Social media is an extremely valuable tool for businesses and brands; however, many businesses are failing in this area because they mistakenly believe that in order to have success with social media marketing, they need to be active on EVERY social media site. This strategy, unfortunately, will almost surely backfire. Businesses are busy and with too many social media sites to manage, resources can become stretched too thin resulting in subpar content, inactive accounts, and disengaged followers. So what’s the solution?
I know it’s hard as a business to not hop on the “next biggest thing in social media” train. But in order to effectively promote your brand on social media, you need to be active where your customers are present. I was reminded of this fact after reading an article titled, “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media.” With this article, authors Andreas M. Kaplan and Micheal Haenlein attempt to bring clarity to the term “Social Media.” They do this by describing the concept, classifying social media applications into groups, and concluding with ten pieces of advice for companies that use social media. When reading the advice section, the piece that really stood out for me was what the article referred to as “choose carefully” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 65).
You Can’t Participate in Them All
According to the article, choosing carefully refers to selecting the right medium for “the target group to be reached and the message to be communicated”(Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 65). The article further states that new social media applications are becoming available every day and as a business, “you simply cannot participate in them all, especially since “being active” is one key requirement of success” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 65). With that being said, how do businesses choose the right social media applications for them?
In order to do this, businesses need to focus their social media marketing efforts on networks that their customers actually use. Asking questions like, “what is our target audience?,” “what social media sites would work best for our brand?,” and “what are our business goals on social?,” will help to determine the right course of action. Once you have clear answers to these questions, select a handful of social media sites (maybe even just one or two) and allocate the time and resources to manage them effectively. By streamlining your efforts, your business is sure to see a better return on your social medial marketing investment.
In conclusion, my advice to you is: choose carefully!
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons. 53(1), 59-68.