Today, social media is a critical component of the marketing strategy for most businesses. This phenomenon shouldn’t be surprising, as more than 50 million active small business pages exist (Brandwatch.com) on Facebook alone. While there is nothing our social media experts love more than to see businesses grasp the powerful nature of a social media presence, balance is key. When overindulging, it’s easy to spread your content thin across several channels.
The saying “jack of all trades, master of none,” accurately describes this craze. Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) create four to five social media accounts with the thought, “If I’m on these social media platforms, I’ll have more opportunity to communicate to our audience.” While a presence on more social channels does provide SMBs increased audience exposure opportunities, maintaining a legitimate presence on each platform is a two-way street. If SMBs publish content frequently but fall short when it comes time to respond and engage audiences past the initial post, audiences will look elsewhere for content.
All too often when a new social media platform hits the market, the first thought is to immediately engage. It’s the “shiny new toy” effect of which Snapchat illustrated a few years ago and TikTok illustrates best today. Many SMB’s who target younger audiences thought those new social options would be the right channel, and for some it was, but for most, it wasn’t. New social channels takes time to learn, produce content and grow an audience. Yes, TikTok is great for targeting a younger demographic, but if the SMB doesn’t have a TikTok strategic plan in place, TikTok isn’t going to necessarily work.
Whether it’s TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram or even Facebook, SMBs should look at their goals and think strategically. Consider the following criteria when selecting the appropriate channel:
- Does the channel help meet communication goals?
- Does your business have the capacity to produce the necessary content to effectively reach the audience?
- Will you be able to reach and engage your audience on this channel?
- Do you have a real reason for being part of that social community?
If you answered “yes” to the above criteria, then the social channel in question might be a good fit for your business.
The last thing you want to do is make a semi-enthusiastic commitment to a channel, which ultimately becomes just a waste of time and resources, two things no business can afford. The truth of the matter is, it’s not necessary to be on every social channel.
Typically, a small business should at least consider using Facebook and LinkedIn, one for the broad audience, the other for the business/professional community. Here’s what you should know about those two channels.
Interested in other social channels? We recommend the following social channels after careful consideration of your target audience, brand goals and ability to maintain the channel. Use the descriptions below to help guide you towards the social channels that work best.
Social media shouldn’t be a struggle; it should be fun. It’s where you get an opportunity to talk about your brand, show people who you are and engage audiences you may have otherwise missed. Building your brand on social media is crucial for success in today’s marketplace so choose the social channels that meet your business goals.