5 Questions to Ask Before Your Business Plunges into a New Social Network
With so many new social networks being made available for businesses, finding the right ones and determining whether or not they are worth your time can be a difficult task. In order to maximize efficiencies, it’s important to develop a process for assessing new sites.
Why Social Media?
Social media offers a variety of benefits to your business. Through social media marketing, your company can leverage your content and messaging to achieve exponential reach much more efficiently than other marketing channels. With social media, your business can increase brand awareness while building a reputation with potential customers. If the content you provide truly represents your brand, interested parties will be drawn in, thus increasing the chance they’ll continue down the sales funnel.¹
Which Channels Are Right For My Business?
In order to determine whether or not you’re using the right social media channels to convert leads and drive sales, here are five questions to consider before engaging with a new social media site.
- What are the Four W’s? – When assessing a new social network, start by reviewing the 4 W’s: who, what, when, and why. Who’s using the site (demographic); what are they doing on it (engagement factors); when are they most active; and finally, why have they chosen the site? What is drawing them to it? This is where you want to analyze whether a site’s buyer personas mesh with those of your brand.Take Pinterest for example, a social network used mostly by women. If you’re trying to market your new men’s hair loss product, Pinterest might not be the best fit. If you are unable to provide a way to meet the needs of a site’s particular demographic, than maybe that site isn’t right for your brand. Nonetheless, don’t feel the need to repurpose your entire brand just to look appealing to a given social network.
- Who’s Likely to Use the Network in the Long Run? – Given the unpredictable future of many social media sites, it is important to understand which demographic is most likely to be engaging with the site down the line. Are they potential customers, or do they have the ability to persuade potential customers? Because word of mouth has such a large impact on businesses, especially through social media channels, your brand should look into how these potential customers share content across the site.
- What Types of Content Are People Sharing? – Are the products and services your business provides relevant to the content people are sharing? Make sure that your content is fit for the particular network you’re engaging with. For example; you wouldn’t go posting information about a new book you just read on MySpace, which is largely dominated by bands and music. If it’s obvious that a particular site is industry-specific, make sure that the content you share is relevant to that industry.
- How Much Time and How Many Resources? – Oftentimes business don’t have the personnel required to stay up-to-date on their social media efforts. It takes a lot of time and effort to stay current with social media, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, select a few social networks that align with your business and utilize them to their fullest potential. Another thing to consider when sharing content across multiple sites is the use of social media management tools such as Hootsuite. This will allow you to monitor and post across all your sites from a single hub.²
- Is There a Promising ROI in the Future? – Sharing valuable content, engaging with your audience and collecting lead information is not enough. In order to understand the effectiveness of your social media efforts, analyze how much traffic and leads are generated across your social platforms. Measuring these results will allow you to evaluate and make corrections on any aspect of your social presence that isn’t up to par.²
By following these five steps, you can separate the wheat from the chaff, and engage with the social media sites that are best for your business.
¹ Hubspot, "8 Questions to Evaluate if That New Social Network is Worth Your Company's Time"