Thursday, 29 May 2014

Which social media channels should you choose?


When getting started with social media for business, it can be difficult to know where to focus your efforts for maximum efficiency – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on. Here are 5 pointers to get you started:



1.       Decide who you want to communicate with


It sounds obvious, but different segments of your audience will hang out on different social media platforms. A first step should be to consider which segment of your audience you wish to communicate with. Segment using a range of variables that you already have data on such as age; gender; location; past purchasing behaviour, and so on.


2.       Find out where your target audience is already active


Analyse your stakeholder database and CRM system to find out which social media platforms your target audience are already actively using. Consider taking your messages to where they already are, instead of expecting them to come to a new channel that you set up. This can also give you some useful breathing space whilst you learn the ins and outs of managing social media.


3.       Be current


Examine whether the platforms you are considering are increasing or decreasing in popularity for your target audience. Do you remember articles like this - highlighting the number of young people moving away from Facebook (11 million since 2011)- http://business.time.com/2014/01/15/more-than-11-million-young-people-have-fled-facebook-since-2011/ ?


4.       Assess your capacity to manage different platforms


Fully engaging on social media can become a time consuming business. Assess how much resource the channels you are considering will cost you on a day-to-day basis:

a.       How often do you intent to publish information?


b.      How many responses do you anticipate receiving?


c.       Who will manage the responses?


d.      How will responses be managed out of working hours?


5.       Listen first


Before entering the social world, take time to listen to existing conversations. This can be very valuable in enabling you to understand what topics your target audience is currently interested in and how you can piggy back on these.


Listening will enable you to assess sentiment around your brand and decide how to amplify or manage these feelings when you open your own channels.


By listening to existing conversations, you will quickly be able to identify who your greatest ambassadors and critics are online. You can then evaluate how influential these people are to inform how much effort you should spend in engaging with them.

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