The most common mistake by business owners is jumping on every social network out there trying to reach a maximum amount of people. This is a poor decision as it very quickly gets overwhelming to manage so many platforms and often leads to empty and abandoned profiles.
The key to avoiding social media burnout is to focus on just a handful on platforms that are best suited to your business.
Which social networks are available and what are they for?
To decide which social networks are best for your business you need to understand what each social network is for and key elements of each one. Below is a very brief overview of the most popular social networks and who they benefit.
A social network that encourages frequent short, simple updates that are limited to 140 characters in length.
Best for: Businesses of any type.
Biggest Pro: the ability to use hashtags to get your content found by anyone (even those that don’t follow you).
Biggest Con: easy for your content to get lost amongst the noise.
The world’s most popular social network used to connect people with each other.
Best for: Businesses of any type.
Biggest Pro: Very simple and easy to use.
Biggest Con: Due to recent algorithm changes business now have to pay to reach their audience.
The biggest global video sharing site owned by Google.
Best for: Media businesses with a lot of video content to share. Music, theatre, comedy, television and beauty businesses will all thrive here.
Biggest Pro: Nearly a third of all online activity involves watching a video, it’s the fastest growing media online.
Biggest Con: Most users remain on YouTube once on it, there’s little conversion from video to other websites.
Social network created by Google for content sharing and communities.
Best for: Businesses of any type will get some Google rating benefit but regular posting isn’t necessary for most.
Biggest Pro: Easy to integrate with other Google products and boosts SEO.
Biggest Con: Very complicated to use for beginners.
A community based social network for sharing content of any length, any format and can be a quick way to get content out there. This is the best social network to target a younger audience.
Best for: Businesses with a younger target audience such as musicians, models, TV shows and movies.
Biggest Pro: Ability to theme your profile to match your business with just basic HTML and CSS.
Biggest Con: Not the most popular social network, your audience is limited to younger generations.
An image based social network built around users sharing images from around the web.
Best for: Businesses with a lot of visual content, the industries who will benefit most from Pinterest is fashion, crafts, interiors, designers and bloggers.
Biggest Pro: Images shared are linked back to their original content.
Biggest Con: The Pinterest audience is mainly women.
Photo and image sharing network that has grown in popularity since being bought by Facebook.
Best for: Businesses that encourage a type of lifestyle, fashion, design and crafts will do best here. Can also be beneficial for food and drink establishments if high quality images are used.
Biggest Pro: Hashtag system works well to extend your organic reach.
Biggest Con: Instagram posts cannot be pre-scheduled to encourage spontaneous posts which can be tricky for busy business owners.
User generated content that is rated by other users to gain exposure.
Best for: Businesses with a lot of opinionated and written content to encourage discussion. Best suited for bloggers, authors, writers and musicians.
Biggest Pro: Very effective rating system based on user votes.
Biggest Con: The amount of content makes it hard to stand out, particularly as the voting system also allows for down voting so your content will get lost.
How to get started on Social Media
With the exception of Reddit the best way to get started on any social network is to completely fill out a profile, post a couple of statuses and start following others immediately. Be sure to link to your social networks to your website and if possible include content feeds so that your social media posts are shown on your website.
Of course, the key to success on any social media platform is quality content. Without quality content posted regularly your profiles won’t grow and you’ll miss out on opportunities to reach new audiences.
Which Social Networks do I recommend?
For any business I recommend Twitter and Facebook, these are crucial and should be the base of any digital marketing strategy.
A Google+ page should be created for your business but I don’t recommend spending too much time posting regular content there, this profile is mainly to boost your search engine optimisation on Google.
But what about [insert other social network]?
You’ll notice that I left out two big social networks on this list: LinkedIn and SnapChat.
Why did I do this? Personally, for most small businesses I wouldn’t recommend these social networks because the time spent would bring in a much better return on other platforms. SnapChat is not a very professional platform and is mainly used by a younger audience. LinkedIn is incredibly professional but does not lend well to selling products.
How a Social Media Strategy will help
As you can see above the list of potential social networks is rather large and the potential reach of your content is even larger. Trying to promote your business on every single one will very quickly lead to burnout and a limited reach. Neglected profiles look unprofessional and poor quality content won’t bring in results.
A social media strategy will direct your business content to specific networks and audiences for maximum potential. Each network has its best features and quirks, why spend valuable time working all these out when someone else already has.
Overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Get in touch to create a social media strategy for your business.