1. Where the Crowds Are
Facebook has been the undisputed champion of the people since the fall of MySpace and AOL. Once businesses realized the marketing potential of Facebook as they began to allow advertisers into their space, the stampede had begun.
Now, people all over the world expect a business to be on Facebook as a standard and depending on the industry, sometimes others. How to tell where the crowds are for your business isn’t always immediately obvious. It may make more sense to be on Instagram or Pinterest if the business is highly visual in nature, or does well with photos. It may be less beneficial to companies which offer things like car parts for instance, though many can and do show up on those sites to list the parts on offer, even if only in part. That’s how important it is to be where everyone else is.
2. Don’t Spread Yourself Thin
It’s not possible to be on every social media platform there is, and it’s also not even reasonable for every business. There is no point in maintaining a presence on a site which will do nearly nothing for sales. It takes just as much time to research where to be as actually being on any of those sites, and also plenty of dedication to keep up with trends, changes, and what just doesn’t work anymore. Another hurdle to look for is knowing when privacy and copyright laws change, which have very recently transformed the landscape of marketing and advertising online.
This is a lot of work for a single person to do, it’s even a lot for a team to do. To do it well means putting 100% of their time at work into social media posts, marketing, designing, strategy writing and re-writing, research, content gathering, image sourcing, performing checks and balances to ensure quality, and all the many other tasks the job entails. It has become a full-time profession with good cause; even if once upon a time a person could do it alone, it is no longer the case unless that person built up their following back when Facebook first allowed advertisers through.
3. Client Exposure & Communication
Where to be present on social media is a huge question every business looking to market to prospective clients needs to answer before they can start any social media campaign.
A Universal rule of thumb on all platforms is to limit the amount of text written, expect for perhaps one of them which would be the ‘hub’ or central social media platform where the most of your social media presence focused. This will be where the majority of your prospective clients are. If one of those is Facebook and/or Twitter, those are the best places text-based posts.
If your business has any type of visual aid, or you’re able to portray your business well through imagery or display, then Pinterest and Instagram are both great places to be. Pinterest is ideal right now especially, having welcomed marketers and rewarded them greatly for being there prior to them going public.
LinkedIn is more for professionals to connect with one another, for connecting to customers if your market is B2B, and for some content sourcing at times but not necessarily to communicate with clients unless your prospective clients are those professionals.
4. Down to Demographics
You need to try and focus your target audience as much as possible in order to prevent a dilute demographic that’s too large and may not yield great results in terms of engagement or ads (depending on your budget).
Identifying common traits about your prospective leads/customers is possible through demographics tools available on each of the social media platforms which typically provide analytics and other data about their users. Google is a massive company and likely the largest in terms of data both available, sought and maintained – sometimes a clever search on Google can turn up great things. But you’ll likely need more than this source to determine your ideal target market.
Most companies can accurately guess their target market by knowing their friends, co-workers, and other professionals in the industry and estimating the “average” based on that data, and this is a great starting point. Some things may need to be guessed initially as it won’t be immediately available – for example a person’s salary – though you can get close with sites like GlassDoor. What a person’s salary is, for example, may help to determine if the person is the manager or the right person to approach with an offer. Demographics can offer plenty of data to a company, but maintaining that data and then using it to market successfully is definitely part of the full-time job listed prior.
5. More Efficient & Less Costly Management
It’s apparent that the work involved in social media management is a big job, and certainly not something done particularly well by just anyone – asking your secretary or in-house admin staff to manage your social media management on top of their current daily duties may turn out to be far more costly and/or less profitable than having someone skilled with social media take care of your online presence.
With this in mind, it may be far more worthwhile for you to employ the help of experts who work within the industry to ensure a solid social media presence so that you or your staff can focus on what they’re good and and have been hired to do in the first place. There are many such services available that will represent your business values and ensure good engagement to your audience through providing high quality content.