I met Stefanie recently at the Tribe Conference in Tennessee. She writes a fantastic blog, boldredcreative, that focuses on creative entrepreneurs. Because she is so helpful and talented, I invited her to write as a guest for you. There are many kinds of social media, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses and Stefanie shows us how to decide between them. Be sure to check out her website and sign up for her free Quick Start guide listed below! -Jason
Most entrepreneurs know that a website is a must-have when owning a business. Many now realize that social media is not only a valuable asset to share their message and promote their website content, but is essential to building trust and nurturing relationships online. If you happen to be one of the few holding out on utilizing social media to grow your business, did you know that according to pewinternet.org, 90% of young adults ages 18-29 and 65% of all adults are on social media?
While it can seem overwhelming to keep up with posting and interacting on all of the various social networks, there is good news! You don’t have to be on all of the channels, you just need to be where your audience primarily likes to hang out. Ideally, this also intersects with one or two of your favorite networks that you already enjoy.
Let’s discuss more about how to find out where your ideal customers and community members spend their time.
3 Things to Consider When Deciding Which Social Media Channels to Use for Business
1. What is the demographic of your target audience?
Age-range and gender may help to narrow your focus. Is a woman with children more likely to buy your product or a teenager? Some information to keep in mind:
- Snapchat is primarily where teenagers and millennials spend their time.
- 90% of Instagram users are under 35 years old, according to sciencedaily. If most of your audience is in the 35+ range, Instagram is still a good network to consider. With the fairly recent addition of Instagram Stories, the users in this age range who hadn’t yet migrated over to the Snapchat app are likely to stick with Instagram to share their 10 second videos.
- Searchenginewatch tells us that both males and females use Instagram almost equally.
- Hootsuite reveals that YouTube has the largest age demographic and the most monthly users of all of the social channels.
- Facebook has the second most monthly users and also has a wide age-range of users. It is also very valuable for its paid targeting capabilities.
- A much higher percentage of women than men use Pinterest. If website traffic is your goal, however, this platform may be valuable to you regardless of gender.
- More males than females use Twitter and LinkedIn.
2. Do you need to network with other professionals and influencers in order to grow your business?
Do you offer a product of service that will help other business owners? Twitter and LinkedIn are used for their networking and professional relationship-building capabilities. They are also helpful in order to stay informed of top industry news and trending topics relevant to your niche. If your customer has a question or concern, they are likely to reach out on Twitter. Instagram can be valuable for interacting and engaging with influencers and other community members, as well.
3. What type of content does your ideal customer prefer to consume?
Videos? Articles? Eye-catching images?
YouTube is great for “How-To” videos and is the second largest search engine, which means more people are likely to find you via this network if they are interested in what you are teaching.
Most platforms have incorporated video as a part of their posting capabilities. Facebook Live, which was released earlier this year, has helped people get more reach organically on a platform that has become mostly pay-to-play.
Twitter and LinkedIn are valuable for sharing articles and industry news.
Pinterest and Instagram are ideal for sharing images. Pinterest is also a great source of website traffic due to users seeking how to do DIY projects, make recipes, and get organized, etc. Instagram is a visual lifestyle platform. Images should be clear and consistently eye-catching. Even though Instagram tends to be highly curated to stay consistent with branding, it is also a very authentic and humanizing platform. Sharing behind-the-scenes photos and videos can build trust and connection.
For more on the breakdown of the strengths and statistics of various social media networks, check out this helpful article on Hootsuite: The Top Social Media Sites that Matter to Marketers.
Which Channels Do You Prefer?
Hopefully, you are now able to identify one or two channels where you can focus your social media marketing efforts. If you’re ready to move to the next step of getting more intentional about your purpose and posting, check out my free Streamline Your Social Quick-Start Guide. It’s full of tips and free resources to help you save time on online.
About the Author
Stefanie Shick helps intentional creatives authentically and boldly stand out online. Stefanie is passionate about helping musicians, photographers, and other creative entrepreneurs deliver hope and beauty to the world. For more, visit her at boldredcreative.com or find her on Twitter at @stefanieshick.