Do I need to be on every social media channel to market my business?

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Up to 92 percent of marketers say that social media is important to their business and the majority spends 6 hours or more each week on social marketing.

There’s no doubt that social media is an important part of our personal and work life. Yet, from a marketer’s perspective, the temptation to be on 10 or even 20 different social platforms is ever so real. With plenty of social sites already in existence and others being launched every other day, it’s easy to feel like you are missing out if you are not on every single site.

Many brands are using social media for engagement, customer support, awareness and branding and doing it very well. But, there is also evidence to the contrary that shows that sometimes social media can overwhelm and throw you off course.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the array of social media sites available at your disposal, here’s how to redirect your focus and make social work for you.

It’s not about you, it’s about your audience

case_02_300x250Perhaps the most important consideration you can make when deciding which social site to be on is where your audience is. Remember, your objective in using social is to engage, nurture and connect with a specific audience. Look at your audience as your North Star—where they hang out is where you should be, irrespective of your personal preferences.

The truth is, your most important audience is rarely spread out across 10 different social sites; it’s most likely that they spend more time on on one, two or three sites.

What aligns with your business goals?

A look at the most successful brands using social will reveal that no single site or a bundle of sites works for all. Each business has its own goals, performance metrics and return on investment (ROI) expectations and should therefore approach social in their own unique way.

If you are unclear about how social media contributes to your business then it becomes very easy to jump from one platform to the next.

The remedy: Get clear about why your business needs social and the goals you are looking to achieve, and then determine the most appropriate platform(s) that will help you meet these needs and achieve the goals.

You came, you saw, you conquered

For businesses starting to use social the objective here is to conquer/master one platform before moving on the next. Here’s the thing: Depending on your goals and benchmarks, going about social the right way can deliver great results for your business. But do not expect substantial results overnight.

The lack of immediate ROI or an inability to measure results is a major reason why marketers jump from one social site to the next in the hope that the next social site will be the one to bring in massive results—sales, likes, followers, fame.

Social ROI needs to be looked at from a long-term perspective. This requires you to stick with one two or three sites, for a considerable amount of time to see any worthwhile results. This is also the best way to assess whether a social strategy is working or whether a new approach is required.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

You want to be on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Snapchat and Periscope all at once.

But, do you have the capacity to pull off a solid, consistent social and content marketing strategy for each of these platforms? Big brands with large budgets can do it, but not all businesses have the budget or time to do it.

The truth is social media is not all rainbows and butterflies—it requires hard work, consistent input, massive creativity, and considerable time and resource commitment. You’ll definitely not see any significant results from your social efforts just by sporadically posting links, videos and pictures every now and then.

The more focused your social strategy, the better the results are likely to be. Don’t mistake a focused strategy with a thin, flaky one. If you cannot commit to consistently delivering content across all your social properties, it’s probably time that you figured out where you want to expend your efforts the most.

Develop an integrated strategy

If you do use more than one social platform, you want to integrate these platforms in such a way that you have a seamless social strategy for the best results.

Seamless integration allows you to offer your audiences a similar experience regardless of where they hang out. This also ensures that your brand is kept visible front back and center. Integration also allows you to have a bigger picture analysis of your performance on each platform and of your social strategy as a whole.

Social media marketing

For better or for worse, social is here to stay. Clarifying your business objectives and setting realistic performance metrics will allow you to stay in control of the social game and get great results from the time you spend with social marketing.

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