How to choose which social media networks to use
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Quora, Vine... the list goes on. Sometimes there seems to be more social media networks than you could ever hope to use. Well, actually, there is some truth in this. With new networks emerging all the time, offering up new possibilities, now is the time to get smart about social media.
As part of this, you need to make some tough decisions about the social media networks that you are going to use. To help you choose the right social media networks for your business, here are the key decisions you need to make:
#1 Decide who you want to reach
Before doing anything else, you need to know who you want to engage with on social media. This is the only way that you can make sure that you are using the right social media network for your business.
If you haven’t already established your buyer personas, do this first. Next, you need to spend some time researching which social media networks your persona is most likely to use. This is the only way you'll be able to build a useful social media community. Also, bear in mind that if you have different personas, they might have different digital handouts. If this is the case, you'll need to accommodate these different preferences when choosing the social media networks to use.
After you have done this, write a longlist of social media sites that you are considering. Importantly, this is not about the social media sites that you like to use. It doesn’t matter if you love using Facebook if the people you want to reach are more likely to be looking for answers to their questions on Quora. Your list should be based purely on where your personas are likely to be found.
#2 Decide how long you have to spend on social media networks
Social media doesn't have to take up all your time, but you would be kidding yourself if you think it's something that can be done in a couple of minutes once or twice a month. If you are going to gain any traction from social media, you need to input time and effort. And, the more social networks that you want to be a part of, the more time it will take.
Be realistic about how much time you can spend using social media. If it’s only 30 minutes a week, that is fine. But, you’ll just have to be very selective about the sites you choose to use and accept that you won’t be able to run 10 different accounts.
The other thing to consider is how long original content for social media is going to take you to produce. For instance, you might work in a very visual industry and you have easy access to great images. This would make using Pinterest less time consuming than if you had to create all the images to pin especially for that purpose.
Get you longlist that you created earlier and start to cut it down, based on the commitments that you can make. This shoudl reduce your list down to a selection of social media sites that you have the time to use and are used by your buyer persona.
#3 Decide on your strategy for each network you are going to use.
Now you have your shortlist in place, you'll need to define your strategy for each social media site that you are planning to use.
Before starting your social media activity, benchmark your current position and decide on some SMART goals, so that you can measure your performance. That way, when you come to review your social media activity, you can see what is working and what needs improving.
Already know the right social media networks for your business? Then download our free presentation on social media lead generation