How to choose the right social media platforms for your business?

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So many social media platforms. So little time…

Whether you’ve got your own business and have started to promote it online. Or you’ve done something like buying a franchise so that some of the hard work is done for you. This article should help you when it comes to choosing the right social media platforms for your business:

1) Do your research

You can start with a simple survey to find out where your customers are online. Facebook and other platforms even offer their own tools to help you discover whether they have the demographics of ideal customers you’re looking for.

2) Check your competition

A bit of a cheat perhaps, but this can give you a hint as to where to start. Take a look at what social media platforms your competitors are active on. Are they getting a good response there?

3) Quantify your resources

This isn’t necessarily helping you to directly choose which social media channels are best for your business, but some are less demanding of certain resources or creative talent than others.

a) Budget time and money

How much can you afford to spend – staff hours and your own time included – on growing your social media presence? If you’re a franchisee, you might get some of the work done for you (as is the case with MBE). The best franchise opportunities come with national brand-wide promotions on social media. (It’s the kind of leg-up on the competition which persuades many people that buying a franchise is a good idea every year.)

b) Evaluate your network

You need to be generating as many social signals (Facebook likes, shares, re-tweets and so on) as possible. Here again, being a franchise owner with a ready-made network behind you gives you a little handy boost when it comes to finding a network of people who can support your efforts online.

Think about partner businesses and other influencers who might like and share your posts.

4) Consider what type of content you want to create

This will largely depend on your industry. The types of content you create might include:

– Blog posts and articles
– Photographs and images
– White papers and case studies
– Podcasts
– Videos, livestreams and webinars
– eBooks

5) Take a breath – you don’t need to be everywhere

It might be tempting to think that the more social networks you’re on, the better. But weirdly, the research seems to show that’s not the case. To start with, consider the biggest platforms:

1. Facebook – good for many types of content. Large user base but lots of competition. You’ll need to be a little different to stand out.

2. Twitter – best for short, snappy, up-to-the-minute news and events. Short snippets of text are best, though pictures also work well.

3. Instagram and Pinterest – those with an eye for good visuals in an industry which lends itself to offering them will do better with these two platforms.

4. LinkedIn – as a business-focused platform, LinkedIn is good for generating leads and promoting your authority as a leader in your industry. It’s also unusual that it has more over 30s than under 30s using it.

There are hundreds of big and small social sites you could be part of. But who can handle so many?

It’s better to choose the right social media platforms for your business based on where you have the audience; where you have the resources to do a good job and which match the type of content your business lends itself to.

If you’re a new business in need of branding to get started, or looking for a re-fresh, MBE is here to help. Our experts will develop material you can easily implement on social media, giving you an edge in the competitive online world.

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