In a comment to my post last week on steps to making your way in social media, a reader on BizSugar asked, “Hi Rachel, So what would be your top tip for choosing the right social media channel/channels for your business? "
This is a great question – and something that I’ve been meaning to re-visit for some time. I’m including my response to her - and a tip on the quantity of social media channels.
There are a number of social media sites available for companies to leverage and grow their business. And each one has unique characteristics that can help businesses in different ways. The key is selecting the right ones and then effectively executing the strategy for these platforms.
To select the best channels for your business, we combine two components: channels that house your target audience and channels that will support your goals.
For example, let’s say your target audience is made up of higher-income women in California. And, let’s say your goal is to drive people to your website where they can make a purchase. Along with that goal, some people often want to increase SEO and brand awareness.
I would probably recommend a blog – and perhaps Facebook. Here’s why:
- Blogs drive 2-3x more website traffic, on average, than social media alone.
- Blogging remains as one of the top ways to improve your search engine rankings, aside from paid advertising.
- Each new blog post is page of information that will be indexed by Google – and thus, found in search.
- Facebook’s dominate gender are women and it’s filled with high-income users; nearly 70% of the audience earns more than $75,000 per year.
- Two California cities (Los Angeles and San Francisco) rank in the top 10 of the highest user-base for Facebook.
- Facebook page managers can reach their target audience with measurable, cost-effective advertising options.
This is an abbreviated version of how we combine goals with target audience, but it gives you a snapshot of our process. We typically spend three to four hours gathering information and researching before making our final recommendations.
It’s worthwhile to mention that we believe in taking the conservative approach to social media. With the advent of streaming video and new social sites popping up regularly, it’s hard to know where to spend your time. My short advice is to determine the core channels first – and maintain them for a few months – before trying to jump into five or six different sites. I have seen too many people dive into social media and then fail to maintain their presence simply because they were overzealous. If the site doesn’t serve a core purpose, do you need to be there?