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For many small business owners social media is something they know they should and need to use as part of their overall marketing efforts. Unfortunately many end up doing nothing or very little on social media. With limited time and financial resources, it’s hard to develop a good, successful strategy. Frustration sets in and rather than working to improve their social efforts, they abandon them.
Being successful in using social media requires a few items be addressed at the start of your campaigns:
And the one I want to focus on here…
Determining which social media channel (and platforms) you use is NOT a simple answer.
Since most small business owners and solopreneurs are focused on sales as a priority (I won’t get into whether that’s a good game plan), the normal starting point is demographics. Take heed though. All of the charts and infographics don’t tell the full story.
Take the user group of 18-29 year olds. An astonishing 87% of all internet users in this age bracket are on Facebook according to recent data compiled by Sprout Social:
That’s significant. Even though they use Facebook less and see it as less important, they are still there. Their usage has declined but their numbers haven’t.
Why does that matter?
First, a significant number of users still mean great potential reach, especially when you consider targeted ads and dark posts. Second, it’s not simply about how active they are on Facebook or how important the social site is. It’s about what they do when they are active. That information isn’t readily available, but it matters significantly in the big scheme of your social media efforts. What if their whole purpose in using Facebook is simply to get reviews or give them to their friends?
The 18-29 age bracket has more friends than any other age group. While they may not comment or engage with your content, they might be sharing stories about your brand, product or service – making Facebook necessary for reputation monitoring and Word Of Mouth marketing. Their reach is significant and shouldn’t be discounted.
Many social media users have accounts and are active on more than one site. Remember the old days when someone needed to see or hear something 7 times before they’d act? It’s much higher now. While you might have to work harder or pay for a few ads, even using less used channels can be leveraged well. Why miss an opportunity to get additional views?
Factoring in more data points will affect where you should be active with respect to demographics as well. The point to be made – determining what social media sites you should use isn’t easily answered. You need to consider your ideal target niche (think Buyer Persona), your goals and your needs.
Once you chose a starting point, you’ll need to periodically look at data specific to you (Facebook provides excellent insights) as well as some quantifiable and qualifiable evidence to determine if you are where you should or need to be posting.
If you’re stuck with where to start, one simple approach – be where you’re comfortable. Facebook might not be right for your business in the end, but if you get active on social media, it will be easier to make changes later.
I’d love to help you.