When it comes to marketing a brand, business owners are faced with a wide variety of social media platforms to choose from. But how do you know which ones to use or which ones go with your brand?
There are way too many platforms for a small business to be able to use them all and to be effective in their marketing, unless of course, they have a dedicated marketing team working full-time. But this is not usually the case when it comes to smaller businesses or start-up companies.
Always start small
Just like word of mouth marketing, everything has to start somewhere, from that first conversation or first form of communication, the word gets out slowly and reputations are grown. The same goes for your social media marketing. Start small and experiment with different platforms little by little. Don’t go all in the first time you dive in; it will be hard to keep up and to be consistent in your approach
Instead work with your audience and which platforms produce results, which platforms house your ideal audience and demographics. Where is your audience most likely to be found?
If you’re a B2B or a B2C business, you will have different audiences, and these people will want to see and hear different types of content. Which platform would give you the best traction and where (after you’ve tried a little) do you find the best results?
In order to know what is working and what’s not, measuring the results is a must. Constantly watch and monitor what is going on around you. This can be done with a simple spreadsheet or notepad when first starting out. What’s happening in your industry and what can you do to jump on the trends? When you jump onto something that works, you’ll have more measurable results. But take note of everything you do, especially when first starting out. It can be easy to jump from one platform to another without really gauging an idea of whether it is working for your business. It may be a platform that you enjoy personally, but it is a platform that your audience will be found on?
Practice makes perfect
Not everything will work for you the first time around, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the wrong place, but it does mean that you may need to tweak or adjust your approach or even the type of content. If you see results straight away, that’s great! But it doesn’t always happen that way and it’s not a reason to be discouraged. Practice does make perfect and the more you get to know your audience, the content they want to see and the information and type of posts they enjoy the most, the better your results will be.
When you’ve tried the different platforms and you’ve measured your results, stick with the platform(s) that produce the best results. The worst thing you can do it to spread yourself too thin. By thinking that you need to be on every social platform out there and creating a hundred posts a week will not work! It will cause you disappointment and probably lead to burnout. Focus on what works and leave the other social channels behind. They’ll still be there when your business grows and has the capacity to produce more content but until then it’s better to do one thing well than to do ten things badly. You will lose customers and a good reputation if you do not stick to what your audience is looking for. Give them what they want, produce valuable content and resources and gain their respect and attention for the right reasons. You will grow your audience by building trust. People buy from people they know, like and trust but that must be earned. You will see the most effective results when you do one or two things well and put your efforts into those things.
How often should you post on social media?
This is a big question and one that we are asked a lot! But again, this comes down to the individual business and their owners. It can come down to time, resources, expertise and content.
The average recommended posting schedules can be determined as the below, but remember, you are only going to choose the platforms that perform well for your business, you will not have time for all of them, so don’t panic just yet!
- Facebook pages: 1-2 per day
- Twitter: 3-10 times per day
- Instagram: 1-3 times per day
- Instagram / Facebook Stories: 2-5 times per day
- Pinterest: 3-20 times per day
- LinkedIn Pages: 1-2 times per week
Unless you have a big marketing team behind you, you’ll never keep up with a schedule like this and do it well at the same time. Always focus on where your audience is, what they react to and interact with and the type of content that drives the most engagement.
Your audience knows best and you should try to be where they are to impact their thinking and decisions. Where are they on the buying cycle and which platform would they be benefiting from the most? Where will they be hanging out? What type of messages do you want to give? How can you help them in their pain points and create a solution for what they need? Use the platforms as a springboard to be able to speak to individuals direct.
What does each platform represent?
To name a few of the most popular ones:
Facebook – the largest of all social media platforms, Facebook is a place for people to connect and network with family and friends, and to engage with business groups and apps.
Twitter – this platform is mainly for news, entertainment, sports, politics and a more. It has a strong emphasis on real-time information and the things that are happening right now.
Instagram – this social platform is a photo and video sharing social media app. It allows you to share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, and live videos.
LinkedIn – this is a professional networking platform, more than just an online CV as many people think. It’s a place where industry professionals can connect and expertise can be sought and found, along with a place for people to establish themselves as a thought leader in the online world.
Pinterest – is a place where you can find inspiration and help on almost any topic and where brands can put ideas in front of buyers, helping them to make decisions about their purchases.
So, with all the platforms out there, where can you see your business fitting in? What audience do you want to reach or attract? What type of content do they want to see or hear from you and where would be the best place to put that content?
The main point to consider is to only focus on what works and to build your online presence around that. Be confident in what you create, be thoughtful in your approach and put a strategy behind every piece of content you create and schedule into your marketing plan. Your business will grow and produce good results when it finds its place in the online market. No ‘one-size fits all’ when it comes to social media marketing, although it is good to keep an eye on what’s going on around you! But your values and goals make your business unique. And you have a duty of care to your audience and your business to be true to who you are and to who you are trying to reach.
If you’re still struggling to work out which social platforms work for your business, maybe it’s time to consider a social media audit or a strategy plan in order to start on the right track. We’d love to talk to you if you’d like to learn more – together we can do this! Contact us today and let’s talk.
In the meantime, if you’re starting out in your social media marketing and often forget where you are or what you’re doing, why not download our FREE social media checklist – Don’t forget the basics! We’re here to help and that’s exactly what we love to do.
Time to get social… have fun and we will hopefully speak soon.