We all know that social media can be a powerful tool to reach new customers and grow your business.
But there are so many different social media channels, how many of them do you have to be on? And how do you know which ones are right for your business?
The good news is that you CAN make social media work for you with less effort by focusing on the right things in the right places.
How Many Social Media Platforms Should I Use for My Business?
I know – social media can be overwhelming when looking at everything you have to do as a whole. Often, I find business owners get stuck and either try to do too much or they don’t do anything at all.
But I'm not on TikTok!
Don't I have to be on TikTok?
Everybody says it’s the place to be, so…
is it right for my business?
With so many social media platforms available, you might feel like you have to be active on many, or even all of them. If you don’t do a whole bunch of them you might miss some important chances to get more customers, right?
But this is rarely the most effective use of time and resources for a small business. It’s more important to focus on a few platforms where your customers are already active.
By building a presence on just 2 or 3 social media platforms, you’ll be able to reach your target audience more effectively than if you were spreading yourself thin by trying to maintain a presence on every platform.
Pick the social media platforms that make the most sense for your business, and then put your effort into creating a strong and engaging presence on those platforms.
So what about TikTok, the popular app by Chinese company ByteDance?
The answer is: it depends on your market.
Interestingly, in November 2021 in the U.S., only 37% of adults held a favorable opinion of it.
My only point here is that you want to pick and choose before you commit time and money.
Find more statistics at Statista
Here's a VERY IMPORTANT POINT about the number of social media platforms to use:
I always recommend focusing on 1 or 2 platforms where your people are spending time.
You will see better results putting consistent and focused effort into a few platforms rather than trying to hit all of them (or even just 4 or 5).
You don’t have to be everywhere, you just have to be where you customers are!
I’m betting you don’t have lots of extra time or money to spend posting on a whole lot of different platforms, hoping for a good return.
So here’s a quick guide to help you choose one or two social media channels.
There isn’t an “instant answer,” but with a little thought you can choose the best ones.
Know Your Audience
This is a critical step in choosing the best social media channel for your business. You need to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is before you can decide which platform will work best for reaching them.
Think about things like age, gender, location, interests, and income. The more specific you can be, the better.
Because people use social media in different ways, depending on their age group and interest.
For example, if you want to engage with people between the ages of 18-24 then it’s important for your business or organization to not only understand how and where they communicate online, but also what kind of content would resonate with them.
There is no one size fits all approach when developing an effective strategy!
Think About Your Company
Maybe this seems too obvious, but take a minute to write down some key points about your company.
This background information will help you make your choice.
Bonus: Who's on your social media team?
Lots of people don’t think about this aspect of social media campaigning, but: it takes time and resources to do it well.
- Who is responsible for creating and posting your content?
- Do they know what they’re doing? What is their level of expertise? Be prepared for a learning curve.
- How much time are you willing to budget for this work?
Here’s a FREE TIP to pass on to your social media manager: 5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Social Media Content
Where is Your Competition on Social Media?
When you know which social media platforms your competition is using, you can make a more informed decision about which one will be best for you.
You can often find out what platforms they’re using by going to their website and finding the social media icons/links. Visit each one. How often are they posting? What kind of response do they get?
To increase your competitiveness, you want to post regularly, but you also don’t want to spend time every day doing it, right?
Take a look at our free tip for saving time: Social Media In 30 Minutes A Week – Part 1
What are Your Goals?
What do You Want Social Media to do for Your Business?
Here are 3 good reasons to set goals for your business social media strategy:
- The first one is that it will help you focus on what’s important and avoid straying into ineffective or inefficient directions.
- It’s also important to set goals so you can measure your success. Without knowing if you’re succeeding or not, it’ll be difficult to justify your time and money, and hard to improve your strategy.
- If you set good goals, when begin to hit them that success will provide even more motivation to continue!
What are some good small business social media campaign goals?
All of these goals are good ones, but that doesn’t mean you need to choose all of them. Which ones are a good fit?
- Generating awareness of your brand or product
- Driving traffic to your website
- Engaging with customers and potential customers
- Increase email signups
- Building relationships with customers and potential customers
- Increasing sales or leads
- Position your business as part of the community
- Improving customer satisfaction
If you’re not sure, start by setting a goal to increase brand awareness, because it’s a good general, overall goal. See how that goes, and use the learning you get to refine what you’re doing.