When you start a new business, it can be overwhelming when you see all the options that are available for your social media content. It’s easy to feel under pressure to be everywhere.
The truth is that you’ll have more success if you:
A. build a strategy that defines what you want to achieve with your social content
B. make informed decisions about what’s likely to bring you the best results
C. use this information to make a clear plan of action.
1. Don’t think that you have to be everywhere
Let’s clear this up first. In order to be successful, to find new customers, or to get the message out there about your brand, you don’t need to be everywhere. Especially at the beginning, it’s better that you aren’t.
Choose one or two channels that resonate with you and work consistently to build your presence and your audience there.
It’s better to do one or two things well than to do many things (or be in many places) in a half-hearted or inconsistent way.
2. Find out who your audience is and where they like to be
Nobody wants to post into the void, so do some research first. Think about the demographics of your ideal paying client. Who are they? Where do they live? What age are they? What do they like?
Don’t get into the trap of saying that your brand is for everyone. It might be accessible to everyone, but there will be some groups who are drawn to it more. Once you’ve figured out who they are, it will be easier to talk to them and to find out where they like to spend time online.
Are you selling directly to customers or to other businesses? This will also have an impact on which platform best enables you to communicate with those clients.
3. Think about what content your audience likes, but also where you like to be
Now that you know who your target group is, you can think about what kind of content best resonates with them and which platform is best suited to sharing that content. Do they watch a lot of videos? Will they be attracted by image content that shows off your products? Do they like to be in communities where they can meet others who share their interests? Do they like to read?
If you want to attract young people, don’t go to a platform where there aren’t many young users.
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can then find up-to-date information about trends and demographics for the various platforms.
Also, think about which platforms you enjoy spending time on to consume content or connect with others. If you already like a platform and it fits with your goals, you will automatically be motivated to spend more time there.
4. Decide what type of content you like to produce
It matters what your audience likes, but unless you outsource it all, at least at the beginning, you’ll be the one producing this content. Therefore it makes sense to think about what type of content you want (and know how) to create.
If you like making videos, don’t start a blog! Think about the type and length of your video and where you are most likely to find videos like that now.
If you enjoy writing texts or story marketing, a more visual platform may not be the best place for you.
5. Be clear about what you want to achieve
If you know your social media goals, it will be easier for you to figure out how to achieve them. You’re likely to have more than one goal, but different platforms are good for different things. Do you want to:
- Build awareness of your brand?
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Build a community around your product or service?
- Become known as an expert in your field?
These are just a few examples, but understanding your goals means you’ll be able to identify the platforms where you’ll have a higher chance of reaching those goals.
6. Figure out what is working so far
If you already have a social media presence, have a look at where most of your traffic or leads are coming from. This will help you to decide whether you want to increase your activity/try something new on that existing platform or to try something else.
Even if you don’t have any social media channels yet, think about how the clients or leads that you have already first discovered your brand. This might help you to identify some strategies, marketing activities, or types of content that are already working for you.
7. Be clear about the action that you want people to take
This also ties in with your social media goals, but try to think about the whole buyer journey and where your social media presence fits in that journey. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter/click through to your sales page/join a membership somewhere/buy products directly on the platform?
8. Remember that some platforms offer more than one way to use them
Some platforms give you multiple options such as running a page, opening a community/group, or engaging in other groups.
Some platforms allow you to host events or to run adverts on multiple platforms at the same time.
Try to think creatively and to discover what else you can do with each platform.
9. Check out what your competitors are doing
You don’t have to copy them, but seeing what’s working for companies who have similar offers can help you to understand what type of content is already resonating well with your target audience.
10. Don’t forget the lesser-known platforms
It’s easy to focus on the big, well-known platforms, but some interest groups also use other lesser-known platforms. Some countries have their own business networking sites. There are sites where people go if they have a particular hobby, or if they are looking for a specific type of product or service.
If you do your research, you might find it will add value to include one of these smaller but more niche-focused platforms.