I saw a post from a friend of mine the other day on Facebook asking the end all be all question…
“Where should I spend my time on social media to promote my business?”
First of all, let me just say kudos to YOU for getting out there to ask your audience. This is one of the most underutilized practices that we can take advantage of on our social platforms. Think of social media like a virtual focus group, we’re able to easily and instantly elicit feedback directly from our audience.
As soon as I saw the post, I thought to myself, she’s on to something! And then I started reading a few responses…
“I personally like Instagram!”
“People now these days don't want to read blogs as much… It's sad but true. We want visual and ASAP”
“In order– Facebook, Instagram, Periscope. Keep a Twitter but auto post and monitor only.”
Side note: Ughhhhh…. Please don’t automate your social media EVER. Why not? Check out this fantastic post by Gary Vaynerchuk.
After I finished rolling my eyes, I came to the conclusion that there are drawbacks to openly inviting your audience to weigh in on where you should spend your time online…
Not all of your audience will be paying customers.
Okay, I don’t want to focus on this one too much because it’s not always our end goal to solely attract the people who will buy from us. In Social Studio Shop terms,
“Social media marketing is the process of building your brand + increasing awareness online.” (Tweet this!)
Essentially, social media is a means of virtual word of mouth and you don’t have to gain traction solely from your current or potential customers. You may have dedicated followers who simply enjoy consuming your content. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have anything to sell”– sure you do! Keep in mind, you are essentially “selling” yourself or your brand whether or not you’re making any money off of it.
There is value for you as a brand to spend your time marketing to those who will not directly affect your bottom line. These “people” may become loyal followers who are happy to spread the word about you to family and friends who, in return may become customers which DOES affect your bottom line. Make sense?
Back to my original point though, if you are deciding where you should be spending your efforts online, do not focus on catering your platforms to where these non-paying people reside. If they just so happen to also show up where your ideal audience is, fantastic!
Your audience’s opinion is biased
If you read the responses from above, you can easily see how past experiences have shaped and formed each of these individual opinions. Just because one platform has not worked for someone, does not mean that it will not work for you. Remember here, every audience is unique! You will need to experiment your own way to success and figure out what works best for you.
Not all platforms are created equal
Every platform is not for everyone just as everyone is not right for every platform – (Tweet this!)
This final pitfall goes hand-and-hand with my second point and it’s one I’ve been wanting to speak to for sometime now. I actually plan to do an entire blog post on this topic but here are my general thoughts…
We All Have Our Own Talents and Gifts
I have a dear friend Kayla, is who is freaking rock star in front of camera. She’s also great at storytelling and having candid conversations. She knows that she’s good at these things and she also knows this is the type of content she can create that feels comfortable and natural to her and her audience. She keeps this in mind when she decides where she’s going to put her efforts. This is why she spends time on Periscope and on her #PowerofWe audio series. This is also why she’s successful on those platforms.
We All Like to Consume Differently
Personally, I don’t have the patience to sit through a YouTube video. I would much rather read a blog post or admire a photo. If you read the responses again from above, you can see that we all have different preferences in the way that we choose to consume content.
Again, I will be diving more into this topic in a later post but for now, you can get the idea that there are some major issues when you assume that one, you and your unique audience are “right” for every platform.
Instead of casting a wide net with a survey that polls from your entire audience, here’s a few ways you can answer this question for YOUR business or blog…
Analyze Your Website Analytics
There is SO much valuable information Google Analytics can offer you that's completely free of charge! You can find out..
- Who visits your website (what their demographic looks like)
- Where your visitors are coming from
- Which social media channels are they visiting from (hellooooo here's one of the easiest ways to see which platforms are working!)
Interested in learning more? Check out these super helpful posts by our guest contributor Jaymie Tarshis,
Analyze Your Social Analytics
There's just as much valuable information that can be found in your social analytics. Here you'll want to take note of how well each platform is currently performing for you and if you need to make any adjustments in your social strategy. Maybe for instance you review your Twitter followers and you see that the general demographic for your audience looks like this...
- 35% of your audience are female
- 80% college educated
- Their top interests are cars, and business
Let's say you happen to be a photographer who specializes in senior portraits, you can clearly see how you would be missing the mark here. With this information you can assume one of two things, either you seriously need to adjust the type of content that you are sharing or maybe just that your ideal audience does not prefer to spend their time on Twitter.
If you're interested in learning more about social analytic sites, check out these posts:
Survey + Current Clients
I did say in the very beginning that my friend was on to something and it's true! Had she taken the time to send this question out to her current or past clients, she would have received the most helpful feedback. If you're interested in doing the same, access our FREE survey template below. You can use this template to send out to your own audience!
Oh and by the Way...
If you're spending this time of year reflecting on your 2015 social strategy and ready to jump start 2016 with a bang! You're going to LOVE this free course...
Join us January 12, 2016 at 10am PT as we share with you which social trends are on their way out and which are here to stay! Hurry! Seats are filling fast!