We’ve all heard the story  of the prince, the glass slipper, and Cinderella. It starts like most fairy tales do, with a prince in search of his one true love. His only clue, is a glass slipper which he knows will only fit his one woman. As he searches there are many interesting and attractive women willing to distract him from finding his perfect fit, but he is focused. So he searches until he finds Cinderella,  the slipper fits, and they live happily every after.

It is a silly fairy tale, right? But if you are a business owner, there is a lesson in this story, for you. You see, when it comes to spending your precious time on social media, you should be as discerning as the prince. You may see many attractive platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google my business. All of these could be interesting and productive, but unless you have a pretty large staff and budget you need to make choices. Because, while there are many attractive networks, just like the slipper, not every shoe fits fits every business. So how do you find your perfect fit?

Selecting the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

Before you dive in, spread yourself too thin, and fail to generate results worth of the time you are investing, here are a few simple questions to answer. Who is your target customer and what is your social media goal?

Your Customer:

Different customers will spend time on different platforms, so before you can decide where you will be, you have to figure out who you want to reach.

  • Facebook is definitely the biggest platform and a great way to reach the most consumers, which is why we see 84% of small businesses who reply to our study indicating they have some type of active presence here. But the Facebook user is getting older. Still popular among the 35 and older crowd, younger audiences are definitely turning to Instagram.
  • Pinterest is overlooked by many marketers, but definitely has a place for businesses trying to reach consumers with products with strong visuals like  food, decorating, or fashion.
  • If you are targeting a teen audience, you may want to learn a bit about Snapchat and TikTok.
  • 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

What are you trying to accomplish with your activity on social media? This isn’t a trick question. As with all of your marketing programs, social media activities should be developed to accomplish specific goals.

  • Loyalty: If you have an established customer base and a strong referral network, Facebook can be very effective. Building on your existing relationships with friends, customers, and business associates you are likely to see them become fans and engage with your content. They can then spread the word to their community who may not have a relationship with you. This 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. People will follow, but they won’t necessarily pay attention. There is a lot of noise, and you need to work harder to get your message heard. It will take more time, but if your business is built on information exchange, networking, and research Twitter is a good place to showcase your expertise.
  • 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:  Google My Business, just like earlier Google products, will never be a true social network. However, weekly updates to your GMB page can drive traffic, calls, and requests for directions if your market is locally based this is an important place to be.
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? Review them all, choose the glass slipper that fits and do it well.
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