The average B2B business has a presence on around six social networks. Yet, do you really need to be on six different social networks? How much time are you spending promoting your content with little-to-no results? Are your customers even active on all of your social networks? That really is the key question. You don’t want to waste time you don’t have.
This is why many small businesses are starting to question their social presence. Why shouldn’t they? Social media can be complex, and it is definitely time-consuming. It seems that every week there is a new and amazing feature that users are flocking to try. You not only have to keep up with the trends, but you have to learn each and every one. This means you have to be a constant student. Of course, there is nothing wrong with learning. It is necessary for growth.
Yet, it doesn’t always suit your needs best when you’re learning skills that don’t provide business benefits. If you want your business to grow, you need to focus on tasks that help you achieve that goal. Otherwise, what’s the point? Plus, the last thing you need is social burn out. This is why your social media presence needs to be well thought-out and well executed. You must ask, “what social networks do I need to be on, and which ones are not necessary?”
Are the users part of your target audience?
You want to start off by determining the target demographic of a social networking site. This isn’t much different from questions you need to ask for traditional advertising or business communication strategies. The point is if you try to participate in every social network, you will stretch yourself too thin. So, start by asking these questions:
- Who are the users?
- Why do they use it?
- Are they mobile or desktop users?
- When do they use it?
- How long do they use it for?
You want to understand of the network fits with your brand. When selling products, Pinterest and Instagram seem to be a great fit. On the other hand, service-based companies enjoy LinkedIn. That doesn’t mean service-based companies can’t find success on Instagram and vice-versa, you just need to be a bit more creative with your approach.
Then, there is the fact that Pinterest is powered by female users. Out of 10.4 million users, 80% are female and 30% are between the ages of 25 and 34. In addition, the average user spends about 98 minutes per day browsing the site. Is this your target market? If not, it makes more sense to stay away. You don’t want to try to fit into the Pinterest business model. You need something that works for you.
Is it unique?
At the end of 2015, Facebook had around 1.6 billion active monthly users. This is more than the population of China. Unless there is a site that has more users and features, Facebook users probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Of course, we can’t predict the future. Remember MySpace and Friendster? This is the same way you should view your marketing efforts.
Will a specific site give you a new and unique way of promoting your message? If not, why are you there? Increase your skill on one social network before moving on to too many channels. You know what they say, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
Will the network be more valuable to your business over time?
With a new and trending social network, you want to take a look at the early adopters. The reason is this will give you a better idea of the type of demographic that may become the network’s primary users. Plus, these early adopters might be more tech savvy so, you will have to use your marketing background and experience to make an educated guess.
Still, there will be exceptions to the rule. No one thought that Facebook would be the powerhouse it is today. It started out as a networking site for college users. Today, around two-thirds of small businesses use Facebook for marketing. It is one of the best networks for social engagement and for companies to communicate directly with customers. As a result, it is important to keep the Facebook story in mind when analyzing potential social networks.
Will it hurt if your company isn't there?
This is another question to ask–how much harm will it do if your company is not present on a particular social network? Will it change your brand’s perception? Answering this question may give you the motivation to either make your presence known or to engage in further research before getting on board.
Can you maintain a consistent presence?
The thing with spreading yourself too thin is you never have any real time for your followers. You submit a post, then move on to the next. You don’t have time to interact or answer questions. If that’s the case, then what are you doing? Is this really effective? So, you need to consider the demands on your time. How useful is it to be everywhere and nowhere? What will your followers think if you’re never around? They have no idea how busy you are. All they see is that one post you managed to make that day.
They don’t know you’re running around like a beheaded chicken trying to reach every social network available today. So, think of your availability for your prospects and customers. They want to hear from you through more than just one post. They want direct communication. If you don’t have time to provide that, then you need to figure out how you can. It may mean cutting out the networks that don’t fit your industry or demographic.
Once you get the hang of a few networks, you need to be more discerning when it comes to adding new ones. Even if a site is trending, it still might not be right for your business. Yet, if you aren’t getting as much traction as you might like, you might have to add sites and replace those that appear to be underperforming.
Are you ready to analyze your social media efforts more carefully? Remember, don’t take part on a network just because it’s new. Make sure you stick to networks that help build your brand and enable you to have a strong presence.