There are more than 1.73 billion people across the world who use social media platforms to connect with others. For a business, this is huge; more people than ever before also use social media platforms to compare products, have discussions about brands, and seek business recommendations from friends and family. With more than 50 social media platforms currently open for membership, though, knowing which social media platform your business should use for its marketing efforts can be overwhelming. Here are five ways that your brand can figure out which social media sites are worth utilizing:
1. Use What's Popular
If you know nothing else about what social medial platforms you should use, you should know this: you should absolutely use the social media sites that have the largest number of users. Facebook has more than 1.23 billion monthly users, so failing to create a business Facebook page would be a costly mistake. Twitter has 2.32 million active monthly users, so taking the time to create and use a Twitter account is also advised.
2. Know Your Business
If your business were a social media site, which would it be? If it's a professional hotspot that caters to the accomplished and skilled, would it be LinkedIn? If it's a young, trendy, and in-the-know business that's always offering the latest and greatest, would it be Twitter? Are you a company that focuses on media and technology? If so, perhaps your business would be YouTube. The point is this: each social media site caters to an entirely different audience, as does your business. When thinking about which social media platform your brand should use, think about the personalities of each.
3. Go Where Your Customers Go
Depending upon whether your primary customers are young or old, white collar or blue collar, male or female, etc., there's a good chance that their preferred choice of social media sites will vary, too. If you have a customer base that's young and technologically-savvy, using social media sites like Foursquare and Yelp for check-ins and reviews is advised, as is using a hot news site like Reddit. On the other hand, if your customers are primarily the middle-aged or the elderly, more familiar sites like Pinterest, Yahoo, Google+, and Facebook are probably more worth your while.
4. Have a Plan
Before choosing which social media site(s) you plan to use, take some time develop a mini plan of action. While you don't need to map out posts for the next twelve months, having a pretty good idea of what type of content you want to post, as well as when you want to post can be helpful. For example, if you primarily want to post technical or sensitive news, plan to develop at least 1 or 2 infographics per month as the team at the Canadian health blog does. On the other hand, if you're all about videos, Vimeo or YouTube would be best.
5. Choose Wisely
As a business, you probably have a limited amount of resources, not to mention time. While signing up for every social media site out there can be tempting, remember that each social media platform you use will demand your attention. Pick your top few, and then don't overextend yourself.