Choosing the Right Social Media for You

Figuring out which media platform or platforms that your company will use doesn’t seem like a daunting task until you set out to actively engage with your customers. Different businesses depending on their size, product, service, and target customers will have greater success on different media platforms.

MOS in their “Beginners Guide to Social Media” breaks up the various channels into Owned, Rented, and Occupied territories.

Social Media Territory

  • An Owned Territory is one that you have complete control over, such as a site, blog, or an in-house social network. In this case you own the channel that you are using to communicate your company.
  • Rented Territories are channels in which you only occupy a portion of what platform. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are rented because you may have a title to a page but you do not have a say in how the platform will change.
  • Occupied Territories are sites such as Reddit, or forums where a company spokesman is either promoting, or salvaging your brand. They are useful because they have so many active users, however there is no control over what is said.

Besides the different channels by which you can interact with your customers you must also decide if one or many different accounts are needed. Some companies manage multiple social media accounts depending on the products, services, and locations offered. Let’s take a look at why you would choose to have multiple social media accounts:

  • For Multiple Products – Having multiple products is not a tell sign of needing multiple accounts, but if the products your company produces differ in category from one another, or you are trying to break them out as multiple brands then you may want more than one account.
  • For Multiple Services – As with having multiple products, offering multiple services does not mean you need multiple accounts. If you are certain that you’re different services are targeted toward different customers then you should go ahead.
  • For Multiple Locations – This is a good way to break up the customer base into different micro regions. If each location operates as if separate from the rest, in that they offer promotions at different times, then having multiple accounts will help you interact with the customers closest to you. You may even find that a promotion that worked at one location might have completely the opposite reaction at another.
  • For Multiple Regions – As with multiple locations, breaking up your social media accounts into regions is a good idea in order to better match the consumer’s wants and needs to your product or service without blanketing coverage over your entire presence. The difference between multiple regions and locations is that regions encompass a much larger area. Such that multiple locations can be found in each region.

Now that you have a skeletal structure of different tactics used in social media, we will do a walk-through on how to choose which is best for you and your business.

Goal Setting

  • Firstly, you need to determine what your purpose is for being on social media. Is it to provide awareness, create a sense of community, sway brand loyalty, increase sales, or just to be a brand advocate?  Maybe all of those are your goals (and why shouldn’t they be), but if you are a start-up perhaps picking one goal and focusing on seeing it through may be the way for you. I have seen way to many times (and always growing), a business that bites off more than it can chew, choking its way down to bankruptcy because they were unable to determine a purpose in all of their marketing efforts other than ‘we need more traffic’ or ‘we need more sales.’ Traffic and sales will come with good social media marketing what you need is a purpose for being there.
  • Next you will have to figure out who your target customers are. Not just their general demographic, but where are they located, what are their interests, and most importantly what social media platforms are they using consistently. Will they be using a credit card to purchase items online, or will they pay cash when they come in. Being specific at this point can never hurt, and doing actual research on all the platforms to ‘test the waters’ can be very beneficial.
  • Finally you must make your decision as to which platform or platforms will help you the most.  If you find that the customers you are trying to reach share recipes and enjoy to cook; Pinterest, Twitter, and a blog are a perfect place to start. If you are trying to drive in new customers to your brick and mortar; Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram will be great. This is where you draw on all the information that you have at your disposal to choose the best social media platform for you.

You can’t just stop there, you have to keep updating and keep providing relevant content so that you are always somewhere in the back of your markets mind. The trick is to provide relevant content that is riddled with info graphics that are easy to share and easy to remember without spamming your audience. A spammer moves without a purpose but you now have one laid out before you. Set goals for yourself to reach each month or even week. Try to provide content that may not have anything to do with you but will give your consumers an interesting read.

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