be as creative as possible, put time aside to do it, analyse your results, compare this to how much time or direct money you have spent on it and calculate whether it works. But, as I’ve said, if it works – why wouldn’t you do it?
Most businesses, products and services have a ‘social media’ potential – some do struggle. But if it does have potential for you, then claim that potential in as cots effective way as possible.
I will, in the near future, go through each of these social media platforms in more detail and how best to initially approach them for your business.