There are tons of social networking sites out there. There’s Facebook and Twitter, of course, at the top of the ladder, with Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and others below them, and a number of smaller, more specialized sites below that. If you want to succeed in marketing, having a social media presence is essential. But where should you focus that presence? Even if you have a fulltime social media guru on your inbound marketing team, whose sole job is to maintain all of your social networks, there are just too many to cover them all effectively. Social networking is about personal interaction and communication with your followers. The more networks you have to juggle, the less time you have to spend on them individually, and the more impersonal each one becomes.
And even if you could cover them all without spreading yourself too thin, it would be a waste of resources. Not everyone is on every social media site. Different networks attract different groups and different types of people. You have a target audience that you’re trying to reach. You should focus your social media efforts on the networks where that target audience is most likely to congregate, and not worry about the others. Which networks are those? Well, it depends on what you’re selling, and who you’re trying to reach.
Facebook and Twitter are the major ones. No matter what your brand’s focus is, it’s probably a good idea to maintain a presence on at least these two networks. Though if your target audience is high school aged or younger, you might want to put less focus on Facebook, which many say is gradually decreasing in popularity among teenagers, and more focus on niche sites like Instagram, Vine or Snapchat.
If you’re a B2B company, or otherwise trying to make professional connections rather than simply gain brand exposure, then you’ll want your company to be on LinkedIn. You can join groups specifically geared toward people in your field and keep abreast of what’s going on and what people are talking about that would be of interest to your audience.
If you’re looking to use your brand and content to spread ideas or tips, then you’ll probably want a Pinterest account, wherein you can take your own content, as well as pertinent content from around the web, and “pin” it to boards that others can follow.
You can also use Tumblr to combine blogging with connecting. When you post your content for your followers to view and share, they can add their own thoughts and comments as they repost it, and use your content to start a conversation. It’s popular among niche communities (e.g., fans of a particular television show or movie) who connect with each other’s content using tags. Find a few popular search tags to use on Tumblr and you could gain a massive following.
The best way to decide which social networks you should use for your brand is simply to look at the demographics. You can find breakdowns online of who’s using which social media sites, in terms of age, gender, education, income and more. Take those demographics and compare them to those of your target audience. That should give you an idea of exactly where your efforts will be best placed, so that you can connect with people where they are, and not waste your efforts trying to find them.