One thing that I see far too often when it comes to running an online marketing campaign is the unnecessary use of social networking accounts.

Now, you may be thinking that I have no idea what I’m talking about because your business has to be on as many social networks as possible to get yourself in front of as many people as you can!

Using every social platform can be the wrong approach

This is the worst approach to take. Here’s why:

When you take this approach, you end up promoting your business to people who really do not fit into your target audience, essentially wasting your time and in turn your money.

Figuring out who your audience is and where they hang out online is a must. This will ensure that you get the most out of your content and are a hell of  a lot more likely to convert any potential visitors into a customer.

Let’s put this in context:

A company who after some audience investigation, are mainly targeting people in the over 65 age bracket’

Your initial instincts for a social networking account shouldn’t be something like Snapchat, where the majority userbase are between the ages of 18-24 and less than 1% of users fit your target. You would want to aim more towards Facebook where 10% of users are in this age range.

Another reason that you should only use networks where your audience are frequenting is that you can struggle to think of ways to market to people on a network if the format doesn’t fit your business.

It’s a lot easier for a company who sell products to market on a visual network like Pinterest, Tumblr than it would be for a lawyer to market on the same networks.

Creating profiles on these networks where your content just doesn’t fit will often result in many of them being neglected and this in turn reflects poorly on your company as it looks like you are inactive.

The solution:

Profile your ideal customer – If you are an established business then you will already have most of this information available. Look deeper into your customer base to identify trends.

  • Age groups
  • Locations
  • Gender
  • Products or services

These will help you to pinpoint who your customer is and the types of products or services that they are most interested in.

If you aren’t an established business, then you’ll need to do a bit more work. This will involve competitor analysis, digging through social networks and doing a bit of a dig through the areas below using competitor terms rather than your own.

Profile where they hang out – There are a number of ways this can be done.

Plenty of reports have been carried out to identify the main audiences of most major social networks. Reference these to help influence the networks that you feel will work best to reach them. – Reference: A breakdown of the demographics for each of the different social networks

Search for where people are mentioning your brand already. – If lots of people are mentioning you on twitter then you should probably have a profile on there in order to provide a way to interact with your customers who are already talking about you. This is positive social proof and can also be used to provide customer service to those who may be negatively talking about your business. It’s better to respond to them positively than to have no voice at all.

These should help you to choose your networks. It may be that all networks are perfect for you, or that just one of them is.

Just make sure that any networks you do choose don’t fall into neglect or abandonment. You have to keep to a schedule/routine on social in order for it to become a success.

If time is an issue for you and you would like some advice or help in order to carry out either audience investigation, social media management or even to oversee your entire online marketing campaign, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.