If you’re a business owner you need to be on social media. Not only is it a very low-cost way to build your company brand, it allows you to engage and target users from all generations while gaining instant feedback on your product or service.
While theres no denying that social media is essential for businesses, the most challenging part is actually getting started. After all, there a number of social media networks that do a variety of tasks ranging from sharing pictures to answering questions. It can get intimidating.
When I started on social media I went all in with one social network. After 3 months with no returns, I wrote off social media. It wasa few months later as I was dabbling on another social network that I realized it was driving customers to my site. It wasn’t my company, but more the network that didn’t work for my company. My customers just weren’t there.
If youre a business owner that is new to social media, here are some of the best ways that I’ve found to determine what networks you join.
What are your objectives?
When people search for your brand what do you want people to see? What goals do you want social media to accomplish for your business?
Answering these questions will help you narrow down your list of possible social networks since youll focus on the networks that will help you accomplish your objectives.
For example, if you want to spread the word and introduce your business and its content to a wider audience, then Twitter is an excellent platform to use. If you want to connect with other professionals, then focus on your LinkedIn profile. If you were selling a physical product, such as your artwork or baked goods, visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest deserve your attention.
If youre stuck on which platform will answer the questions listed above, compile a list of industry leaders and influencers to see which platforms theyre using.is an excellent tool that can help you find these individuals by conducting a simple search inquiry.
Where is your audience?
After defining your objectives, you also want to find out which social networks are being used by your audience.
Just as with your target audience in general, you want to review the demographics and psychographics that makeup your specific audience. This will assist you in determining where they spend most of their time when online.
Here are a couple social networking guidelines I’ve found:
I’ve found that consumer goods and services do quite wellon Facebook.
Twitter is for news. I share my company news and it gets traction.
LinkedIn is for business individuals. I use this to recruit or connect with leads for my company.
Pinterest isif for food, creative and home goods. It’s also dominated by women. When I owned Organize.com, every click from Pinterest was work $1.30 in revenue to us.
90%+ of Instagrams users are under the age of 35. I’ve had good luck with apps on Instagram.
Tumblr is popular among teenagers.
Reddit is for techies. Get to the homepage for50K+ visitors to your site in a day.
Google + has a loyal following, I’ve done well with softwareproducts here.
Snapchat has gotten CRAZY engagement but I’ve never been able to monetize anything from it.
Overall, the, based on the amount of users, are; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram. However,. So, theres a good chance that your audience is somewhat active on those sites. For mycompany, we find that most of our users are onand.
Just keep in mind though that just because there are million users on a social site doesnt mean that theyre active. So be wary of fake accounts and keep an eye out for activity.
And, dont rule out niche networks that are specific to your industry or business. For example, if your business revolves around photography or graphic design, then consider a channel like Behance.
Consider your resources
Growing your presence on social media takes a fair amount of time and money. However, different channels can cost you more than others. For example, creating and sharing videos on platforms like YouTube or Vine requires more of an investment than sending out a tweet.
If you want to be active on Twitter, you have to tweet multiple times throughout the day – which requires either more time or investing in a scheduling tool like Hootsuite.
Selecting your ideal social network
While there are several factors to consider when selecting a social network,of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +. Regardless of your audience and industry, these are crucial when implementing a social media strategy.
After signing up for these four accounts, you can then select a channel or two that are more niche or demographic related. A clothing retailer with a big Millennial audience, for example, should focus on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
Even if only use a couple of platforms, I suggest that you still register your brand name across the board just to avoid confusion and prevent any future hassles. You can use KnowEm to search for usernames. If available, you can register your brand name with these sites. As an added bonus, sincetaps into 500 social networks, you can also the site to do your homework on possible niche sites.
Making your presence known
Optimize your profiles by including either a professional headshot or logo as your profile image, completely filling out your description, a link to your blog or website.
Add social buttons on your blog or website and a link in your email signatures.
Follow and interact with influencers in your industry.
Post throughout the day.which has found that your should tweet 14 times throughout the day and just twice on Facebook. Again, scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social can help you manage scheduling multiple accounts.
Stay consistent across all platforms. This includes having the same color scheme, logo, and voice on each of your accounts.
Testing out your social media presence
Lastly, remember to test and assess how your social media presence efforts are going. Each site can provide analytics or you can use tools like Hootsuite that offer reports on how that presence is doing. This will also help you to determine where your audience is located and to what degree they are engaged with what you are doing on those platforms.
Remember that you will most likely have to make tweaks along the way to where you interact with your audience and the type of content you provide. Just think of social media as a fluid process that will evolve over time. Just stick with it and be patient. While it will take some time to develop your presence and following, you will know when it has made an impression.
John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is founder of the online payments company Due. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivations speaker that helps people find a “Sense of Meaning” in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.