If someone asks you which social media networks they can find your business on, and you need to take a deep breath before answering, you’re probably using too many.
It’s tempting to hop on the internet, pull up every social media site and start signing up. It’s super easy, registering doesn’t take much time. Why not be everywhere, right?
If you’re like most people you slowly realize that managing half a dozen social media sites takes a lot of time and effort. Eventually you’ll become overwhelmed and stop using social media altogether. People will think you’ve run off into the wilderness to live a secluded lifestyle.
Then you have a bunch of social media sites that haven’t been updated in several months and it looks like your business is no longer running. Not to mention the makeshift shelter you’ve been living in is, as the park ranger puts it, “too close to the bears.”
Consider Your Social Media Audience
When deciding to jump into the social media pool it’s important to remember who it is you’re targeting. Just like being at your neighborhood barbecue, your conversations will change depending on who you’re talking to.
For example, Barbara does not care how Linda’s kids are doing at school. Actually, no one cares how Linda’s kids are doing. Why is Linda even here?
The Where and What of Social Media
Your audience has certain places they like to find information. Is it Twitter? LinkedIn? Facebook? Sky writing?
Find out where your audience is hanging out online and what they are talking about. Then use that platform and those conversations to your benefit.
The best way to determine this is to just ask them. If you have a line of communication like email then reach out to them that way. Put together a quick survey and send it to your contact list.
Don’t assume to know their favorite sites and topics of conversation. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and only you. I have nothing to do with this.
If you ask the right questions, and they like you, you’ll get a good idea of their preferences and can make your decision based on the information you collect.
If you have phone numbers then make some calls. Ask them where they spend most of their time and what they want to hear about.
Are you a brick and mortar store? Ask your customers as they’re purchasing your products. People love giving their opinions assuming you’ve explained what the information is going to be used for.
Jumping out from behind a tree and shouting “WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?” is a poor set up to any conversation. It’s most likely to frighten them and they’ll wonder where you learned your social skills. Also, why are you in a forest?
Great for scaring off bears, terrible for interacting with people.
Setting Up Your Social Media Networks
Once you’ve compiled your useful audience information you can begin setting up your social media. Start with the most used social network among your audience. You’ll want to build a following and have a consistent plan in place before moving on to another.
With social media, it’s best to build from the ground up. This also applies to wood shelters. Turns out a roof is just a floor if there are no walls beneath it.
Make sure your chosen social network is branded for your organization. Create cover and profile photos that reflect your brand. Stick with a voice that is consistent with your messaging. People like consistency especially when it comes to their information sources.
What people don’t like are loud howling noises coming from their backyards. Well, sorry, Linda, but some of us have predators to worry about.
Social Media Is a Long-Term Plan
Social media is dependent on your ability to communicate with your audience over time. Success does not happen overnight. And one night spent living under a log does not Grizzly Adams make.
Once you begin there is no end to using social media. You don’t post some stuff and then stop. It’s a constant part of your marketing plan.
You’ll want to become the person at the party everyone goes to for the best stories and advice. Understanding your audience and what they want to see is your ticket to success.
Just don’t be like Linda. Linda brought a bag of Solo cups to the block party and thought that was enough. Also, her kids keep stealing the berries from the traps near my encampment, and I will not foster that kind of behavior.
If you'd like help deciding which social media networks to choose or putting together a social media strategy, contact us!
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