Success with social media marketing hinges on your decision about which network(s) to focus on.
Choose the wrong network and you could end up wasting your valuable time and resources with little to no gain. Choose too many networks and you’ll spread yourself and your team too thin to be effective.
The solution is simple – make sure you only invest in the right social media networks for your business.
There’s just one problem…
How Do You Know Which Network Is Right For Your Business?
There is no shortage of social media networks and a new one seems to pop up almost every day.
For example, search for “social media sites for runners” and you’ll find a seemingly endless list in Google’s results. Search for “social media sites for realtors” and you’ll see another long list. There’s now a social media site for just about everything you can image, even knitting! :)
Clearly, choosing the best network for your business is a daunting task. However, I’m going to walk through a 3-step process that you can use to narrow down your list and ensure you’re focusing your resources where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.
Like most things in marketing, it all starts with your customer…
Step 1: Create Your Customer Personas
The very first step is to identify exactly who you’re trying to target with your social media marketing.
In other words, who is your ideal customer?
The goal here is to create your customer personas, which describe the age range, occupation, marital status, # of kids, education level, interests, problems, questions, and any other relevant information.
Even if you have a good idea for who you’re targeting, take the time to write this down. Every business will have multiple customer personas and it’s critical to know them to ensure your marketing to the right people.
Before I move on, let’s address one of the most frequently asked questions about this step, “What about B2B marketing?” B2B (business to business) marketing by default means there is no customer persona, right?
Even B2B marketing is targeting individuals. There’s no such thing as marketing to a business. Your marketing message must resonate with the people that make the buying decisions in the company you’re targeting.
With that important step complete, we can move on…
Step 2: Match Your Personas to Social Media Sites
The next step is to match your customer personas with the appropriate social media sites. There’s no point investing in a social media network that does not have your ideal customers, right?
In order to complete this step, we must understand the demographic breakdown of all the major social media networks. Luckily, this research has been done for us by PewResaerchCenter.
Carefully review the demographics of the social media sites to see which of them are most appropriate for who you’re trying to target. For example, you’ll notice right away that Pinterest users are predominantly women. Only 16% of male internet users are on Pinterest versus 44% of female users. So if you’re ideal customers are men, Pinterest is not a good fit.
You’ll also notice that Instagram skews to a much younger audience. If you’re ideal customers are 50+, then Instagram is not a good fit because only 15% of all 50+ year old internet users are on Instagram.
Another key takeaway from this research is the fact that Facebook is by far the largest social media network. 72% of all internet users are on Facebook and there is no demographic that is not on Facebook. You might want to read that again… Every demographic, from teens to over-65-year-olds, has an account on Facebook.
That means every business should start social media marketing on Facebook and then expand to the next most appropriate network.
Now that we know which sites we’ll be focusing on, it’s time for step 3…
Step 3: Confirm You Have the Resources
The final step is to confirm you have the resources to engage your ideal customers on each of the social media sites you selected in step 2 above.
Let’s start with Facebook since every business should have a Facebook presence. To build your Facebook audience and keep them engaged, you’ll need to post updates. What will you need to post updates? Here are some ideas:
- Helpful tips
- Industry updates
- How-to information
- Inspirational quotes
- Relevant jokes
- Pictures of you and your team
- Answers to FAQs
- Easy questions that elicit a response to start a discussion
That’s a short list that will need to be fleshed out based on exactly who you’re targeting. The goal here is not to create your content calendar (yet), but first to ensure you have the resources to engage with your audience.
If in step 2 you determined that Instagram and/or Pinterest are a great fit for who you’re targeting, then it should be obvious that you need to have a steady supply of images to post. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to stay active for long.
At this point, you should have a list of appropriate social media sites for your business and a good idea for whether or not you have the resources to keep your audience engaged month after month.
All you need now is a solid plan to execute…
Create Your Social Media Marketing Plan
Join me on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at noon Eastern for our live training called, “Introduction To Social Media Marketing: 8 Steps To Get ROI from Social Media”.
During this 90-minute live webinar training, I’ll de-mystify social media and help you create a plan that generates ROI. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to Identify Which Networks To Use
- How to Properly Create Your Accounts
- How to Build Your Audience
- How to Plan Your Content Calendar
- How to Create Social Media Content
- How to Post Your Content
- How to Generate Leads and Sales from Social Media
- How to Track Your ROI From Social Media
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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