Are you considering using social media as a marketing tool for your company?
Do you know which social networks your company should be using?
When getting started with social media marketing one of two things tend to happen:
1. You get overwhelmed with the choice of networks and give up on starting
2. You join them all and make them all part of your strategy.
Those sound familiar with you?
Either way, your social presence will suffer as a result and if 2 was your option, then you will quickly become overwhelmed with work.
When getting started with social media, one of the most important decisions you can make is which network are you going to focus on.
Pick one, two if time permits.
But do NOT pick them all – you will likely become mediocre at all of them which won’t give you very good results.
How do you pick the appropriate social network?
Picking a network doesn’t have to be difficult, it just requires you knowing your audience.
Where do your audience hang out online?
Where do they communicate?
Where might they want to communicate with you?
Now you have those questions in mind, here are some of the networks and the types of audiences you would find on them:
Facebook is the biggest social network. It’s the place where pretty much everyone from grandchild to grandparent can be found.
It’s a social hangout where the news feed is full of activities your friends have been doing over the past few days.
As a business, if you have a great story, or your customers have great stories then Facebook could be great for you.
It’s a picture and video focussed environment where cats, anything cool and anything crazy can go viral.
If your business can create lots of pictures or videos that generate discussions, then Facebook could be the network for your company.
Google+ is Google’s very own social network.
It runs in a very similar way to Facebook in terms of adding friends (circles), posting into the news feed and talking to others.
With the communities and hangouts, Google+ falls under the category of what I would call “casual professional”.
It’s a place where you can have professional discussions or seek help, but equally a good animated picture can go down a charm.
Google+ has a much smaller active community than Facebook, but the user numbers are still in the millions.
One of the benefits of this network over the others is the search engine fuel. Every post you create on Google+, every +1 and every comment you receive has the potential of increasing your search engine rankings to the pages that others commented on.
Longer text posts can also turn up in the search results pages giving more exposure to your content and your social profile.
LinkedIn is a network for professionals.
It’s not typically known as a place where you can chat to friends and see what they got up too in the evening.
Instead, you can see which of your connections have changed jobs, you can see resources and business related posts from your connections.
You can join communities to discuss industry developments and problems and you can make professional connections.
This network tends to be connecting individual people together instead of companies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good online presence as the company – although it helps if you can get your boss on board too!
Tumblr is essentially a blogging platform. More often than not each of those blog posts would be image heavy.
Topics are extremely varied but the user age group tends to be the younger generation who have moved away from Facebook, or the creative business person.
It’s a great place to tell stories and show great pictures while allowing your audience to easily follow you.
Pinterest is all about pictures. If you sell a product that has (or could have) lots of beautiful pictures, or can create meme’s that are likely to be shared then Pinterest is the network for you.
Easily share ideas through pictures and gather other interesting posts into individual boards that are relevant to your business.
The typical audience favours females but that doesn’t mean men can’t be found on there.
Above are the standard networks, however sometimes it’s better to avoid those completely and search for networks that are industry specific – such as a forum or community group.
Those networks, despite having a very small user group in comparison to the networks mentioned above, have users who are either very knowledgeable on that niche, or would like to learn more.
Positioning your company as an industry expert and helping others can quickly turn into pre-qualified leads.
So instead of targeting the masses, you’re targeting people who already have a focussed interest in your field of expertise.
To round up
There are a lot of social networks out there from big to small.
The key isn’t to try and use them all, it’s to find the one where your company can benefit most from the work that’s put into it.
Don’t become one of those companies who become rubbish at lots, become one of those companies who is really good at one – and consequently will see results.