Social media isn’t for everyone, or more accurately, every social media isn’t for everyone. New and seasoned marketing professionals alike fall victim to wanting to be everywhere at once, and engaging every single potential customer alive. In the digital age this means having a website, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a YouTube account, a Snapchat account, a LinkedIn company page, and the list goes on and on. See the issue here? Raise your hand if your target audience is active on every single one of these social media platforms. No one? I thought so.
Here’s the sweet siren song that we all fall for: if we can engage X amount of people on one platform, imagine how many people we can engage if we had accounts on ALL the platforms. Unfortunately media doesn’t work that way, if it did you would see ads for Coke, Chevy, and Sony in the yellow pages. So what the hell do we do? First, you need to examine your audience and find out what platforms they are MOST active on and target those. Pick one or two, dive in, master them, and then you can slowly add in others if it makes sense.
One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook. I’ll be honest, it probably makes sense for you to have a Facebook account. Facebook is an easy and free way to essentially have a website about your organization or product that people can easily search for and interact with. It is user friendly, you can run ads on it (for a price), you can measure engagement pretty easily, and it’s a great way to engage current and potential clients. That being said, if you have a Facebook account you NEED to make sure that you’re active on it. Let’s pretend for a moment that you run a small, local café. If a client wants to come grab coffee one morning or lunch some day, they might look you up on Facebook to see what your hours are, what your current menu items are, and any other pertinent information they might need (weekly specials, etc.). If they need additional information they might decide to send you a Facebook message or decide to call you to ask a specific question. If you aren’t active, aren’t responsive, or haven’t updated some relevant information you could very easily lose a customer. Facebook is great for interacting but make sure you’re interacting accordingly and regularly.
Twitter is probably the next most feasible social media for a lot of people. Like Facebook it is easy to setup and use, and you can measure your engagement easily with Twitter’s built in analytics. Your Twitter followers can engage with your tweets (what your posts are called on Twitter) and you can do the same. Twitter is a fun, easy way to keep up with your fans, let them know about new and exciting stuff going on with your business, and share relevant information with them quickly. Also like Facebook you need to be active on Twitter. If a customer tweets a question to you or has something to say about your brand, it’s a good idea to respond quickly and professionally. Things get shared constantly on Twitter and word can spread quickly, good or bad, so if you take the plunge and start tweeting just make sure you’re up for the challenge.
Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms, and most likely because it’s a visual medium. I don’t have to type lots of words, I can share fun or serious stuff as long as it’s pretty, and it helps to build our brand and reputation as a video/marketing company. Additionally, Instagram now allows videos which helps me ever more - I can share clips or teasers from current projects, post a fun Boomerang video I shot of my dog playing fetch, or just share a quick photo from a particularly pretty sunrise. Something to consider if you’re looking to jump on the Instagram bandwagon is what your service or industry is. Take a look at Instagram and search some hashtags (those words with the # in front of them) that someone in your industry might use. If you’re not seeing a lot this could mean a couple things. First, it likely means that your field just isn’t active or present on Instagram. It could also mean that you have found a niche to fill. If you’re in a creative or visual field then Instagram is probably right for you, but if you do something like accounting or run a funeral home then you might want to focus your efforts on a different social media. Not to discredit your organization or industry, but some areas are just tough to come up with engaging visual content on a regular basis.
YouTube is a bit of an oddball in that a lot of people don’t consider it a true social media platform. However, I think it is one, and like Instagram, if you work in a visual field it can help you engage with your audience even further. Generally speaking you shouldn’t need a YouTube account unless you’re uploading videos regularly or have multiple videos to share. Like other social media be sure you’re active on it - YouTube dates each video so if you haven’t been on in a year and a client searches for you they’ll see that. Besides uploading and hosting videos in an easy-to-use way, YouTube offers the ability to engage with others by commenting, liking, or sharing videos. Comments can (infamously) get out of hand pretty quickly, but for the most part they are a great way to compliment the account owner for a nice video or product, ask them further questions, or just stay in touch.
Directing your efforts to a few social media accounts will benefit you more than spreading yourself (or your marketing person) too thin and trying to be on every social media account. Be sure once you’re ready to take the plunge that you keep up with releasing consistent content, and that you’re using it to further your brand/product/service. Are there any social media we’re missing? Let us know and we can include them in a follow up / pt. 2 post. In the meantime if you want more content like this then sign up for our newsletter, subscribe to Droi Media on YouTube, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!