Choosing a Social Media Platform

choosing a social media platform Having difficulty choosing a social media platform for your business? With so many available options, it’s not surprising. Instead of going it alone and hoping for the best, leave the guesswork behind with this step-by-step guide that can help you decide:

Step One: Pick a Target
Before you begin, you must know your target. Ask yourself, who am I trying to reach? Stay-at-home moms? C-Suite Executives? Some platforms attract certain demographics, so before you can start, make sure you know.

Step Two: Pick a Goal
Now it’s time to determine what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you introducing a new product? Hoping to bolster traffic to your site? Responding to positive or negative reviews? Your goal will help dictate which platform to use.

Step Three: Pick the Platform
Once you know your target and goal, choosing the platform you need gets easier. These ‘elevator introductions’ to the ones commonly used by business will acquaint you with their strengths:

Facebook
The preeminent social network due to number of users, period – it’s ideal for developing customer relationships through sophisticated ad targeting, ongoing dialogue, pictures and video.

Twitter
Instant and immediate, it’s perfect for getting the word out quickly or responding ‘in the moment.’ This platform is also a great tool for offering customer service.

YouTube
A worldwide repository for all things video, which is perfect for product demos, launches, commercials and brand building.

Pinterest
Predominantly female, primarily pictures – it’s a space where colorful recipes come to life, fashion makes a statement and couture and décor rule.

LinkedIn
A business mixer in digital form that is perfect for networking, business blogging, professional bonding and dialoging with your contemporary colleagues.

Step Four: Use One or More Accordingly
By now you’ve likely realized that you might need more than one platform to reach your goals, which is okay. The goal is to get savvy on the platforms that best suit your needs. For most small businesses, this means two or three, tops. (Don’t forget to explore platforms like Hootsuite that can help you manage them all at once.)

Step Five: Take a Cue from a Case Study
Say you run a screen-printing business and you just launched a line of eco-friendly inks with some hip new t-shirt designs. You want everyone to know about your ‘green’ ink efforts and you want them to see your cool new shirts.

Target:          Men and Women, interested in fashion and ecology
Goal:            Send traffic to your eCommerce site
Platforms:    Twitter and Facebook

Twitter will help you get the word out fast and talk to prospects in real time. A boosted post on your Facebook business page will inform targeted prospects of your new product. And here’s what that might look like:

Tweet (Twitter) Post (Facebook)
“Check out our new designs made with eco-friendly ink! Use coupon code XYZ.” [link to your site]

“Our new eco-friendly designs made with ‘green’ ink look great on you and are good for the planet! Use coupon code XYZ for free shipping today only.”                  [link to your site]

Step Six: Improvise if Necessary
Of course, there’s room to improvise should the need arise. For instance Pinterest has a large base of users interested in fashion, and new “buyable” pins make it easier to sell. Or use LinkedIn to engage other green companies in a conversation about running an eco-friendly business to increase brand awareness and develop community.

The more you know about social media, the platforms and their strengths, the better you’ll get at choosing the right ones. So why not take the first step today?

For those first steps, get some solid basics with our Social Media Quick Launch Guide; click here to download.

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