Socia media come with various forms and rules. On Tweeter, you can only use 140 characters, Instagram is all about pictures, Facebook is about building community and LinkedIn is pure business. Based on that, you need to decide what type of outcome you would like your business to get out of your social media activity. It is really worthwhile to decide on that, since building your profile and a decent group of followers is going to cost you... a lot of time. Mainly. Obviously, you can also pay for ads and stuff, but one thing you cannot do is to make people like your activity. Or to even care for it. So your first step should be to decide what is your goal, and then you can start planning what to do to achieve it.
Marketing 101 clearly states how important it is to know your client, so I'm not gonna sell you on that. I will just assume that you all have your client personas memorized by now. So, the point is to figure out where your clients are virtually present "after hours". Most of them are probably on Facebook but that might not be the only place to look for them, it might not even be the best. If you will come to nerve wracking conclusion that your customers are all over the place from Snapchat all the way to MySpace (does anybody still remember MySpace?), you need to determine which channel will provide you with the best results. Or which one is the easiest for you to use. It's going to mean a lot.
This might feel like cheating, but if your competition is all over Instagram, and they are a huge success, you should at least consider setting up your account there. Why? Because clearly, it works. I'm a fan of saying that there is no need in reinventing the wheel. It has been developed once (huge success by the way) so everyone is using a bunch of wheels on daily basis. And so should you. I encourage you to follow your competition too. That way, you will learn what type of content attracts viewers, how often you should post or at what times, and it's all for free. Possibly it will even save you a ton of time.
Well, because it is. If you already have a website you are probably familiar with three magical letter of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It might sound complicated, but it really comes down to one thing. Yes, you guessed it - it's content. Search engines, like Google, are really keen to position reach content websites at the higher rank than those with next-to-nothing on.
The same thing goes on in social media. Here you are not even positioned by the search engines solely. It's your followers who can get you to the top. That's why it is so important to publish content that is visually appealing, rich in information, overall bears a significant amount of value. Posting adverts only will fail you miserably. You need to be exciting somehow. Show the human face behind your business. Some people say it is unprofessional to post personal pictures on your business profile. I say - everything is good as long as it is in good taste and can help you strengthen your voice. So 100 pics of your cat in various poses no but big smile over a nice testimonial from client - yes.
If you are at this point and still can't decide how many channels you should be using and are seriously considering getting on all of them, fear not! Now I am going to resolve all your problems. In order to get decent numbers on your social media (followers, shares, likes etc.) you need to work on that EVERY DAY. That means every day you need to get some kind of activity on channels you have chosen. Without that people will forget about you and your business altogether. And if you think that one sentence about what are you currently up to will be sufficient - I'm sorry, it's not how this works.
So think about the time you would have to spend deciding on what to post, how to post it, how to make it stand out, how to encourage people to react to it and finally allow time to digest the statistics you're left with at the end of the day. Remember, it's a process, so don't expect results straight away. Once you choose your channels, try to stay on top of things. For example, Facebook now offers a cover video instead of a cover photo on your Facebook fan page. Take advantage of that, so that you visitors see you're innovative.
This might be difficult, but it is better to give up on channels that are not working than to lose your nerves over trying to be everywhere. Sometimes well established online presence in one of the social media is better than random activity all over the internet. Remember, people have short attention span when it comes to surfing the web, even shorter memory of what they've seen. Make a content that stays with them for longer and that will reserve you a place in their lives. I wish you every success with your social media endeavours. As always I'm open to answering all the questions you may have on the subject. Also, if there are some web or graphic related issues you would like me to tackle let me know. Oh, and by the way, we do social media strategies for businesses (wink), just saying.