Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, WeChat, WhatsApp. Social media channels are plenty and, the numbers are still growing as the Internet adapts and changes according to our usage.
Things were once much simpler. As what we know as the Internet burgeoned, there were few channels for the use of sharing personal or business messages. Without exposing my age (), I remember a time when there was a social media channel called Myspace (I mean, it still exists, but it’s a shadow of its former self) and it was all the rage. Simpler times eh?!
With so much on offer it can be ‘noisy’ online and you can be tempted into believing that not only do you need to join in just to be heard, but you should be on all the social media channels. Thank heavens that’s not been the case for some time now. With algorithms changing continuously for a number of reasons, what the ‘digital intelligence’ favours are quality over quantity. It favours engagement over followers.
So, before you begin to make choices on your own or with a consultant, there’re a couple of things you should have answers for in order to make your decisions easier.
1: What do you want to achieve by being on social media; what are your goals or outcomes?
On one level, this could be a means to supplement messages about a product launch. On another level, you might be looking to maintain your authority in your sector.
2: Choose channels that you know you’ll consistently create content for.
Each channel has its own optimum time and optimum number of messages for posting. You’ll need to factor in other considerations such as your target audience and when they’re online. Whatever you choose, consistency is key.
3: Keep your branding and tone of voice consistent across all your channels.
If you were to describe your business as a person, what kind of character traits would it have? This is how you begin to define your tone or begin to construct the connection your target audience will have with your brand – and of course, this is linked to target audience demographics. In physical terms, your colours, logos, fonts and other livery should be consistent across all your platforms. This includes your website, emails, newsletter, blogs etc.
4: Where and who are your audience?
You can find out the age-groups of people using each social media channel by age, which you can use to decide which channel is suitable for your business. Consider that if you’re a manufacturer for say stair-lifts, you shouldn’t try to reach your target market on Snapchat where currently, 50% of its users are under 25 years old.
5: Consider the format of your content audio, video and written copy.
Some channels work better than others in terms of the content you post. So for example, Instagram and Pinterest are all about (pretty) images, even though most lately it’s prioritising video content through Reels.
6: What are your rivals doing?
Have a look at what the competition is doing as far as social media is concerned – not to copy what they’re doing I hasten to add, but to get a ‘temperature’ of the social media pot, so to speak.