Running a business can be hard work – made even harder by all the choices out there. If you find yourself asking, “What social media platform should I be on?”, that’s understandable. Friends, colleagues, competitors, clients and even the big social media platforms themselves are only too eager to make a recommendation…and a sale!
What social media platform is the wrong question
Many small and mid-sized businesses end up scrambling to embrace an array of tools and technologies. But asking what social media platform you should use is the wrong question to tackle first. Sure, you’re going to want to look at social media tools and they may well be part of your final decision. But, as we note in our Consulting Fees book, that’s not the first question.
What to consider before you choose a social media platform or tool
- Start with your end goal in your sights. Coming up with a solid marketing plan and sticking to it is more likely to bring you toward your goal than signing up for an Instagram or Twitter account, just because you see competitors or even friends doing it.
- Think about your target clients, their needs and what message you need to get across.
- Review your competitors and what they’re using – and see if you can determine what’s effective for them.
- Think about your brand, your messages and the ways to connect with clients.
- Look at where your target clients hang out on social media, how they’re finding you now, and what your web analytics and other tools show is working.
- Again, meet your clients where they’re at. Try surveying your existing clients to find out what they’re using.
- Put some tracking tools in place, so that you can start measuring your efforts and figure out what’s working. Google Analytics is free and easy to install and can help you figure out what content engages your clients and drves them to your site. Other apps, like Twitter, have some basic tracking, but you can also look at more sophisticated offerings.
- Take a look at all the social media available. Start with one or two solid options. Trying to market on multiple platforms will tie up a lot of resources and can be exhausting.
- Put together a social media calendar and plan your content.
- Look for opportunities to reuse and re-market your content.
Establish goals for using social
It’s critical to know why you want to use social media. Some common goals include wanting to:
- Build your brand
- Create awareness about a problem your clients face
- Help clients discover how an issue affects them
- Nudge clients toward envisioning a solution to a problem they face
- Position your company or your solution as the best offer for solving that problem
- Affirm clients who have already purchased from you
- Get existing clients to come back
- Generate referrals
What social media platforms do you use?
- Building credibility with potential clients
- Consultant Journal group for consultants on Facebook
- Consultant Journal’s LinkedIn group