[su_dropcap style=”flat”]A[/su_dropcap] HOTEL SHOULD BE ON INSTAGRAM, but a bank doesn’t necessarily need to be. How should a company decide which social media sites it can benefit from, and which are a waste of time?
Figuring out which social media networks deserve your brand’s time and energy can be tough, especially since it seems like a new network arrives every month. There are many options, and social media accounts are often started without much forethought to who will run them or what a brand wants to say. Most importantly, you need to ensure you’re reaching the best audience for your brand and using resources wisely.
Know Your Brand and Your Audience
Begin with an evaluation of how much internal bandwidth is available for social media: Be realistic about the possible workload and internal resources. If your brand already has accounts up and running, it’s still important to audit your team’s capacity. For example, if one person’s full-time job is social media management, a brand may be able to manage and grow its presence on two to four networks, depending on audience size and activity levels. At its best, social media is a two-way conversation between a company and its followers, and no brand wants the account equivalent of a ghost town.
With an understanding of capacity, a brand should conduct a thorough investigation of their audience, competitors, and niche. Audience demographics and personas help narrow down which networks are frequented by your customers and community members. A competitive analysis looks at successes and failures and helps you improve your social media presence.
It’s important to note that a brand doesn’t need to be on every network its competitors are on, even if a competitor is successful on a particular site. A better opportunity may be a social media network underutilized by rival brands. Another consideration is the brand’s industry: Many niches have strong communities on social media or other forums. For example, a book publisher should be active on Goodreads, and a yarn manufacturer should be on Ravelry.