Just because you’re not active on a social media platform doesn’t mean your future customers…
Which Social Media Platform Should Your Business Be Using? – Part 1
“Which social media platform should my business be using?” If I was given a dollar every time someone asked me this question, I’d be rich. Most Small Business owners are totally confused about where they should spend their time and money on social media.
There are a couple of questions Small Businesses need to answer before making a decision on which social media to set their business up on.
What are your goals for your business from being on social media?
Please don’t say ‘sales’… social media isn’t a great direct sales platform, most social media users aren’t looking to buy products or services on social media (they use Google Search for that); it’s very rare that they will buy from your business at first sight on social media, but the sale will come once you put in the hard work.
What social media is very good at is:
- Improving users’ awareness of your business, so that when they are ready to buy, your business will be top of mind;
- Building credibility and respect around your business, so that prospects will feel more comfortable doing business with you;
- Educating users of the problems that your products/services solve and the benefits that they can expect;
- Fostering social proof and word of mouth referrals, by encouraging engagement of existing customers in a public forum;
- Growing your business’ relationship with existing and past customers – you know that it’s easier to sell to a previous customer, so why not build on that relationship to foster additional transactions.
Who are your ideal warm prospects?
EVERYONE is not your prospect; YOU are not your prospect… so who is your ideal prospect?
Remember: “If you try to sell to everyone, you will sell to no one”
Think about your most valuable existing customers. Do they have anything in common? A good activity to do, is to create a customer persona aka ‘avatar’ that represents the audience that will be the most rewarding to your business. This will help you select the social media platforms and the content that will attract the most easily converted prospects into paying customers.
Where are your prospects and customers hanging out on social media?
When selecting social media platforms to setup your business up on, you should make sure that your ideal prospects and existing customers are on the same platforms. To do that, try surveying your existing customers to find out which social media platform they use regularly and the ones they engage with businesses on the most.
How much time and money do you have to spend on running and managing social media?
A common myth is that social media is free… that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
- Your Time: Maintaining and moderating your Small Business’ presence on social media takes time. You’ll need to be aware of what your time is worth to you, and that will be a cost of social media.
- Your Money: You’ll also want to leverage social media even further by spending money on advertising. How much can you afford to spend each month on paid advertising on social media?
What content do you have or could you create to share on social media that will attract your ideal prospects?
Content is King… content will be why users follow your business on social media, it’s why they will engage with your business on social media and it’s the value you’ll be adding to the community that will make prospects fall in love with your brand.
- What content will attract and engage my ideal audience?
- What types of content will work best to get my business’ message across? Images, videos, text, reviews, live streaming?
- Do I have the time or expertise to create content consistently; am I willing to learn how to create this content; or should I outsource content creation?
- Are there non-competing businesses that create content that I could share, that will attract my ideal prospect and add value to my business’ community?
I probably should have named this article the “Social media entry exam for Small Business” because the answers to these questions are so important to the success of Small Business on social media. Without clear answers you could be wasting a lot of time, effort and money.
In my next article I’ll break down the top social media platforms so you can take your answers to these questions and make an informed decision on which social media platform to spend your time and money.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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