By Oluwatoyosi Adegunle
Bringing your business online has more benefits than you can imagine. Not just for profit-making, but to create a safe space where your current and prospective clients can connect with you without limitation, where you can create and publish content, and promote your personal brand or business. As long as people have access to the internet and use social networks, they are unlimited in their reach and connection. Social networks are platforms used to connect with other people, promote a brand’s identity, and share ideas. For example, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Google My Business, LinkedIn, and many more.
Social media networks help people to engage their audience, generate and sustain leads, dish out good content for their audience to enjoy and promote their goods and services. Since social media platforms are free, it is easy to think you can be on them all and manage these accounts because you’re solely concerned with reaching more people and making more money, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to take a step after the other, and consider which social platform is best for your business or brand, and will achieve your brand goals, and meet the target audience.
There are uncountable social networks that you can use as a business owner, but you can’t possibly use them all, because they serve different purposes, which is why you have to choose the ones that are relevant to your business identity, strategy or goals.
Before choosing a social media platform, understand and consider what your primary business objectives on social media are, for example, brand awareness/mention, conversion of followers to clients, etc. These objectives will play a huge role in helping you to determine which social media network to use for your brand. Here are some tips to help you choose the appropriate social network for your brand:
- Understand the purpose of each network: Considering your business objectives, strategies, and your target audience, find out how each platform works for you. If you need to post pictures of your business and need people to see it and follow you, Instagram and Pinterest may just be the best for you. These platforms work differently and using them for the wrong purposes may prevent you from achieving your set goals and objectives. According to Pew Research, Facebook is the most widely used; Twitter is used for connecting with people, YouTube is a video-based platform, Google My Business is to promote your brand and reach more clients. This understanding will help you choose a good network for your business.
- Do background research on how you can use these social networks to grow your business and brand. This is very necessary because you need to understand how you publish content on the different platforms that you are about to choose. For example, Twitter is majorly used to send instant messages, known as tweets – just texts, to reach a wider audience, you can also tweet a picture but its major purpose is to tweet texts at your followers. Some social networks, like Whatsapp, do not make use of hashtags or insights to see how your posts are doing, and this is very important to you as a business owner. You need to be able to track the progress of your posts. Do a background check on all the platforms, and determine how you can use them to grow your brand and reach more target audiences.
- Choose a platform where you’ll conveniently be able to create content and publish consistently. If you choose YouTube as one of the major social networks for your business, you must be ready to consistently create videos that you can post; if you chose Pinterest and Instagram that works more with visuals, you must be ready to create appealing and catchy graphics or videos. Even as you make your choice, this is very necessary.
- Competitors: Do thorough research on where your competitors are and how they use these platforms. You necessarily don’t have to directly imitate them, but this would help you make a definite decision and learn from how they use the platforms to grow their business as well.
- Focus on your target audience, and consider how you can reach them using any of the platforms you choose and match them with your target audience. If your target is a corporate and business-oriented audience, LinkedIn might just be perfect for you.
According to Forbes, social media is among the most effective marketing methods that a small business has at its disposal. Follow these tips, and be more aware of what it takes to be on a social media network as an avenue to grow your business. Don’t take on more than you can handle at a time, be consistent and your objectives will work in line.