When you know exactly who your ideal customer is, it becomes a whole lot easier to find them online. If you’re still struggling to decide which platforms are right for you, here’s 3 key factors to consider:
1. Follow Your People
The social media platforms we choose to be present on is largely dictated by where our customers choose to spend their time on social media. It our job to follow our people. Sometimes business owners can be very resistant to a particular platform because they don't see the value in it or they don't like using the platform themselves. For example, Facebook can conjure up images or the Jeremy Kyle or Jerry Springer show for a lot of people and naturally that's not what they want to associate their businesses with. The reality is that if our ideal customers are spending a lot of time on a platform then there is value and opportunity. It's about them, not us so we have to put our personal feelings aside and think about 'what's best for business.' Secondly, that's just one side of a platform. Your job is to take the native use of a platform, combine it with your customer's use of the platform and then figure out a way to integrate your value proposition into that.
2. Don't Be Everywhere
There are so many social media platforms available and you may find that your target audience is present on quite a few of them. That doesn't mean you have to be present on all of them... especially if you are doing it for search engine optimisation purposes. After all, you're serving your customers, not Google search engine. Trying to maintain multiple social media profiles as a small business can be extremely challenging and lead to overwhelm quickly. Once overwhelm sets in, consistency stops and instead of being present everywhere, a lot of the time you end up being present nowhere. Worst of all, social media starts to become that dreaded task that just sits on your to-do list that just gives you anxiety. That's the last thing we want to happen after putting together our social media strategy for success.
If you want consistent results then you need to take consistent action. Reps build muscle. Choose one or two platforms to focus on initially. Build your engaged community up and once you start generating a solid return on investment from that platform you can start looking at expanding out. It is far better to have a really strong presence on one platform than it is to spread yourself too thin trying to be on multiple platforms.
3. Work To Your Strengths
We all have our preferred methods of communication. As important as it is to focus on the platforms your customers are most present on, it's also important to consider what platform is best suited to you.
When you work to your strengths, the quality of content you put out there will be to a significantly higher quality and the conversation will flow a lot easier because you're comfortable and more natural in that setting.
For example, you may find your audience loves videos but you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. In this situation, YouTube might seem the obvious choice but if you're not comfortable, Facebook or Twitter Live or Instagram Stories may be better options. This way you are still able to provide your audience with that connection through video and because a live broadcast offers two-way interaction, there's less pressure on you to create 'perfect' videos by yourself. In all of this, the most important influence in your decision is your customers. You have to take your 'user' hat off and your business hat on. Without customers, there is no business. At the end of the day, you are on social media to serve them in the best way you can.
Find your ideal customers, engage with them, build a relationship and ultimately guide them from a 'social' mindset intro a transactional mindset.