Untangling Social Media

Most likely you are using one or even two social media sites every day. As you browse, notice there are businesses of all types on the platform trying to catch your eye. Some get your attention and some don’t. What’s missing? YOU and your business!

Social media can help you connect with customers, build your brand, and drive sales. But, as you have probably noticed, there are so many social media platforms and people spread out far and wide using them all. Your business needs to be engaged on social media and find the platforms where you can best reach the people who will be interested in your products and services.

Who do you want to reach?

When it comes to picking the right social media platforms for your business, you need to understand your target audience. Who are the people who would like your products or services? Where do they live? What do they do for a living? What do your customers like to do?  Once you understand your target audience well, you can start to identify which social media platform will work best for you to reach your customers!

What social media do I use?

Okay, you know who you want to reach. But where are they on social media? Once you’ve identified a few potential social media platforms, take some time to research their demographics. This will help you ensure that you’re reaching the right people with your content.

Here are some resources for researching social media platform demographics:

Sproutsocial offers a variety of social media insights, including demographics, engagement rates, and content performance.

Pew Research Center has insightful reports about social media usage and trends.

Hootsuite has social media demographics and scheduling tools available to help you!

Social Media features

Every social media platform has its unique features and unique branding. When choosing platforms for your business, consider which features might work best for your business and would be most helpful for your products or services.

For example, if you want to tell your story through more photography to sell your products, then Instagram or Pinterest might be the ticket.  If you want to post photos and videos, but want to write a few lines of text to go with them, then Facebook and LinkedIn might be worth considering for this type of messaging. LinkedIn is also a social media site designed for professional engagement and might be a good way for you to communicate if your product or service involves business-to-business customers. Meanwhile, let’s say you want to increase brand awareness. You might consider platforms with a much broader user-base such Facebook and “X” (formerly Twitter).

Does this social media match my marketing goals?

What do you wish to accomplish with your social media? Do you want to get new business leads? Do you want to have your existing customers come back more often? Do you want to encourage social interaction with your existing customers?  Take some time and consider these questions and you will begin to get a clearer picture of what to do. You want to avoid posting content that will not forward your story, or promote your products or services. Once you understand your goals, you can pick the platforms that will fit your business best and reach your audience.

Can I manage all this?

No doubt creating content and posting it on social media can be a time-consuming task. The more platforms where you are active, the more work is involved. But there are some terrific resources to help you create the content and post.

Canva: Canva is a growing and popular website where you can create a wide range of graphics, videos, and advertising that can be effective on the social media platforms you wish to use. Some of what Canva offers is free, but there is a fee for using advanced tools on the website.

Pixlr: Pixlr.com is another online photo editing tool that has both free and paid tools to create eye catching graphics, ads for print, as well as social and web posts.

Adobe Express: Adobe Express has free features to help you create social media posts. It can create flyers, Tik Tok posts and more.

Experiment and track your results

Ok, you’ve chosen your social media platforms and posted some compelling content. Now what?  Did it work or not? You may not see instant results, but be consistent with your messaging and brand. People who are interested in your business will find you and engage with you.

Is my social media working?

You’ll want to understand how many people interacted with your social media or shared your content with other users. Gathering this information will help you understand what kind of posts work better than others. A post that works great on LinkedIn might not do as well on Instagram.

It is important to track your results. Over time you will come to recognize content what “clicks” with your audience and what does not.

For instance, Meta Business Suite (Facebook and Instagram) can help you see how your social media posts on Facebook and Instagram perform.

Another advantage of Meta Business Suite and social media management tools such as Hootsuite.com  and loomly.com is they can help you with scheduling. If you want to schedule a Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn post all on the same day, these tools can help you do that all in one place, saving you time.

Be nimble

You don’t have to be everywhere.

“Social media is about engaging with people. It is about telling your story effectively so that your business can thrive,” said Jeff Goldblatt, Managing partner of San Antonio-based Jeff’s Journey’s.

But be ready to change and adjust your marketing plans.  See how your competitors are using social media. Keep an eye on what they are posting. You can get clues about what’s working and what’s not from their social media.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” Winston Churchill.

Keep an eye on trends. New social media can explode onto the scene virtually overnight. Should you be on it or not? Just understanding what is happening will help you make better decisions about how to adjust your social media marketing and how to better connect with people who are eager to connect with you.