Social media is as homogeneous from network to network as soft drink is from brand to brand. Sure, it’s all social media, but Google+ and Twitter might as well be Mountain Dew and Pepsi. Each network is unique, with its own best practices, own format, and own target market. Which ones are optimal for you?
Various best advice I’ve heard on social media marketing is this: You should select the social networks that best fit your strategy and the goals you want to achieve on social media.
In other words, you don’t have to be on them all– just the ones that matter to you and your target market.
Giving yourself permission to opt for and select your most ideal social networks is a great way to start sharing on social. Start small, find your footing. You can always expand later if required.
So how exactly do you select the best social networks? Here are a few aspects that I think might fit into.
Time – How much time can you devote to a social network? Plan on at least an 1 hour/day per social network, in the start.
Resources – What personnel and skill-sets do you possess to work with? Visual social networks like Pinterest and Instagram demand images and photographes. Social media networks like Google+ emphasize quality content. Do you have the useful resources to produce what’s needed?
Knowledge – What will be the learning curve for you for a given social network? Are there ones you’re rather acquainted with already? Getting up to speed might be a factor to consider here.
Your target market – Exactly where do your potential clients hang out? Which social network has the appropriate demographics?
For answers to this last question, you can reference the audience research and demographics from surveys like those carried out by Pew Research. For example, Pew has complete data, gathered last fall, of the demographics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Here are a couple of simple takeaways:.
- Facebook and Pinterest are more popular with females.
- LinkedIn is more popular with males.
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are prominent with the 18-29 age group.
- LinkedIn and Pinterest are more popular with those with advanced education.
- Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are popular among those with higher income.
Once you’ve thought through all these questions, you’ll have your answer! Choose 1 or 2 social networks to begin with, give it a couple of months to see the result, and calibrate appropriately afterwards.
Best of luck! You’re on a great path to an awesome strategy!