Whenever someone opens a business, the first advice they receive is, "you NEED to be on all Social Media platforms," or "If you're not on X, you're missing out." And there they go, following all the advice of those who say they are "killing it" in their businesses. Because why not? Right?
The simple answer to that question? Your business is not their business!
We tend to emulate what others do in business because they believe it is working for them. And by doing this, we end up spending money, time, and effort on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other of the recommended platforms because of someone else’s advice. And yes, it helps, to some extent. But when you study your social media analytics, you will realize that your effort has not yielded the results you expected in many of those platforms. If you had put that money, time and effort into the platform that does perform, you would have seen better results.
Every Social Media platform is different and has unique characteristics that determine the audience you will find in it. Your time and effort should go into the platform where you are most likely to find your target audience. You will not be abandoning all other platforms but focusing on the platform where your audience lives. It is here where your interaction and presence will be predominant. The rest will allow you to have a presence and redirect traffic but should not consume your money, time, and efforts.
Your time and effort should go into the platform where you are most likely to find your target audience.
To determine which platform you should be using, you must dig into your market research, look at your target audience and ask yourself:
1. Where does my audience spend their time?
Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020. But is your target audience there?
Imagine your business sells services to Directors of Financial Development. You would be wasting your time by putting all your focus on building an audience on Facebook despite its enormous number of active users. It is unlikely for Financial Development Directors to be spending their time in a professional capacity on Facebook. You would be better off targeting Financial professionals on LinkedIn, which is dedicated to professionals and offers a tool to highlight professional services.
You must go where your audience is.
2. What content does my audience consume?
Each platform weighs its content differently and gives priority to different content. Twitter, for example, is geared towards short, concise interactions. Twitter audiences like to be in the "now," the latest news, the latest rumor, the celebrity that is "in." There will be interacting with your content, but buying products and services is not what Tweeters want out of that platform. You must consider this when choosing your focus platform.
Twitter audiences like to be in the "now," the latest news, the latest rumor, the celebrity that is "in." There will be interacting with your content, but buying products and services is not what Tweeters want out of that platform.
Suppose your company relies on video creation, then Twitter is most likely not the platform you should be using. YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram would be far better options. However, Facebook audiences tend to watch videos without sound on their mobile devices; you would need to consider this when creating video content. On the other hand, Instagram has been transitioning from an image=heavy platform to a video-heavy platform. With the introduction of Reels as a rival to Tik-Tok, their video algorithms are all about video. They would provide you with a video consuming audience. Plus, it allows connection to Facebook so you could leverage both audiences from that one platform.
Knowing how your audience consumes content will allow you to strategize your targeting and use the platform that appeals to them.
3. What do my analytics say?
If you have a business page on any social media platform, you should know how to access your analytics and interpret them. It is imperative that you learn this, as this should be the driving force behind your strategy.
Like all marketing, social media marketing is a game of trial and error. You look at your audience, study their behavior and make assumptions based on what you observed during your market research. But when it's time to execute, you realize that many times, your assumption was wrong! Your audience does not behave like you assumed they would. You start noticing that they do not react like they "were supposed to."
When this happens, you go to your analytics, look at all those numbers and graphs and ask yourself, where did I go wrong? And the analytics WILL respond. They will tell you where your audience spent their time, where your effort did not pay off, and where it did. It will inform your course correction so that you can talk to your audience in the way they listen, in the platform they spend their time on, and in a way that will drive them to you.
It is time to refocus your Social Media strategy, look at your analytics and let them talk to you. Let other platforms be a presence for your brand but focus on the platform where your audience lives and put your money, time, and effort there. Interact with your audience, engage, and listen to what they have to say, and you will see your brand grow.
Jafet Martinez is a marketing and brand specialist who helps entrepreneurs and social impact companies leverage technology to connect with their ideal clients.