Choosing the Best Social Network for Your Small Business
For the most part, no two businesses have the same exact target market. Even if your business sells something common like chocolates, you can still have a unique target market. For instance, maybe you sell fine chocolates that are given as corporate gifts, or perhaps your chocolates contain antioxidants and are directed toward health buffs. You get the idea.
Since each business is completely unique, there is no right or wrong social networks. Sure, there are the giants out there like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s possible that you may be able to build a better following on some of the other, less prominent social networks. It all depends on your audience and where they are at.
Recent estimates show that there are over 500 social networking sites. This gives you a lot of options. It allows you to tap into some other social networks that may not be huge as of yet but can help you secure new territory without having to fight through a lot of noise. At the same time, you don’t want to invest time and money into networks that won’t pan out. So how do you make the right choices?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting the best social networks for your business.
Know Your Target Market
Who are you trying to reach? And don’t say “everyone.”
If you don’t have a clearly defined target market, you’re going to have a hard time appealing to anyone. Think about the types of people you want to connect with, their ages, their genders and their interests. This information will help match you with the right network.
People do tend to use multiple social networks, but they also tend to gravitate to just one or two of them. According to research from the Pew Research Center, Pinterest users are mostly female and under the age of 40. Twitter is most popular among college-educated individuals under the age of 50.
Global or Local Reach
Another factor to take into consideration is whether you want to secure a local market or a global one. If you want to reach people from all over the world, a large social network like Facebook or Instagram is a safe bet. If you want to strengthen relationships within a localized area, you may find that a smaller social network is ideal.
For instance, the social network Qzone has barely been heard of in the U.S. but has nearly 640 million Chinese users. Same with the network VKontake. It’s barely been heard of in the states but has over 100 million Russian users. Because people behave differently across regions, it’s not uncommon for social networks to be created in an attempt to match these behaviors.
B2B vs B2C Considerations
The type of business you run can also influence your choice in which social networks to be active on. If you operate a B2B, LinkedIn is an important social channel. The network is designed for professionals, and it provides many excellent opportunities to connect with others in your industry.
On the other hand, if you sell your products to consumers (B2C), networks like Facebook and Twitter are ideal. That’s not to say that you don’t have anything to gain on LinkedIn. However, you will find more of your audience on channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Whichever social network you decide to be on, make sure that you have a clear, concise social media marketing strategy to follow. It’s important to be active on your channel, engage followers and respond to feedback in a timely manner. Social media is still relatively new, so there are many opportunities that await that you can only begin to imagine!
If you need help choosing the best social networks for your business and getting yourself set up with awesome accounts, call WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you!