Social media is a powerful tool and one that needs to be included in the marketing strategy of every small business. Having a web presence, including a presence on social media is no longer optional. It’s imperative.
You may think that you need to establish your brand on every platform in order to reach the maximum number of people, which is a pretty overwhelming thought. You know you need to participate in social media, but do you need to be on every platform?
Why Participating in Social Media is Important
There are many benefits to promoting your business on social media. Just about everybody knows it’s the easiest place to connect with others. Millennials, in particular, are constantly checking their mobile phone apps for updates on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and other platforms, often several times a day.
This is a huge opportunity for you as a business owner to leverage this almost constant connection with prospects and customers to your advantage. Using these online gathering places, you can engage with your customers on a daily basis and build your brand. You can find out what people are looking for and how they’re reacting to what your competitors are delivering. You can get a very clear picture of what your target audience wants and what’s keeping them up at night.
The Many Different Social Media Platforms
The number of social media platforms is nothing short of mindboggling. There are well over a hundred different platforms, and the emphasis of each is different. Some focus primarily on videos, others photos, and others on sharing written content.
The truth is if you attempt to use every possible social media platform, you probably won’t have time to do much of anything else. If you try to scatter your marketing haphazardly across all of them, you’re not likely to make much of an impression on anyone.
The Danger of Choosing Too Many Platforms
If your strategy is to establish a presence on multiple platforms, you’ll find that you’re spreading yourself too thin pretty quickly. When you’re trying to go in multiple directions at the same time, your focus is diluted and your marketing is ineffective.
What you’ll end up doing is writing poor content just to have something to put up all over the place regularly. Poor content isn’t going to attract the people you’re trying to connect with, which defeats the purpose of marketing on social media in the first place.
Besides not being able to provide quality content, you’ll find that when you’re investing time into marketing on too many platforms, you end up not having enough time or energy to interact with your audience. If you’re not engaging with them, you’re not leveraging the power of social media.
Keep in mind that for your business to be successful, you can’t market to everyone. It’s just not realistic because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The most effective strategy is to market to a narrow group of people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. Your target audience isn’t on every single platform. If you try to market to them on the wrong platform, you’re just wasting time.
Knowing Your Audience and Choosing a Platform
One of the most important keys to marketing success is to know exactly who you’re marketing to. When you truly know your audience, with a little research you can get a pretty good idea of what platforms are most likely to capture their attention.
For example, if you have a B2B audience, your prospects may be primarily hanging around LinkedIn while young mothers may be spending a lot of time on Facebook. Different age groups hang out in different channels. You need to find out where your prospects already are, and your energy needs to be focused on the channel they’re most likely to use.
The goal is to attract the right people, not a large number of people who have no interest in your products or service. Once you find where they’re actively participating, remember that there’s a lot of competition for their attention. People struggle with constant distractions, so only the best information will get their attention. You’ll need to take the time to deliver quality content to the right people on the right platform.
Narrowing Your Focus
You can’t be everywhere on social media. It takes time to learn and master each platform because each one has its own culture and nuances. Figure out where you belong and then work on making your brand more distinctive by focusing your efforts on marketing to a specific audience in specific places.
An effective social media strategy requires you to narrow your focus so that you’ll be able to get some traction. Your best bet is to double your efforts in one direction rather than diluting it by trying to do too much at the same time. This helps to carve out a reputation based on what makes you unique. Use consistency whenever possible, such as logos and color schemes on everything you post.
Analyze Your Social Media Strategy
Rather than trying to be all things to all people, plan what you’re going to post, how often and where. Posting on a handful of platforms regularly is a great strategy for building a loyal following and it’s likely to get a better return on the investment of your time than trying to be everywhere at once.
Plan to analyze how well your strategies are working. Figure out which platform is giving you the most ROI. How engaged are people with what you’re posting? Are certain times of day more effective than others? Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t, and change your strategy accordingly.
Planning Your Social Media Marketing for Success
Successful social media marketing requires planning ahead. This means when you invest time or money, you know what you expect to get out of it.
Your goal on social media is not to merely spread noise, but to contribute value, build relationships and earn the loyalty of your target audience. The narrower your focus, the more likely you can make this happen.
Finding the best social media marketing strategy can sometimes be confusing. If you need professional guidance with your social media marketing, get in touch with the experts at Softline Solutions. We can help you to realize your online potential.