The pressure for small businesses to be active on social media grows with each new platform that is added to the mix. Deciding how much, how often and where you should participate can be overwhelming.
Take control by scaling back
Too many business owners are afraid of missing something so they try to be everywhere. They spread themselves so thin they end up doing poorly on all platforms. If this sounds like you, STOP! No one will notice if you aren’t on Twitter, but they will notice if you do it badly. If you don’t have time for Twitter, or Facebook really doesn’t fit your industry, opt out. Give yourself permission to pick one platform and do it well by spending more time making a better impression where your customers are most likely to see you.
How do you decide?
The short answer is simple, go where your customers are. The longer answer requires you to dive a little deeper and look at your customer, your brand personality and your marketing objectives.
Your Customer – Typically the first question is this: Is your primary market comprised of consumers or businesses? We know consumers are likely to respond to messages about products and companies on Facebook, Twitter and possibly Pinterest, while businesses are more likely to look to LinkedIn. But not all consumers and all business owners are the same. You need to look deeper at your decision maker:
- An experienced professional or senior executive is probably most comfortable on LinkedIn.
- A young professional is likely to be active on Twitter and possibly Google+.
- The busy mom (age 25-40) is probably sharing photos of her kids and staying in touch with friends on Facebook.
- Teenage girls? You probably want to look at Instagram and Tumblr.
Your Brand – There are two parts to this question. What industry are you in and what is your brand personality? Here some examples:
- Industries with serious messages, even consumer products, don’t usually fit well on Facebook. People really don’t want to talk about retirement or funeral planning in between viewing cat videos and cute pictures of babies.
- If you have a visual brand with lots of pictures as part of your marketing then Pinterest may be a natural fit.
- Entertainment venues, restaurants and conferences can provide real time updates and interactions when they rely on Twitter.
Your Marketing Strategy – The last piece of the puzzle is the kind of marketing you will be doing:
- Planning a contest? Facebook is probably your best choice.
- Looking to target specific demographic groups with advertising messages? Try Facebook sponsored posts. If you want to direct messages at specific companies, then LinkedIn will help you do that.
Feeling even more confused than you were at the beginning of this post? Take our short social media quiz and we will tell you which platform is the best fit for you!