Do you struggle with determining which social media networks are worth your time?
You’re not alone.
When building a social media plan, deciding which social media channels to focus on is one of the important steps you must take — whether you’re just starting out or you’re evaluating your existing efforts.
After all, you don’t want to waste your time on a social media channel that won’t help you drive results for your business.
Which Social Media Channel is Right For Your Business
So, how do you know which social media channel is right for your business? How do you determine whether you should invest your time in Facebook, Pinterest or Snapchat?
Taking these steps will help you decide.
1. Find your audience.
It doesn’t make sense to talk to an empty room. You must figure out where your target audience hangs out online.
Not sure how to do that?
Here are some ideas on how to get this information:
- Survey Tools. Conduct a survey to ask your customers about which social networks they use. A tool like Survey Monkey is great for this.
Some social Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, such as Nimble or Contactually, can show you which social media channels your contacts use.
- Email marketing tools. Some email marketing tools also pull in social media data. MailChimp, for example, has an add-on that pulls in social media data for all of your subscribers.
Rapportive is a nifty little Google Apps plugin that lets you see which social networks your email contacts use. Refresh is a good one for your phone.
- Social media search. Use social media search tools to search for your brand name, competitors and key topics that are of interest to your audience. Here are a few to try — SocialMention, Talkwalker or Topsy.
- Use research. There is a ton of research available about social media. For example, Edison Research has a breakdown of social media channels by age. Pew Research also has a good breakdown of social media usage. Find research that pertains to your audience and industry and that can be a good guide for you.
- Talk to your customers. Sometimes, the simplest thing to do is ask! Talking to your customers can help you understand which social channels they prefer using.
2. Consider how your content fits on the channel.
Nearly 20 percent of the world’s population is on Facebook. There’s a good chance your audience hangs out there.
But, will your content fit there? Will your audience want to hear from you on Facebook?
Remember, your content on Facebook is competing for attention with pictures of people’s kids and the latest cat meme. Will people want to avert their eyes from that to see what you have to say there?
For instance, we worked with a company that detects and locates leaks in pipelines. Facebook doesn’t make a lot of sense for them. On the other hand, a local property management company that rents apartments and houses is a great fit for Facebook.
This doesn’t just apply to Facebook. Think about each social network and consider if your content will fit.
3. Test it out.
Once you’ve done your research and considered where your content might be a good fit, you have to dive in and test it out.
You don’t truly know how your company will fare on social media until you try it.
But, if you’re going to jump into a new social media channel, you have to go all in with your efforts. Invest the time and energy to do it right. Give it at least three to six months to see how it’s working for you.
During the time, you’ve also got to be willing to experiment with new and different tactics so you can determine what works best for your audience.
4. Evaluate your efforts.
It wasn’t working for them.
Although Copyblogger had a huge audience on Facebook, they weren’t getting any interaction with their efforts. They even tested and tried a number of new tactics to see if they could re-energize the page.
Despite following best practices, Facebook wasn’t where their audience wanted to engage with them.
You must determine what you’re trying to accomplish with each social media channel and regularly evaluate if your efforts are working for you.
Sometimes, a social media channel doesn’t work out. And that’s okay.
As the song goes, you’ve got to know when to fold ‘em.
After all, there’s no sense in wasting your time on social media channel that’s not helping your business.
What about you? Have you ever shut down one of your social media channels? Are you struggling to decide if an effort is working?