5 Tips for Picking the Most Effective Social Networks for Your Small Business

5 Tips for Picking the Most Effective Social Networks for Your Small Business

Social media marketing is one of the most useful tools at a small business owner’s disposal. There are several benefits to using social media to market your brand: enhanced brand loyalty, high-quality lead generation, and the creation of brand awareness are just a few. In fact, 66% of marketers found that by spending only 6 hours weekly on social media – that’s less than an hour per day! – they were able to generate significantly more quality leads. While social media marketing can do wonders for your small business, it isn’t always as easy to operate solo as many small business owners would like.

Social media marketing is a science. Unfortunately, there is a misconception held by many small business owners that social media marketing is simple. When it comes to social media marketing, there are two unspoken rules that businesses should follow: 1. Not every social media platform will yield the same results for your business, and 2. Not every social network is right for your business. Some small business owners think the more the better and rather than using a strategic social media marketing plan, they simply set up accounts on every social media platform and end up spreading themselves too thin and not reaching their target audience.

There are several factors that should be considered when picking the right social networks for your business. Here are 6 things you should do to determine which platforms are best suited for your business:

Set goalsSet goals

One of the first questions to ask yourself is “What am I trying to achieve for my business?” Some social media platforms are more effective at helping your company reach certain goals than others. Do you want to drive more traffic? Have a higher conversion rate? Create brand awareness? You may want all of these things for your business, but start by picking the goals most important to you, then find the platforms that can help you achieve each one.

For example, if you want to create more brand awareness, you should stick to popular networks and avoid new or unestablished ones. Or if you’re a B2B business that wants to generate more leads, LinkedIn might be the way to go. Your goals should be one of the most significant determining factors when it comes to picking your social media platforms.

Define your audience

“Who is my target audience?” should be the next question on your list. Each social platform attracts an entirely different demographic. For example, if your target audience is adult women, Pinterest would be the most effective platform for your business because 85% of its users are women and 45% are between the ages of 25-44. However, if your target audience is older men, then incorporating Pinterest into your social media marketing strategy would likely be a waste of time.

You couldn’t possibly expect to generate new leads on a platform where the majority of users fall far outside of your demographics. When you are able to define your audience and find out which networks they favor, you can make an informed decision regarding your own social media platforms.

Determine which kind of content to createDetermine which kind of content to create

There are multiple social media platforms for a reason – they all offer users something different. If major platforms like Instagram and Twitter offered the same user experience, their user demographics would be identical, but that’s not the case. Twitter allows users to send out short 280-character messages (photo optional), while Instagram is only a photo- and video-sharing platform. They both function using different types of content.

The kind of content you want your small business to put out is a major factor to consider when creating your social media marketing strategy. For example, if you want to create long videos or podcasts, YouTube would be the best platform; whereas if you wanted to create short clips, Instagram may be more appropriate. You may need to do your homework on which content performs best on each platform, but the time you spend will be well worth it in the end. When a small business posts content to a platform that it wasn’t designed to promote, the promotion will almost always fail.

Identify your resources and abilities

This last tip is directly linked to your ability to determine the kind of content to create. While different businesses have different resources and abilities, that can leave some businesses falling behind. For example, one small business may be a marketing agency themselves, so they know how to manage social media and create killer content. However, a jewelry business may need to hire a staff member dedicated to social media management in order to compete, which would be a hefty expense.

A surefire way to overcome any resource or ability-related obstacle is to hire a social media management agency. They will be able to handle everything from picking the most effective content for a business in your industry to finding the best suited social media platform and managing the page.

If you want to see the benefits of social media marketing, it’s crucial that you pick the most effective platform, or platforms, for your business. While it’s not necessary for your business to only have one social media account – it’s actually proven that 2 or more accounts is more effective – it’s important that you pick those networks strategically.

Your decision should be informed by what you want to achieve from social media marketing, which platforms your ideal customer uses and what type of content you want to put out. When you use a social media platform fit for your business, you will see tremendous benefits from dedicating just a few hours to social media marketing.