How To Choose The Right Social Media Channel For A Small Business

How to choose the right social media channelNot all social media is the same, no matter what type of brand you have. There is no one “set it and forget it” strategy that is going to work across everything.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons why a lot of businesses have trouble with developing a social media strategy that works.

Either they try to be all things to everyone and post a bit of content across every social media channel, or they think it’s just too overwhelming and time consuming and give up.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, chances are you’re not that happy with the state of your current social media plan, and you probably aren’t seeing amazing results, either.

There is good news, though.

It can be fixed.

One of the great things about social media is that it allows you to change things and adapt very quickly. So, if something is not working one week, you can have a plan in place the next to improve things.

A huge part of developing a successful social media game plan is to first determine which social media channel is going to be the best for your own brand.

Like we said, not every brand needs to be on every single channel. Some work better than others for specific products, services, and industries. So if you want to set your brand up for success from the start, it’s a very good idea to devote the limited time and energy you have to making sure it’s provides a good return on your investment.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right social media channel for your brand.

What’s Your Time Commitment?

Do you have a dedicated team of people who can handle social media, or like most small businesses, will your social media management come down to you or just one other person?

The answer to that matters. Because if you don’t have hours a day to devote to multiple social media channels, then your best bet is going to be to pick one channel and go all in on that.

And we don’t mean just pick whatever is easy, schedule a few posts, and call it a day.

Whatever channel you pick, you want to go all in on it. Even if you have only 10-20 minutes a day of available time.

That means active posting great content, creating fun content that your followers will love, and fully engaging with your followers and fans. If you cannot do that on every single social media channel you have on a daily basis, then stick to just one and build up from there.

Who Are Your Target Customers (and Where do They Hang out Online)?

When it comes to social media, a lot of brands think you need to be everywhere at once. In reality, that’s not true, where you want to be is where your target customers are.

If you’ve been in business a while, then you probably have a very good overall profile of your ideal customer. You should know basic things about them like their gender, age, habits, favorite products, and even where they live.

If you are a relatively new small business without a ton of customers yet, you can still identify who your ideal customer is by creating a target customer persona. A customer persona is a guideline of who a brand’s target customer is, it should contain basic information that will help narrow down customers into a very specific group.

Now, why does this matter when it comes to social media?

A lot of it is because different social media channels appeal to very different demographics.

You’ll find that use of social media channels can vary dramatically by age:

age-distribution-chart

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As well as by gender and even income:

instagram-usage-demographics

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So, if you know that your target customer is a 22 year old woman, maybe the best channel for you to embrace is Snapchat, since it’s likely you’re going to reach her (and those like her) there, versus say LinkedIn, which has a different demographic.

When you understand who your target customer is and where they hang out online, that can already help narrow down the best social media channel for you.

What’s the Best Way to Showcase Your Product or Service?

Not all products and services can (or should) be showcased the same way.
For some brands embracing the visual is what makes their product really stand out. In that case, devoting time and energy to more visual social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram could provide a much higher return.

Other brands might find that shooting a quick 30 second video goes so much further in explaining their service than a 1,000 word blog post could ever do, so channels like Facebook and YouTube are their best bets.

So you need to think about your own brand and understand which format is going to be best to really highlight how amazing your product or service is and go all in on that.

Now, that’s not to say that if you’re shooting video you want to ignore blog posts. It’s all about a mix, and that mix should be created with your customer in mind.

You want to find the best combination of content that is going to be good for your brand, be relatively easy for you to create on a consistent basis, and makes your ideal customers really excited to engage with your content.

Put it All Together

These three questions are just the basics to help you get pointed in the right direction. When you answer them with your business goals in mind, it should be pretty clear which social media channel is going to be the best bet for your brand.

Remember, it’s not about reaching the most people, it’s about reaching the right people. Create content that speaks directly to those people, and devote time every single day to engaging and connecting with them and you’re going to be building an incredible foundation.

Once you’re able to really master one channel and have a crowd of fans who love you and your brand, expand into another channel and follow the same steps for success.

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