Does your business need to be on every social network?
Wait you’re not on Facebook?
You definitely need to be Tweeting.
There’s no excuse not to be on LinkedIn.
You should be pinning at least ten times a day.
Google+ is the future.
We know social media plays a key role in an inbound marketing strategy, but it’s unrealistic that you can be active on every social network. So how do we determine what networks your business should be on?
There are three key questions to ask.
What are your goals?
Who’s your audience?
How much time do I have?
What are my goals?
Your social media goals need to be tied to your marketing strategy. And most importantly they need to be measurable. What does that mean?
It means to be analytical. Don’t rely on feelings. Set goals that use data and analytics to measure success and failure. There are a couple of social media analytics tools available like Social Status, which automates your social media analytics & reporting and saves you countless hours of manual work.
It’s important to set expectations on what your business will see on social media. Your initial goals should take into account that it takes time to build and grow a community.
Give yourself six months before seeing consistent results. Now, this length of time can be surprising to some, and that’s why it’s important to set clear expectations from the beginning.
Who is my audience?
Remember, social media isn’t about talking to everyone, it’s about talking to an audience that’s interested in your business. Understanding who your audience is will help you determine what social networks are appropriate for you.
Everything from age, profession, and hobbies will determine where you’ll find your audience.
How much time do I have to invest in social media?
Social media takes time, and your time is precious. Be honest with yourself. Do you have 2 hours a day or just 2 hours a week? Understanding your time will help you determine how many networks you can handle.
We’d rather see a business be success on two social networks than struggling to keep up with four.
Now that we’ve answered our three questions, it’s now time to listen.
Sign up your business for every social network you can find and listen to the conversations that are happening. It doesn’t mean that you’ll use all these social networks, but you need to collect information on where your audience is.
You want to make sure the social networks that you select are the ones offer the biggest return on investment. Remember, it’s not about talking with everyone, it’s about talking with your audience.
In the end, social networks will change over time, new will replace old and people’s preferences will change as well. But it’s never about the network you’re on; it’s about the conversations you’re having, the connections your making with your audience, and the ability to pull them closer to your brand.