The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Social Media Channels For Your Business

Navigating the seas of social media is often a confusing and cluttered journey.

With so many social media networks to choose from, many businesses find themselves overwhelmed by choice, and drowning in the responsibilities that each channel demands.

If you’re wondering whether your brand or business should of shouldn’t be on Twitter, or whether it’s worth opening a Pinterest account, it may be best to take a step back and evaluate your social media strategy altogether.

So, before you take on more than you expected, or worse, burn out completely, it’s time to focus in on the channels that will help you connect with your target audience, drive engagement and boost revenue for your company.

You don’t have to be on every single channel. Choosing what works for your customer, your team and your resources will help you nurture relationships with authenticity, build trust, and convert when it comes time to sell your goods and services.

1. Determine Your Target Customers: Where Do They (And Their Friends) Hang Out Online?

The first question to ask yourself is who makes up your audience and which social media networks do they use.

If your customers spend most of their time on LinkedIn, setting up an Instagram channel wouldn’t help you much in reaching out to your target customer.

Defining your audience in as much detail as possible will help you pinpoint where they spend their time online.

Use your existing customer personas as a starting point and extend each of these to their online social profiles. The more detailed, the better.

Ask yourself:
  • Which networks do they use most?
  • How old are they? Are they female or male?
  • Who do they follow on these networks?
  • What type of content do they interact with the most?
  • What languages or jargon do they use?

These questions are the starting points in determining exactly which networks to use.

For best approximations to these questions, find real-life customer profiles, and take a look at how they interact with others online.

Tip: If you’re a brand with a large customer base, connecting with them via existing social channels, or through a survey will be even more helpful in determining which channels to explore next.

2. Take Stock of Your Brand or Industry: Which Channels Align With My Brand/Industry Values?

Next, it’s time to consider your brand and your industry.

Not all social media channels align well with your brand, industry, or the type of content that your audience will crave–or that leads them to convert.

If you’re a B2C e-commerce beauty brand, Instagram and Pinterest’s visual interfaces will help you show off your products best, attract the right female audiences and give you greater freedom in terms of content creation. Not to mention Instagram and Pinterest’s e-commerce-friendly features that include product tagging, product pricing, and website linking.

Ask Yourself:
  • Are my products/services conducive to visually-driven channels?
  • Am I a B2C or B2B?
  • Does my brand produce enough visual content on a continuous basis?
  • Are there non-mainstream social media channels where I could better target my consumer-base?

3. Analyze Your Existing Traffic Sources: Which Channels Are Bringing In The Most Traffic?

If you’re an established brand, your traffic report is a great resource in determining which networks are already responding well to your products/services.

Your Google Analytics Social & Network Referrals Search report provides you with a quick overview of which networks drive the most traffic to your site.If you were thinking of starting a Pinterest account, but LinkedIn generates far more traffic and conversions, then you may consider either starting a new presence there or increasing your publishing frequency.

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