In this new attention economy, utilizing social media is paramount for your business strategy as it is a great way to increase your brand’s awareness, and market your products and services. But when it comes to the sprawling, ever-changing world of social media, figuring out where to devote all your energies can be a tough decision. Is it Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? YouTube? LinkedIn? Snapchat? Pinterest?

The options are vast, but where you focus your efforts can either make or break your business. Your chances of finding an audience might be much greater with the 2.3 billion users on Facebook as opposed to the social media platforms that have gone more neglected than Grey Gardens…like Ello.

It is no longer a question anymore as to whether or not social media is a necessary tool for businesses as each platform can score massive wins when it comes to generating traffic to your site. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that social media increases brand awareness by a considerable amount. So if you’re not taking advantage of today’s short attention span marketing by dialing in on a social media platform, does your business or brand even exist to the users who spend their time on social media?

Social Media Platform App Icons

What platform is for me?

This one really isn’t as complicated as you think. If you engage with a particular platform, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, then THAT is most likely your place to be. As Seth Godin says (as as we repeat), ‘People like us do things like this’. However, the type of content you create will also determine where you should be. Do you do blog posts? Podcasts? Photos/videos? Something that works well as a tweet might not do so well on TikTok and vice versa.

By now, most of us have at least an understanding as to which social media platforms offer what:

Facebook is the go-to place for posting photos, updates, and sharing general news to those who follow or “like” you. It is a great place for lead generation and it also provides Facebook Ads which has awesome targeting capabilities for finding your audience.

Twitter is all about microblogging, realtime open conversations, immediacy, and timeliness. A perfect place to share quick thoughts, photos, GIFs, links, polls, etc. Twitter is great for engaging people and can really generate traffic to your site. Utilizing hashtags (#) on Twitter can allow you to reach a much larger audience.

Then, of course, you have YouTube which is the leading platform for sharing videos and is an exceptional way to engage with people. There is LinkedIn which is basically social media for your resume and is supposed to be important for people in B2B. You have Pinterest which is great for posting pictures and short captions that can be incredibly beneficial if your business sells products that rely on aspirational visual context. Think clothing or gadgets or decor.

If you are STILL unsure which platform you want to work with, why not take advantage of great social media tool like Hootsuite which provides you with an ability to monitor social media over a good chunk of the platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to name a few) as well as provides you some social media analytics. It also allows you to target keywords, look into those streams, and jump right into the conversation. A word of caution – trying to spread yourself thin across several platforms is nowhere near as good as engaging authentically in a single platform.

Finding Your Audience

How can you sell your products or services if you a) don’t know who you’re aiming your efforts at and B) don’t know where those people are? It is crucial to take into consideration where exactly your current customers/prospective customers are. A simple way to find out would be a customer survey. You can send one of these out in an email, give your existing audience a list of social media platforms and ask which one(s) they use regularly.

You can also check your site’s analytics to see where all that social media traffic is coming in from. Don’t have analytics? Well, you will need to remedy that one ASAP so that you can harness the awesome, FREE, digital marketing tool that is Google Analytics.

You can also rely on third-party research to help you find the networks your target audience is likely to be on. Pew Research offers amazing, free research around social media platform sizes and demographics that is updated with regularity.

In the meantime, you can do something as simple as going to each platform and taking advantage of that search bar! Look up your competitors and see who is following them. A great benefit of Twitter is the fact that it promotes open conversation. Your future prospects might be having conversations with your competitors which in turn is a jackpot when it comes to gaining customer insight. Join in on Twitter chats that are similar to what your business does. Join Facebook groups with potential clients. Join similar interest group boards on Pinterest. Just whatever you do, join and get involved!

Be Authentic on Social Media

There are too many platforms to have a presence on all of them, so start by naturally focusing on the ones that draw in the most traffic, but more importantly, focus on the ones that you’re on AUTHENTICALLY, and the ones your clients are on authentically as well.

Remember to keep a voice and tone that is consistent with your brand. If your company is in senior housing management, it would be best to avoid posting stuff like, “Check Out Our New Dank Rooms for the Gran you Stan #yass!” People can sniff out such phony and misaligned messages. If you and your business are not dialed into the trendy millennial market, then don’t try and come off like a trendy millennial. Dare I say, some people “can’t even” with that stuff.

Kendall Jenner Photoshopped Black Lives Matter
Kendall Jenner Photoshopped Black Lives Matter

Kendall Jenner recently came under fire for allegedly photoshopping a Black Lives Matter sign into her hands (she apparently didn’t bother to notice that there was no sign in her shadow.) People were rolling their eyes so hard at this supposed, inauthentic attempt at fishing for likes that their retinas were close to detaching. Despite what your personal feeds and timelines might lead you to believe, people aren’t stupid and they can spot a fake a mile away. Well…SOME people at least.

People connect with content that is real, honest, and transparent. Being authentic in social media means that it is true to you and/or to your business. Avoid conflicting behavior and attitudes that don’t jive with your brand, because that can greatly affect your authenticity.

Final Word

Let’s be honest: Social media can feel like an absolute chore while trying to run a business. It can also be hard to find the value in it if you aren’t honest with your expectations. We here at 4B totally get that, which is why we offer great organic social media marketing. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, book a free consultation with us and allow us to take social media marketing off your plate so that you can go back to focusing on what is most important; your business!