With the sheer number of social media platforms available, marketers are faced with the temptation to sign up for every new network that appears, as they seem to crop up daily.
Unfortunately, having a presence on every platform is more detrimental than helpful since each network demands attention and manpower, as many of you have surely figured out. Whether it’s for monitoring, updating or interacting with prospects, social media takes time and resources. The solution isn’t to spread yourself thinly over many social media platforms but to make an impact on one or two that really work for your brand, if that’s all you can do. If you can impact more, by all means. But keeping that in mind, let’s go over three important considerations when choosing the right social networks to be active in.
What are your objectives with social media?
Everything should boil down to business goals. Do you intend to draw in prospective customers only, or use it as a customer service channel? Will you use it to establish thought leadership? Or as a sales enabler? Or all of the above? Having a plan in place that outlines your goals makes it easier to figure out where to go. Electronics retailers have made a great niche for themselves by using Twitter as a customer service tool since the short message format makes it perfect for this.
Where are your prospective customers?
You’ve heard this before: choosing the right social media platform for your brand isn’t a matter of picking the popular choice. Instead you need to interact on a platform where your customers and prospects are already congregating.
For example: while many retailers already use Facebook for the sheer size of its user base, fashion and luxury brands should begin utilizing visual boards like Pinterest, Clipboard and their ilk. Their customers are likely the type who share interesting fashion photos, graphics and product shots, making these networks ripe for promoting the brand and interacting with prospects.
What type of content will properly promote your brand?
The format and type of content that you create to promote your products will also play a major role in choosing a social network. After all, online video equals YouTube. Photos can be used on many networks but consider the active pro photographer communities on Flickr and Google+. Even documents and slide presentations have great networks in Slideshare and Scribd.