Social media’s place near the top of the digital marketing food chain is one that’s well-earned. Social media accomplishes things that the marketers of yesteryear could only dream about – two-way interaction, instant connections and trackability. If one were to create a “How to Market Your Business” guide, social media would be on the first page.
However, the way many small business marketers go about social media marketing is a little backwards. Many companies feel pressure to establish themselves on every social media platform in existence, largely because it’s what every other company does. Unfortunately, taking this approach can lead to an overworked marketing team and, more importantly, a confused customer base.
Too Much of a Good Thing
In the early going, there’s no telling where a company’s audience resides in the digital landscape. And since you want people to find your company online, you establish accounts on all of the big social media sites. The problem is, it’s awfully difficult to keep of a half-dozen social media sites when you have only one marketing person. It’s far too easy for your marketing guy to forget to post a vital update to Instagram after he’s already posted that same update on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Worse, if you’re spending all of your time trying to keep track of coordinating your posts, you’ll forget to notice who’s responding to them. And that’s the real heart of social media – figuring out where you belong.
Trimming the Fat
Some companies don’t belong on every social media site. It’s an awkward reality to face. You may feel like you failed if your profile on a given social media site doesn’t catch on. That is not the case. But there’s something to be said for realizing that something’s not working.
For instance, if your company produces books, there might not be much use for video content. That means YouTube isn’t a good destination for your content. Just the same, a company that heavily focuses on the quality of its products might not be able to convey its message in 140 characters or less, and they may not have much use for Twitter. Every company and every situation is different, so go with what works for your brand.
Finding Your Niche(s)
The ultimate gauge of your success on social media is the amount of engagement you get on your posts. Accumulating a large number of followers is great, but having a legion of people interested in what you post is what you really want to strive for.
If people respond to what you post, you’re on the right track. Focus your energies on the platforms that give you a return on your investment; in this case, the return can be financial or in the form of positive social feedback. This is where your audience is. Give them what they want, and make sure you show that you appreciate their responsiveness.
On the other hand, if you feel like it’s just not working on a site, don’t be afraid to cut your losses. There is absolutely nothing wrong with only having a Facebook page, as long as that Facebook page is well-run and full of active followers.
Social media marketing often begins with great promise, but can quickly become frustrating if you spread yourself too thin. No company wants to market to an audience of nobody. Find out where your social media niches lie, and focus your energies on making those profiles the best they can be. In time, the viewers will come in spades.
Bio: Bryan B is a freelance writer based in Long Island, NY. He has a master’s degree in Quality Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He also holds the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification.