Social media. There’s a topic that a lot of folks rolls their eyes or check-out mentally when they here it and how it relates to business. Where should your business be in the social media landscape? What should your business post? Does your business really need to be on every social media site/app? SO many questions and even fewer answers. Why? Not every business is the same nor is every social media site/app the same.
Let’s start with a list of some of the players in social media (this is by no means a complete list!): Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Snapchat, Vine, beme, Skype, periscope, Foursquare, Kik, Yik Yak, WhatsApp, etc. Consider this; those are some of the sites/apps in the United States. This list doesn’t take into account all of the other social media sites/apps around the world.
Now that we’ve identified some of the social sites/apps let’s go back to one of my original questions: which one should you invest your time and money in? I submit, however, rather than where should you invest your business’ time and money, two other questions should be asked. These are the two basic marketing question every business should ask and know!
- What does your business do or sell? In other works, your business’ goal?
- Who is your business’ target audience?
I suspect you might be thinking: great more questions. Well it’s important to know the answers to these to then be able to answer the social media question. How social media applies to a business is, well let’s go with an example. If you’re selling toilet plungers being on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr might not be the place for you. Why? People need plungers, but they generally don’t want to talk about them, let alone show them. Furthermore, when a social site/app is picture/video focused such as Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, etc you probably won’t be posting pictures of a plunger, let alone showing them in action in a real-life situation. As such, you have to make sure what you’re posting is relevant to your audience.
Another example, our offices are in southern Virginia, close to the border of North Carolina. In the summer it is HOT, HUMID & HAZY (HHH)! Being outside for an extended amount of time in August can test anyone’s patience. We have a client that sells, installs and maintains pools: Signature Pools. They are very easily a “visual” company. If you’re hot and sticky and want to cool off, if you see a picture of a pool wouldn’t you want to find a pool and jump in?! Their website, facebook presense, and other social posts show the clear water, the landscaping and frankly even if has very simple landscaping, it still appears to be an oasis on a HHH day. On the reverse side of this is yours truly: Bull & Company. What we do is very visual. However, we can’t show what we’re designing or working on while we’re working on it out of respect of each of our respective clients. That being the case, posting on social media isn’t going to happen.
Let’s think about your audience for a minute. If your audience is millennials who are all over social media. Being where there are is obviously very important. If your audience is our greatest generation, the WWII vets, then being on the social app snapchat might not be the place to market. Each site/app is relevant to their respective audience.
Let’s get back to the original question: what social media sites/apps should I be on? If you haven’t figured it out by now, it really depends. If your company sells a visual product like the aforementioned client Signature Pools, then your business should be on social media. Come on you can easily see a picture in your head of you swimming in a pool during the HHH days of summer! However, if your company makes plungers, maybe you shouldn’t be on social media, but have a website and non-visual social marketing. Lastly, you still have to take into account your audience. If you’re selling skateboards, places like snapchat, facebook, twitter, etc are places you should be. If you’re selling toilet paper, maybe not so much!