Once upon a time, a prince went searching for his true love. His only clue was that the girl of his dreams would be able to wear a very special glass slipper. While he met many fair maidens along the way, there was only one perfect fit for him. So he searched far and wide till he found Cinderella.

Small business owners need to be as discerning as the prince when considering where to spend their precious time on social media. While there are many attractive networks, there is a perfect fit. Not every shoe fits every business.  So how do you find your perfect fit?

There are two questions you have to answer.  Who is your target customer and what is your social media goal?

Target Audience:  Where do they hang out?

  • If you are focused on the B2C market, Facebook is probably a good place to start. If you have a product with strong visuals like  food, decorating or animals, you might want to add Pinterest to the mix.
  • If you are a B2B company, the professional nature of Linkedin will make it easy for you to make the right kind of connections.

Social Media Goal: Why are you considering social media? This isn’t a trick question. Like all of your marketing, your social media program should be developed to accomplish specific goals.

  • Loyalty: Facebook works well if you have an established customer base and strong referral network. Your friends, customers and business associates are more likely to become fans than complete strangers. Facebook is a great place to share company news, contests and promotions for your customers. Without a strong offline push, it will be harder to motivate people who don’t know you to action.
  • Awareness: Twitter is more of a public space, and growing a large following is easier to do. But there is a lot of noise, and you need to work harder to get your message heard It will take more time, but in the long run can be a better new business acquisition tool.
  • Referrals: LinkedIn was built with the introduction in mind. If there are specific people you want to meet, LinkedIn is a great place to get connected.
  • Web Traffic:  The jury is still out as to whether Google+ will ever be a true social network. Regardless of how engaged you are with others,Google is indexing the links submitted to their site, and you should take advantage of the opportunity to promote your content.
Small business owners fall into the trap of thinking social media is a one-size-fits-all program and they have to be everywhere.  It is impossible to do it well.  So our suggestion? Pick one network and do it well.
That was the message I delivered to contractors throughout Iowa a few weeks ago. I was surprised by how many of these business owners operating in rural communities realize that even they need to get on line to expand their connections and business base.

What about you?  If you would like help with your social media program, give us a call. We would be happy to help you find your perfect match.

Image by Mattox from sxc.hu.

Need help? Contact Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing company.