|Posted on May 4, 2013 at 12:10 AM|
Social media marketing is a vast landscape.
When you decide it’s time you started making better use of social media to promote your small business, it’s easy to get distracted for hours looking at all the different social networks and wondering:
‘Which of these should I be using?’
Let’s break this down and look at the big networks one at a time.
Do I Need to Be on Twitter?
With a character limit that affords you one or two short sentences plus a URL, Twitter’s the place to broadcast interesting, concisely phrased updates and curate some of the best content in your niche.
Small businesses can make excellent use of Twitter for self-promotion, but there are other possibilities, too. You could offer customer support via tweets, or tweet out market research questions and collate the answers.
If you won’t be on hand to respond to Twitter messages on a daily basis, it may not be a good choice for your business. Twitter users tend to expect a rapid response, and can get snippy if it takes days to get an answer.
Do I Need to Be on Facebook?
Facebook has a huge number of active users, but may not be the best use of your time.
Consumers on Facebook tend to follow brands as a way of publicly expressing their own personality and values, rather than a way to communicate with the brand.
Add to that the short lifespan of a Facebook status update in user News Feeds, and unless you’re offering some highly engaging content with incentives like special offers or contests, your conversion rate of Facebook fans to new customers may be low.
If your product or service lends itself to great images and cool videos, though, Facebook could be a good fit for your business. It’s grown increasingly visuals-focused since engagement proved to be higher on image posts than any other type of Facebook posts.
Do I Need to Be on Google+?
Google+ offers one huge benefit: your Google+ profile can be linked to your website, blog, and so on to give Google’s search engine a better grasp of your online output. If your small business relies on search traffic to keep customer acquisition rolling, then Google+ is an option worth exploring.
The etiquette around self-promotion on Google+ is complex, and posting frequent self-promoting updates may be perceived as spammy and intrusive. This is a place to establish your brand positioning, rather than trawl for new customers.
Do I Need to Use All the Social Media?
In a word, no. It’s far better to use one social channel well than to use many different networks poorly.
There are dozens more social networks than the three mentioned here. Pinterest, Quora, GitHub, LinkedIn, Instagram and others each have their own style and values, appealing to different segments of online society.
Focus on understanding your market and which social media they use the most. Where do they look up a business that interests them – on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or somewhere else? Do they use social media to find special offers, or to seek customer support?
When you’ve got that figured out, focus your time and energy on just one or two social networks that are best aligned with (a) your market and (b) your business objectives. If you have time to handle a third or fourth network, go ahead, but don’t overload yourself.