...if your target audience isn’t using a platform, it doesn’t make sense to be on it.
One of the biggest social media myths is that you must have a presence on all of the platforms in order to be successful. In fact, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing on social media.
For one, there are a lot of options to choose from, and it takes a lot of time and effort from a resource and content standpoint to manage your presence on each of these channels.
You also can’t post the same piece of content and image across each social media platform. For starters, you’ll need to adjust the image size and also tailor the text for the medium.
You can have the very best content and images, but if your target audience isn’t using a platform, it doesn’t make sense to be on it. You should only focus on the social media channels used by those you’re trying to reach.
If you don’t know what platforms those are, conduct research to find out. I would recommend reading studies and articles on the topic, following the social media accounts of your competitors to gain inspiration and insight, and simply asking your clients which channels they use.
I can say with confidence that LinkedIn is going to be the social platform on which businesses and professionals should spend their time. You’ll then have to make an informed decision whether you should also utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and/or Instagram.
Here’s quick rundown of what each platform is best suited for:
- Facebook: Great for cultivating a community, recruiting efforts, driving traffic to your web site and curating content.
- Twitter: A great way to engage and curate content in real-time, but it is fast-moving. You can build strong relationships with the media on Twitter.
- Instagram: Good for highly visual brands. It relies on visuals, so you need a cohesive visual strategy and the capability to produce high-quality photos and videos.
- Pinterest: Also a visually driven platform, so high-quality images are a must. Most B2B companies haven’t mastered how to effectively use it. You could feature past infographics and images from employees’ favorite vacation spots or books.
- LinkedIn: Good for thought leadership, industry news, B2B networking, sharing business articles, becoming a subject-matter expert, recruiting candidates, etc.
Facebook makes sense for most businesses, because it’s the most widely used social media platform and because it’s where many people interact. Today, people expect you’ll have a Facebook page for your business.
If you have lots of great photos, Instagram is a great place to showcase them (but in order to be successful on Instagram you must use hashtags). It’s also a great way to highlight your company culture.
...engagement, interest level and interaction will confirm that you made the right decision
Maintaining a social media platform is a lot of work. You’ll need to create original content with accompanying images on an ongoing basis. Only think about expanding once you see results on that channel. Being spread too thin on social media will dilute your messaging and weaken your overall presence.
While the right audience and content are the keys to your success on social media, companies, clients and trends evolve. So while maybe Instagram isn’t right for you now, that could change in the future.
Be willing to explore other platforms and see if they’re a good fit. You should claim usernames and vanity URLs on popular social media platforms just in case you’ll use them in the future.
When you do find the social platform(s) that are the right fit, the engagement, interest level and interaction will confirm that you made the right decision.
Remember that social media success is much more than the number of likes, comments and shares you have. It is a long-term branding and business development investment that may not show ROI for some time.
Social media success is often trial and error, and that’s where analytics can be incredibly helpful to help you determine what content you should be creating more and less of.
Be laser focused and strategic and stay the course. Social media is a long term investment and well worth the time and effort.
Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 18 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multichannel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly