So you’ve come to your sense and realised that every business, no matter how small, needs a social media platform to utilise in order to expand its presence, reach and engagement.
This is a frequent question, but you shouldn’t overlook the required research – you’ll need to make sure that you tailor your social presence to the needs of your business, and the desires of your audience.
As we’ve previously established, you mustn’t remain unnecessarily loyal to a sole social media platform. Ensure that you choose multiple platforms, but don’t link every possible option to your business, as it will become much harder to maintain an excessive number of social media accounts; you may even lose interest on platforms that you’re not posting enough on.
So firstly, you must establish what kind of digital footprint you want your business to have. Smaller stores and those based around arts and crafts may prefer the easily consumable visual information offered by sites such as Instagram and Snapchat. Contrastingly, older businesses may stick to tried-and-tested social media platforms which their user base are comfortable with – a company selling mobility scooters wouldn’t need a Pinterest account, would it?
With this in mind, you should now narrow down your options: While they may not be as popular, there’s a social media platform out there for everyone. Any group with shared interests and hobbies will be part of a demographic that is already catered for. Of course, you may want to opt for the big, well-known social media sites that can guarantee you the most traffic, but sometimes it’s worth specialising and aiming for a very specific target market.
At this point, it’s a good idea to use any pre-existing data to define what you want to realistically achieve with your social media presence – if you don’t have this data, you can start with looking at a vast number sites which offer anything from basic customer-focused surveys, to fully specialised market research.
Now you’ve got some information behind you, what do you want to do with your social media space? If you’d like to reach out to a potentially untapped set of consumers, consider looking into newer forms of social media, such as the aforementioned Snapchat and Pinterest, or even into more fringe platforms like Tumblr, Vine and Periscope. If you’re dedicated enough to produce regular video content which is sure to boost your SEO rankings, give the media juggernaut YouTube a try. If you’re solely after making quick announcements, head over to Twitter, and if you want to expand your professional network, LinkedIn is the place to be.
Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive, and the needs and targets of a business are always changing – remember that a few years ago, Snapchat wasn’t considered a serious social media platform, and it’s now host to upstart companies, politicians and celebrities alike.