When choosing the best social media platforms for your small business, first consider your ideal audience. Each social media platform appeals to specific types of people. Also, consider your brand voice and your content strategy.
All too often, small business managers quickly put together a basic Facebook page and inconsistently throw content at it. When they see no tangible results, they get discouraged and decide that social media doesn’t work. We hope you use the following tips and insights to help you pinpoint the best social media platforms for your business goals.
How To Identify What are the Best Social Media platforms to share your Content?
Understand Where Your Customer Lives on Social Media
Remember your buyer personas or audience personas? It all goes back to that, when you identify who you want to reach everything is easier. This advice also applies to choosing a social media platform. For example, if you need to reach a middle aged or older consumers, Facebook may be your best bet. However, if you need to reach younger consumers, then you may have more success with Snapchat, Instagram, or even Tumblr. The Pew Research Center conducts studies on Social Media Use every few years, this is a good resource to get a strong sense of where your audience spends time online. Please note, your product or service may appeal to more than one demographic or psychographic of person and you may need a multi-platform approach.
What Kinds Of Content Do You Excel At?
While platform choices should be based on your ideal customer, it is important to consider that each platform favors specific content types. You may need to consider whether you have the skills in-house or can opt for an agency to create content optimized for your chosen platforms. For example, if you have the ability to publish beautiful,original photographs then your brand may shine on visual platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. If you are an excellent public speaker then podcasting or livestreamed video may be right for you so you would to choose a where that kind of content excels.
Keep in mind that chances are you may need to hire content creators to help you develop the content that best reaches your ideal market. In that case, you don’t need to let lack of photography skills keep you away from Instagram or lack of writing skills prevent you from launching an engaging blog. It is easier than ever to find agencies who can help you create the content that helps connect your brand with your future customers,
Distribute Repurposed Variations of the Same Content to Multiple Platforms
In today’s marketplace, you may find that segments of your desired customer base use different platforms. Many people use two or more platforms daily. Building a presence on multiple platforms offers the opportunity to tailor variations of the same message to different consumers. Also, it protects you from being dependent on the whims of one platform which may institute an algorithm or policy change that results in losing your audience.
This goes back to the 1:30 ratio discussed in the section on Repurposing Content. Be sure to optimize each platform’s version to that platform. For example, Pinterest and Facebook use different aspect ratios to display content. You may present the same information but in each version the style should fit the platform and the voice should fit the audience.
Distribute and Share Frequently and Consistently
Once you identify the right platforms, create valuable content, and repurpose your work you have a solid foundation. However, to gain traction on any platform you also need to publish consistently and frequently. This is easier said than done when you are busy running your business, but it can be the difference between little results on social media and regular lead generation through your chosen platforms.
Each platform and audience have their unique sweet spot in how often your brand may publish content without over posting. Many brands find more success with multiple postings a day on Twitter or Pinterest, but they do better limiting Facebook and LinkedIn posts to once or twice a day. Pay attention to your engagement and analytics to see what works for you.
Finally, try to avoid posting overly promotional or sales content too often. Consumers are unlikely to follow an account that only posts commercial content. Mix in informational or entertaining content to keep your audience engaged and to strengthen the impact of your promotional content.
Also, some small businesses only post about themselves. On social media, this is the equivalent of that person who goes to the party and talks about themselves constantly. Influencers who thrive on social media mix content about themselves with interesting content from and about others. They curate content that will interest their audience and they gain influence since that audience grows to trust their taste and expertise. Similar is true for businesses that thrive on social media. Share content from non-competitor’s in your field or community who share a similar audience or customer base.
Engage and Connect With Your Audience
On social media, your audience expects that a real person is posting to and monitoring your account. For this reason, many post service complaints or questions to social media. These questions are often leads in disguise and sometimes the complaints are a customer care and lead generation opportunity.Audience engagement is often the key to elevating a decent but average social media account into a prospecting and lead generating resource.