Which social networks should you be on?
Social media is as homogenous from network to network as soda pop is from brand to brand. Sure, it’s all social media, but Google+ and Twitter might as well be Mountain Dew and Pepsi! Each network is unique, with its own best practices, own style, and own audience. Which ones are ideal for you?
Reading time: 2 minutes
Some of the best advice I've heard on social media marketing is this: You should choose the social networks that best fit your strategy and the goals you want to achieve on social media.
In other words, you don’t have to be on them all—just the ones that matter to you and your audience.
Giving yourself permission to pick and choose your best social networks is a wonderful way to start sharing on social. Start small, find your footing. You can always expand later if needed.
So how exactly do you choose the best social networks? Here are a few factors that we think might fit into this discussion.
- Time – How much time can you devote to a social network? Plan on at least an hour per day per social network, at least at the start. (Once you get going, tools like Buffer can help you save a bit of time.)
- Resources - What personnel and skills do you have to work with? Visual social networks like Pinterest and Instagram require images and photos. Social networks like Google+ emphasize quality content. Do you have the resources to create what’s needed?
- Knowledge - What will be the learning curve for you for a given social network? Are there ones you're quite familiar with already? Getting up to speed might be a factor to consider here.
- Your audience – Where do your potential customers hang out? Which social network has the right demographics?
For answers to this last question, you can reference the audience research and demographics from surveys like those conducted by Pew Research. For instance, Pew has complete data, collected last fall, of the demographics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Here are a few quick takeaways:
- Facebook and Pinterest are more popular with women
- LinkedIn is more popular with men
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are popular with the 18-29 age group
- LinkedIn and Pinterest are more popular with those with advanced education
- Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are popular among those with higher income
Further reading: How to choose a social network
Once you've thought through all these questions, you'll have your answer! Choose one or two networks to begin with, give it a couple months to see how things go, and adjust accordingly thereafter.
Best wishes! You're on a great path to an awesome strategy!
Today's action item: Choose 1 to 2 social networks that you'll focus on.