Over the last few years social media has become an important part of many business’ marketing strategy (and if it isn’t part of yours yet, it should be).
It seems like every day a new platform is popping up. You can very easily get overwhelmed and confused deciding which ones to use. And unless you’re happy to outsource this part of your business, it simply won’t be possible to use every social media platform effectively.
Before you can decide on which one is best for you as a way to reach your customers, consider the following two questions:
1) Which ones do you feel most comfortable using; and
2) Which ones are your customers using?
Answering these questions will automatically put you leagues ahead of your competition. You will be able to focus on the platforms that give you the most results for your time. However, you also need to be aware that simply because Twitter is your favorite platform, it doesn’t mean that your customers are going to be there.
You need to pick the social media platforms that you are comfortable with – or comfortable outsourcing to a social media marketer – and that your customers are hanging out on. Sometimes this means that you may need to get a little more familiar with one of the platforms.
As an example, if you are wanting to communicate with women looking for new clothes and styles, out of all of your choices, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn are likely to be your best choices.
Here’s a quick run-down on some of the most popular social media platforms:
Facebook has the largest user base with 1.71 billion active users and 1.31 active users each day. That is a large population of people that could possibly hear about you or your business. Unfortunately, these same stats may make it difficult to get the attention of your potential clients. Facebook is a good place to reach members of all age groups, especially those between the ages of 20 and 50.
If your ideal customer is a woman, then Pinterest may be your choice. Having 82% of Pinterest users being women, you are truly missing out if your marketing is targeted to women and you are not on Pinterest.
The teens have truly taken to Instagram; 32% of teenagers choose Instagram over Facebook. So if you are marketing to teenagers, then you need to be on Instagram.
Another demographic that has key impact on Instagram is the 25-34 age group. Instagram is a very visual platform. Therefore, with society becoming more and more digital, if you are trying to reach teens or Gen X-er’s then you need to be on Instagram. Remember, Instagram is not just an image platform; it is also a video platform.
YouTube has over 1 million viewers each month; it follows second to Facebook. If you want to reach a large group of people, using YouTube could be your answer.
You will have a great advantage reaching adults between the ages of 18 and 34 by integrating YouTube into your social media plan. Another great thing about YouTube is that it shows up in Google searches.
LinkedIn is not like other social media platforms. You will find highly educated people and those who fall into the higher tiered income on LinkedIn. Over half the users of LinkedIn have an income of over $75,000.
This is also a great place to find business professionals and businesses who need your expertise. If your target market is business professionals or businesses, you need to add LinkedIn to your social media plan.
Do not leave Twitter out of your plan. Twitter has a user base of 313 million, with 100 million of them using Twitter each day. Again, you will find you easily reach those between the ages of 18 and 34, however there are people of all ages using Twitter. Since you can only use 140 characters in a tweet it is more difficult to get your message across, so it’s important to learn how to use Twitter effectively to get the most from your time here.
Before you begin changing your business strategies, take time to answer the important questions. Decide which platforms you are comfortable using, or which you will need to learn to use. And, determine which social media platforms your potential customers are hanging out on. You want to find the common ground between the two.
If you love Pinterest, but your customers are not there, then you will need to go to another platform. You can easily find where you customers are by doing some additional research. Search for groups that fit your perfect customer, search for posts related to their problems, and ask your current customers where they hang out.
Although each platform has its larger demographics, you may find that your customers are hanging out there even though they are in the lower percentage.
The most important thing though is that you are using social media to connect and engage with your customers (and potential customers).
Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author and Content Marketing Specialist. Through her business, Jacaranda Business Support Services, she has been helping other small businesses to grow since 1998, with a knack for teaching systems that allow business owners to increase profits while working less.