Need some help to pick the best social media for business?
We’ve mentioned marketing strategy before and I’m sure we’ll mention it again. There are a million things to consider when putting together a marketing plan (like stock photo sourcing). One of the first and most overwhelming for many solopreneurs like you is picking the right social media platform. There are many options, from generalist giants like Facebook to more niche networks like Goodreads. How do you know where to find your audience, how to most effectively present your products or services, and what site is the best fit for you and your business? Unfortunately, that’s not always an easy question. Picking the best social media for business doesn’t always follow a “check the boxes” formula. However, here’s a game plan to help you figure out where to go.
Define Your Target Audience
First, you need to know who you’re trying to reach. Using tools like Google Analytics, Survey Monkey and Google Survey you can figure out what demographics describe your audience. The characteristics that you can discover with these tools include things like age and gender. These characteristics will help you figure out which social media networks to focus on. You should also take some time to visualize an ideal client. Who are they, what is their income, what are their pain points, and what are they looking for?
If you aren’t sure how to go about defining your target audience, this is a great time to step back and bring in a professional. This first part of your marketing plan is foundational and will make all other forms of marketing easier. Everything is built on the combination of who your target market is with what you’re marketing to them. If you don’t know either of these, we can help you get a clearer perspective before moving forward.
Discover Where They Are
Picking the best social media for business starts with finding where your audience is hanging out. Now that you know who your target audience is, how do you find them online? You may get some hints from the survey methods mentioned above. There are also numerous tools to help you figure out where your fans hang out. Tools like Social Mention and Sprout Social allow you to see where and how your brand is already being talked about. Once you know where your clients are talking about you, you can go there to nurture your brand presence.
Pew Research Center is another great resource. They report on social media use with some regularity. Their stats can give you insight into where your audience might be more likely to see your posts. If you aren’t already being talked about, you can start with research like that provided by Pew. Then you can use tools like Social Mention to gauge response when you start sharing.
Determine Where Your Products And Services Sell Best
See where your competitors are marketing their products through tools like SimilarWeb, What Runs Where, and Simply Measured. Different tools give you different data, but any of these can show you where your competitors are active and which of their ads have been most effective. Once you know, for example, that their Twitter posts bring more visitors to their website than their Pinterest posts, then you know that your audience will likely behave a similar way. This sort of insight can show you exactly where to invest your time and effort.
You can use these and similar tools to also discover where your target audience is shopping for products or services like yours. This is a strong vote for the best social media for business. Engaging on social media can put you on the right track. For example, you can ask open questions about where people would go to find a specific product or service. Quora and industry-specific forums are a great place to ask questions like this. If you keep track of the answers you get, you’ll start to get a clear image of the clients that need your services and where they shop.
Each social media site also tends to attract buyers and sellers of particular products and services. Facebook is an excellent place to start since your business’s Facebook profile can be used as an indicator for SEO ranking. No matter what you’re selling, investing your time in a business page on Facebook is a safe bet. If you do create a Facebook business page, be sure to link it to your website and other social media accounts to make sure that clients who find you there can find you elsewhere as well.
As far as other networks are concerned, B2B products and services do best on Linkedin. Travel, fashion, and health and beauty products, on the other hand, are popular on Pinterest and Instagram. Twitter is a powerful customer service platform and is a growing consumer hub. These are just some of the largest names, but there are more targeted platforms like Goodreads for books, and Care2 for social and environmental movements. Pew and other research centers can provide more in depth demographics, and the social media sites themselves often provide demographic reports to business interested in using them. Do your research, or get help from one of our experts.
Decide What Network Works Best For You
Finally, it’s important to consider what social media platform will work best for you. For some formats, it might be worthwhile to create a test or personal account before you commit. You might discover that you don’t like the character limit of tweets, or that the organization of Pinterest boards is overwhelming. On the other hand, you may learn from client interactions that you would benefit from a YouTube channel, or that your target audience is more active on Dogster than Instagram. You have time to test a few different platforms before throwing everything into a few select networks. Your favorite places lend some weight to the best social media for business because you’re much more likely to spend time there.
You should also keep in mind how many platforms you can manage. Using a tool like SmarterQueue to schedule and manage your social media presence can help stretch your time and effort. It would also be smart to consult with an expert who can help. A virtual assistant can help you pick 2-3 social media platforms and strategize your posts and marketing techniques.
If any part of this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Virtual A Team has your back. From developing an initial plan to creating and posting the actual marketing content, we can help you make the impact you want on the best social media networks for you and your business.
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