What social networks should you be using to promote your business? How do you choose the ones that will be most effective for you?
Do you ever get that feeling that you are doing too much? You’ve updated Instagram, now Facebook, now Twitter, what about Snapchat? Have you looked at LinkedIn recently? What about that new site everyone is talking about?
Your mind is all over the place. You need to run your business but how will people know you are here unless you keep on top of your social networks? If you stop posting your blog posts to Reddit will people stop reading?
I’ve been there. My head spinning, my anxiety rising… and all over a few posts online.
Marketing our blog and business on social media takes time, if we spread ourselves too thin we end up rushing and doing everything badly. That’s why, when we start building a strategy we need to be selective about where we spend our time.
But how do you choose which networks to use and what should you use each for?
How to choose what social networks to use to promote your business
Score your networks
Before we delve deeper I want you to do something. I want you to write a list of all the social networks you are using at the moment. Then I want you to give each one a score out of 5 for how effectively you are using them.
Consider how often you post good quality content, how much you communicate with customers and influential people there and how many sales you have directly made.
Here’s my list:
That’s 6 social networks, it’s no wonder that I’m performing badly on some.
Before you choose which of the networks you should be concentrating on you’ll need to do a bit more work.
Analyse your networks. Which ones will bring you the most customers? It’s easy to get carried away with networks that deliver lots of traffic to your blog but unless those are the right people and they are hanging around on your site for a while, signing up to your newsletter, enquiring or buying you could well be spending your time somewhere else.
For example, I realised that I was wasting my time on StumbleUpon. It was delivering traffic, a whole load of it but it wasn’t the right traffic.
You might have thousands of Instagram followers but unless they’re clicking the link in your bio or clicking the contact button it might not be worth your time spending time engaging with your audience there.
If you’re using social networks already you can take a good look at your Google Analytics to see which ones are working for your business.
Does this change the scores you recorded above?
Knowing your customers
You’re probably getting tired of me saying this, but it is really important that you know and understand your customers. The more you know about them the more accurately you can market to them.
If you haven’t created a persona yet you’ll find more on how to do that in episode 14.
Once you know even the basic information about your customers you’ll have a good idea where to start with your social networking.
Sprout Social just released a report that shows the networks that are most popular with each generation.
It’s not a comprehensive report, LinkedIn isn’t included in the statistics and it’s missing the youngest generation (Generation Z) but there’s some interesting reading there.
For example, it might surprise you that more Millenials are using Facebook than Snapchat?
In fact, no matter who you are targeting online it looks like Facebook is the place to start.
But we can’t just rely on an age group to define our audience. There are always people who succeed on networks we may not expect.
For example Chocolate Johnny (chocjohnny on Snapchat) is extremely successful on Snapchat and Periscope even though he is far from being a Millenial and his products seem better suited to a Gen X audience.
Does the type of business you have affect your choice?
When I analysed my social networks I felt that my presence was strongest on are Facebook and Twitter. I’m a B2B (a business that targets other businesses) brand so why Facebook?
It can be hard for a B2B business to excel on Facebook and I definitely lag behind some of my customers who are B2C (target consumers) but I do have an audience there.
I work with small businesses. Small business owners use Facebook for business every day so having a strong presence there makes sense. Are my customers likely to share my posts with their friends? Not very often but it’s a good place to meet them and engage with them. My Facebook page and group have been valuable for this and it’s also great for getting readers, listeners and viewers who I can convert into customers. If you also target small businesses it’s well worth looking at Facebook for marketing.
If you are B2B and your target is larger businesses you should still consider Facebook. Are there professional groups you can join? Are the CEOs and decision makers of the companies you work with actively using it?
Of course, LinkedIn is a better fit fo B2B so perhaps that’s where you should spend your time. And don’t forget about Twitter.
For a B2C business, Facebook is a must, beyond that look at Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat if you have the time for it.
You shouldn’t discount LinkedIn either, it could be a good place to connect with the people who influence your customers.
That’s not helping me narrow my options
So far I’ve just given you a pile of options, I may have even broadened the choice of networks for you.
Now that I’ve done that you’ll need to narrow them down again. Go back to the list you made earlier.
So far you’ve scored the networks you use for how effectively you are using them. You might want to add a few new networks to your list.
The next step is to score them for how closely they fit your audience. Once again give them a score out of 5. 5 being a perfect match 1 being a loose match.
Here’s my list:
Add the two scores together giving you a score out of 10.
Choose the 3 top scorers.
Or, if you are feeling brave
Choose the 2 top scorers and throw in a wild card like Chocolate Johnny did. Do you want to give Snapchat a try? Or Instagram?
These are the networks you should focus on first.
Try them out for a three month period and then review them to see if they are performing as expected.
What should you use each network for?
If you are going to build a strong strategy for the networks you have chosen you need to define what you are going to use each one for.
This is perhaps the hardest part of building your strategy. Consider the type of customer or the customer persona you are targeting with each, the type of content you will post and the specific goal.
For example, here’s a rough outline of my chosen networks:
Page – Share useful information for my target market to consume, promote my blog content
Group – Build a community around small business blogging. Research the problems people have and build relationships with other small business bloggers.
Personal – Share behind the scenes of my day to day life (to a point). Connect with influencers and real life friends and family.
Share useful content with my target market, build relationships with my customers and the people who influence them.
Share more in-depth content that will appeal to marketers.
Build my reputation amongst peers in the industry and make connections with customers and the people who influence them.
Find podcast guests and contributors for my blog.
Build my email list, get people to visit my site so I can retarget them
Use my email lists ad re-marketing ads to sell my products and services
And that’s just the beginning. Get more granular about the type of people you are targeting with each social network. When you’ve done that turn the same process onto your blog and the different types of content you create there.
By focussing on less you will have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s easier to build a content strategy around the networks you choose and you’ll be spending your time wisely.
I’ve found that concentrating on one network at a time and spending time with it can be an enjoyable experience. I find myself doing better stuff and that horrible feeling of anxiety and overwhelm visits less.
If you need help putting your blogging and social media strategy together I can help so get in touch.
- Use the method above to score your social networks
- Choose three you will focus on for the next three months
- Decide what you will use each for
Let me know how you get on.
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