A High Level Look At What Social Media Channels Your Business Should Be On
We’re constantly bombarded with the choice to be building social influence on any number of social networks. It’s easy to get sucked into creating profiles on the latest and greatest, but this also means that eventually we have a ton of social profiles for our brand and many of them sit dormant. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin, so a little research is absolutely vital if you want to be strategic and smart about how you’re spending your time on social media.
Become part of the audience first. One of the best things you can do while you’re trying to decide where to build up your social authority is to be part of your target audience first. There’s something extremely valuable about throwing yourself into a community as a user first. This allows you to get to know the community members on a peer level first. You learn their pain points, their interests, and their frustrations on the ground level. Taking this time allows you to become part of the audience itself and then as you decide to start building up your own content, you’ll already know what will resonate with that audience. You’ll also know where this audience likes to ‘hang out’ on social media, which will help you know where to focus your efforts. For example, if your audience is those in fashion, you may find that they’re hanging out more on visual networks like Instagram than on Twitter. However, interacting to find out where they are is the main way you’ll know with certainty where to focus.
Look to the numbers. Research is a vital part of determining where to focus your efforts, and the best place to look is in the numbers. This is why we do monthly reports to see what social networks are yielding the best overall reach and web traffic in relationship to how those metrics help us meet our goals. I cannot stress this enough: do the regular checks! Google Analytics, Lucky Orange, and other social metrics programs are crucial to help you understand how far your reach is.
Look around you. Regardless of if you’re just starting out from scratch, or you’re knee-deep in your strategy, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on what others in your industry are doing. This will allow you to see what’s working for them and their unique audience and allow you to determine if a specific social network is worth your time. For example, you may see that not many private practices are effective on Instagram, but are getting great traction on Facebook. This may help you decide to focus more heavily on Facebook over Instagram. OR, you may discover the opposite and contradictory, but by watching your audience, you may discover that some private practices just aren’t owning Instagram and therefore, this is an opportunity for you to shine above the rest. You’ll have to decide if these “holes” truly are effective for your strategy, but you won’t know unless you’re looking out for them.
Look at what you like. Your own personal preferences on social media can have a profound effect on how effective you’ll be for your business on the various social networks. If you are more buttoned-up and professional in nature, you may not love the behind-the-scenes and casual nature of Instagram and vice versa. It’s A-OK if you don’t love a particular social network. Just take an honest look at your personality and which networks you gravitate toward. The more you enjoy the digital space, the more likely you’ll be to want to spend time nurturing interactions there.
As you’re working to build influence online, my best advice to you is to start small and grow from there. There’s nothing worse than a flurry of activity that fizzles quickly out, leaving you feeling defeated and discouraged. Instead, focus on the social media channels that you know you can be successful with and build from there. Social influence is something you build, not something you instantly create. Strategic planning of which social networks you will focus on is one of the best ways you can stay sane while building your brand on social media.