Thursday, March 24, 2016

From CHECKLIST: Picking the Best Social Media Network for Your Business

“If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.”

Benjamin Franklin had it right. As a business owner or marketer you need a plan for everything, including how to successfully utilize social media.  Business 101 has you claiming your profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from day-one.  But picking the best social media network for your business isn’t beginner’s marketing.  Without a plan and a well-defined strategy, you end up posting blindly which is a huge waste of time.

Well, no more.  Take advantage of the power of social media and create a social media plan that generates leads and drives traffic to your website and locations.  Without a social media strategy, your business will not deliver an effective message to your audience.   You’ll want to develop a distinct voice, set measurable goals, and create your social media policy so you can build a social media calendar.  However, the first step is figuring out which social networks your business should be concentrating on.

SMB use Facebook Twitter most

Checklist for Determining the Best Social Media Network for Your Business

[  ] Determine your goals.

The best social media network for your business is the one that supports those goals.  For example, If you want to get product photos in front of potential customers then Pinterest might be a better platform for your business and maintaining your Twitter presence can be kept to a minimum.  Some goals you put in your social media plan include:

  • Increasing conversions
  • Building brand awareness
  • Helping customers with relevant content
  • Customer service
  • Reputation management
  • Connecting with influencers
  • Displaying expertise and establishing authority

[  ] Check your website analytics and see which social networks are sending you the most traffic.

Can you see a direct correlation between how active you are on each social network and how much traffic each is sending to your website?

[  ] Determine how much time can you commit to your social media strategies.

The vast majority of small businesses are spending over 6 hours a week on social media.  Time may be the determining factor on which network you will focus on if you only have time for one.

smb time on social media[  ] Dig into the analytics of  your existing social media profiles.

Determine which ones are giving you the best return on investment for not only your ad dollars (if you are advertising) but also for your time spent.  Beyond tracking traffic, pinpoint which social networks are sending you valuable traffic to know where to focus your resources.

[  ] Look at your growth in both engagement and followers across networks.

If you are very active on Twitter and seeing the same growth on the Pinterest profile you check once a month, maybe your content and your business are resonating more effectively in a visual environment.

[  ] Identify industry influencers and check on your local competition.

Your top competitors are most likely on social media. Follow the most successful businesses in your niche on each network and make note of tactics you can copy to grow your presence on social media.

[  ] Define your target audience and know where to find them on social media.

By developing personas for your audience, you can pinpoint how to meet your audience’s needs.  Check out this highly detailed social media demographics post by SproutSocial to see where your customers are spending their time.

[  ] Consider the manpower and budget needed to create and curate content.

Do you have enough visual content to support promoting your business on Pinterest or Instagram?  Do you have a source for enough B2B or B2C content to keep your profile relevant on LinkedIn?

social media content takes time

[  ] Get feedback from your customers by asking what social media networks they use.

Determine the best social media network for your business by knowing where your customer like to hang out online.  You are having conversations with your customers all the time online, in person, and through emails. Ask the question, and add to surveys you send to your customers to find out their preference.

Determine Which Social Media Networks Work For Your Business

Keep in mind that social media marketing is an Ironman triathlon and not a 100-yard dash.  You can go all in on every social media network out there but by picking one or two you can focus your resources and get tangible results with your social media strategies.  Engage your customer base and find out what they are really thinking while generating leads and sending more traffic to your site with a well-executed plan on the right social media network.

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

The post CHECKLIST: Picking the Best Social Media Network for Your Business appeared first on Reputation Loop.

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