As mentioned in my last blog on social media marketing, there are a plethora of social media platforms out there. Some, like Facebook and Twitter, are quite well-known. Others, like Keek and BizSugar, you may have never heard of.
The selection of social media platforms in which to market yourself, your products and services, and your company are numerous. Too numerous, it can seem. And you won’t be able to use every single one you come across. Doing so creates what Randy Brososky of Group of Rogues calls a “content monster.” In other words, you’re always feeding your content platforms and not actually focusing on your core business — which is, of course, what you really need to do for your business to succeed.
So how do you choose which social media platforms to use? And how many?
It’s a dick move to answer a question with a question, especially if it’s your own question, but… How much time do you have for social media marketing?
Let’s start there. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re swamped. You really don’t have the time to add social media marketing to your daily or weekly to-do list. But if you’re serious about it, stop making excuses. You’ll have to make the time every day. And what I’m telling you is you need to set aside 30 minutes a day (not necessarily consecutive minutes) to focus on marketing using social media.
I worked with one client on a social media marketing campaign for the better part of a year, and they essentially contracted me for 1.5 hours per day, Monday to Friday. They had the budget to hire someone to take care of their social media marketing, though, and so I was able to provide more time in a single day on one social media platform than the typical small business owner could muster over two or three days.
But set aside the time. And once you’ve made that your goal, start thinking about your business and how you want to position yourself in the realm of social media. What social media platforms does your target audience use? Probably several. Choose three that will provide access to the target audience, offer a large enough following and will allow you to generate the kinds of content and conversations you want to have.
You don’t need to launch all three simultaneously. There’s nothing wrong with starting with one social media platform, learning it, getting involved and then adding to your to-do list. It’s probably the best way to start, in fact.
For my own social media endeavours, here’s the list of what I use in both my professional and personal lives (noted as appropriate):
- Twitter (professional and personal): My main Twitter account is a mix of both professional and personal tweets. It’s all over the place in terms of topics, with most of my comments coming back to enterprise technology. And then there’s my Beer In Canada account, a professional account that has gained quite a following amongst the beer and brewing communities. There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, but I like it because it pushes users to get to the point (that 140-character limit is a harsh editor). It was also the first to integrate hashtags, allowing for an easy way to follow particular topics.
- Facebook (personal, with a hint of professional): The most bang for your buck could be Facebook. But of course, people are there mostly to socialize, play games and look at pictures of cats in boxes. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good marketing being done on Facebook, as I’ve managed to turn the page for Blues Pet Grooming into a critical element of the business. Not only do new and existing clients find the business that way, but I also do about 40 per cent of my bookings through the page.
- LinkedIn (professional): Frankly, I hate LinkedIn. I joined years ago, but at this point, LinkedIn is the noisiest social media platform I use; and it has become absolutely useless. There was a time I was able to attract a handful of clients through LinkedIn, but today, I’m only on LinkedIn because I feel I need to be. It’s a terrible place to be, and I think it’s only a matter of time before something better comes along to replace it. LinkedIn is also best used for business-to-business communication rather business-to-consumer.
Although you’ll also find me on YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and a handful of other social media platforms, most of my content appears on Twitter and Facebook. And those are the two platforms I use the most. That doesn’t mean they’re right for you; they were just right for me.