19 Jun How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
Let’s talk a little bit about social media today.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the best at posting on social media. Of late, this is both true for my personal accounts and my business accounts. In fact, I constantly consider closing out my Facebook account and the only time I go on Twitter is when someone DMs me.
That said, when I relaunched my site, I made an effort to start posting on Instagram. At least to revive the very dated graphics that have been collecting dust. I got into a bit of a flow adding some posts on my values and launch previews but sure enough, the momentum didn’t last long.
This prompted me to question: Why am I not consistent on social? and further, Do I have to be on social at all?
Now don’t get me wrong. I will scroll Instagram all day. I like the visual aspect of it, though I don’t always read the captions, I must admit. My other favorite platform to browse is YouTube. I follow a few accounts that I like to check regularly.
But one thing to consider regarding social media as a marketing tool, is that where you are is not always where your clients are. It’s important to get a sense of where your audience is in order to focus your efforts in the most productive way.
Find out where your audience hangs out
For starters, you don’t have to be everywhere. Years ago, the rule of thumb was to be on every possible platform, even if it meant automating the same content across 5-7 different accounts you weren’t really active in.
Now, the important thing is engagement. So rather than being all over the place trying to catch up, aim to pick a handful of platforms where you can really be active. Here are a few tips to help you pick:
Ask your ideal clients!
It sounds simple, I know, but you can simply ask your clients where they hang out. This can be in the form of a short survey to your mailing list, as a prompt when new subscribers join your list or a field in your contact form questionnaire. You can even shoot your favorite past clients a short personalized email and ask them.
Reference social media reports
Various companies put out social media reports that will tell you things like what demographic is most active in a particular social media platform. There are also reports that will tell you what type of content each platform is best for. Here are a few to get you going:
Check out your competitors
Take this one with a grain of salt as your competitors may not necessarily be doing things the way you would. But if you have no real clue as to where to start, you can see what platforms your competition is active in and see how engaged their followers are in those platforms. This is not about poaching followers, but getting a sense of where to focus your efforts as you figure things out.
Audit your current accounts
You’ve likely previously selected social media platforms to post to, but take this opportunity to see how well they’re performing. Take note of how many followers you have, how much engagement you get from your posts and whether you even enjoy creating content for those platforms.
I’ve created this a Social Media Audit Worksheet for you to download. It will help you score your accounts and narrow down your best-performing platforms. Let me know if you found it useful!
Personal preference vs what your clients crave
Consider your own preference
Consider what you personally are most comfortable creating. Is it an audio recording like a podcast? Do you love doing live posts, webinars or video tutorials? Do you most enjoy photography or designing graphics? Do you prefer writing short comments? Long essays? Compare that against what you’ve learned about your audience and see what platforms best fit you both.
Strike a balance
You may find that the bulk of your audience is in a platform that may not be your favorite. Maybe they’re all on YouTube or IGTV and the thought of live recordings gives you hives! Maybe your followers crave long-form blog posts and you don’t enjoy writing. What to do then?
Is there a way that you can get closer to what will appeal to your ideal clients? You may dread the idea of a live video, but maybe sharing pre-recorded content is something you can handle as it allows you to do as many takes as needed to get it right.
Conversely, if your followers are looking for blog posts and you prefer recording a video, could you upload the video to your blog and have a transcript below for those who prefer to read?
The goal is not to torture yourself just because you need to engage your audience where they are. They’ll feel your discomfort and your content won’t resonate. Find a way to either meet them where they are in a way that’s true to you or encourages them to follow you in a platform you’re most comfortable in.
Likes are nice, but sales are better
Admittedly, the reason business accounts are engaged on social media is because they eventually want you to buy a product, hire them for a service, join their list, etc. Otherwise we would all only have personal accounts.
People think that having a huge following is all you need, but in truth if your social media platforms don’t direct your clients to a way to make that sale, all you have is adoring fans. But you want paying clients too! Having a social media marketing plan is key.
Stay tuned. Next time, let’s look at a few ways to make your social accounts work for you!