If you’re a small to mid-sized business and you haven’t developed a social media presence yet, you need to – and you probably already know that. But before you go all out joining every social network the cool kids are on, you should know, not every platform will significantly benefit your business. In fact, joining some could seriously hurt it, especially if you don’t know to utilize certain platforms properly.
When determining what networks to build a presence on, there are three main questions you should be asking yourself: “Is it essential to getting our name out there?”, “Does our audience/target audience use it?”, and “Do we have the capacity to do it well?” If the answer to any one of those questions is “no”, then it’s most likely not worth your time.
But because we don’t know your business personally (yet ;)), we’ll let you carry out that evaluation on your own time. What we can do though, is tell you what social networks you can put on the back burner when resources are at a minimum – at least not for now.
While Snapchat has all but exploded over the past few years, it’s only just now become a prevalently used marketing tool for businesses. However, many that are using it, quite frankly, shouldn’t be.
Snapchat is a pithy way to promote things like product reveals, shows, and other events, but unless you already have a strong social media presence on Facebook or Twitter and are willing to put in time on the daily to generate unique stories, your “snaps” won’t garner a whole lot of attention. In short, while it may not be an egregious waste of your time, snapping without strong intention would be.
You know the saying, “when you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?” Google should probably take it to heart when it comes to Facebook and its domination over Google+ in the business domain. Sure, it’s a clean, easy-to-use interface that allows friends, family, and work associates to connect with and stay abreast with one another – but that’s just the thing – it’s heavily geared toward “consumer-to-consumer” interactivity. And that doesn’t hold a ton of promise for your business.
Facebook started off as purely a social network, too and now look what it’s become. Heck, it’s created an entirely new subspace of marketing. But while Google+ certainly has the capacity to become something similar down the road, it’s best to simply utilize it for SEO benefits and save the truly quality content marketing for other platforms.
This may be the first time you’ve ever heard of Periscope (which alone should be reason enough for your business not to use it), but don’t worry, you’re not alone. The live video feed platform is soaring as a personal sharing tool, but it has yet to prove its worth to businesses.
If you host a lot of events or have connections with high-profile or industry renowned individuals, Periscope would be the perfect tool for live-streaming conferences or one-on-one interviews. But barring those few exceptions, it’s not a tool your business would get a whole lot of mileage out of currently – especially if you don’t have someone who knows what they’re doing with a camera.
“Gasp! Surely that’s a typo!” Nope, it’s not. And if it were, we’d be really bad at our jobs. But in order to be good at yours and grow your business’ social media presence, it’s critical you start by centering your focus. And while Twitter may be the second largest social media network, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Let’s go back to the qualifying questions mentioned in the beginning of the post. Is Twitter a “yes” to all three? Sure, your target audience uses it, but is it essential to growing your business and do you know how to use it well? If not, tweeting isn’t in your stars quite yet.
Unless you’re a team of precocious tweens looking to build their social network, hi5 shouldn’t be on your radar. In seriousness though, the platform is essentially to LinkedIn what Myspace is to Facebook – a severely less dynamic, nearly irrelevant ‘little brother’, catered toward a far younger audience.
Sure, it’s gained a head of steam over the past few years, but so have boy bands. And you don’t see us raving about One Direction, do you?
Yet…that is. Stay tuned for our next blog post, “How To Channel Your Inner Harry Styles And Grow Your Facebook Likes.”Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community