“A tweet of a Vine of an Instagram of a Tumblr post of a Facebook post of a tweet” was the mind-blowing title of a recent PR Daily post that caught my attention. It reminded me just how overwhelmed all of us can feel by the avalanche of new social media options that pop up daily.
Less than 10 years ago, platforms like Facebook and Twitter were unheard of. Today, they are almost a necessity for businesses that want to establish ongoing, sticky relationships with customers. But, where do we draw the line? A new social network is introduced nearly every day, so how do you choose which will work for your business? And, which one is worth your investment of time?
Here are a few simple tips on how to pick and support the most worthwhile social media for your marketing efforts:
- Who uses each platform: Invest the time upfront to find out who uses each platform. And make sure you’ve got the latest information about this. For example, the mantra that Facebook is for only 20-somethings went out years ago, but those looking for ways avoid jumping into social media love this myth. In fact, 77 percent of those 30 to 49 use Facebook and over 50 percent of those 50 to 64 also use it, according to an ongoing study by the Pew Research Centre. So, make sure you do real research because this is the most basic question to address when picking the most effective social media. Once you pinpoint the audience of each social network, you can figure out which network will cater to your audience.
- Who is your audience: Do you want to business people, teenagers, homemakers, or photographers? You have to determine who your audience is in order for them to respond favorably to your social media strategy. Once you know that, do another round of up-to-date research to determine the best social media platform. For example, LinkedIn is a hot bed of leads for recruiters looking for candidates. Ninety-seven percent of them say the use LinkedIn to source candidates, according to a recent Bullhorn Survey.
- What is your goal: Does your business need to attract a new audience? Do you want to showcase your product or services using video instead of just photography? This also narrows which platforms will be necessary in order to achieve those goals. Target, for example has close to 50,000 followers on Pinterest for a very specific goal – to drive interest in their seasonal events, holidays items, interior design, food, clothing and children. Most of their pins link directly to Target.com or its other websites, but there are also a number of links to other blogs and even competitors like Houzz and Etsy. Unlike other retailers, they don’t link all their pins back to their site, but they do maintain a significant following that will, no doubt, drive customers into their stores or to their site.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the social media platforms that are out there today. Each social media site is different in its own right, so do your homework and then choose wisely. It’s better to pick the right platforms and engage in them regularly than trying to spread yourself across many of them and do it sporadically. Take your time to develop the social media strategy that will benefit your company or brand the most. Then, let this little ditty govern your choices: “From Tweets to Vines, what’s worth my time?”