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Social Media for Business: How to Decide What is Right

Andrew Gregory
Author
Social
Category
Mar 17, 2017
Date

Summary / TL;DR

Is social media right for every business? Here are a few keys:

Instead of assuming that social media should be used, a marketing plan should drive this decision.

Instead of analyzing “social media” as an option, each platform should be considered individually.

Each platform that is used must have the focus, time, and funds behind it to make it work.

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Everyone Should Use Social Media, Right?

It is easy to assume that if others are using a certain social media platform then you should too. This is where 99% (may be a slight exaggeration) of businesses get it wrong.

This question cannot be answered without more context.

Let’s look at it a different way. Say your goal is to transport 6 people from city A to city B using a vehicle. There are many different vehicle options... most of them will do the job. But some will work much better than others. A motorcycle would be time consuming because it can only carry 1 person at a time. A tractor-trailer would work, but would be unsafe and uncomfortable. A mini-van or large SUV would be ideal.

Now consider that your goal is to transport 40,000 lbs. of material... all of the sudden the tractor-trailer is looking pretty nice.

Or what if your goal is entertainment... the motorcycle is the obvious choice.

See how knowing the options AND knowing the goal makes it simple to decide which option to choose?

Now apply this to social media. We know there are many options out there. Now we need to know the goal. This comes from your business's marketing plan. This plan identifies what your business’s goals are as well as what strategies will help you reach the goals.

Ok, let’s pretend you have already set your marketing strategy. It includes reaching prospective customers through online marketing. You have identified metrics to track and set a budget (no, social media is not “free”).

Now we can actually look at how various social media platforms can be used. 

There is a temptation decide if "social media" makes sense. Resist this temptation. Instead, consider each social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) individually. Facebook may be a good option to reach your goal. On the other hand, maybe Pinterest would serve your needs the best.

This is the other place that businesses go astray. They don’t know what platform to use and are afraid that they will miss out. So they pick all the major social media platforms. It is immensely more valuable to choose a single social media platform (and do it right) then it is to only touch the surface of multiple platforms.

Summary

So, what did we actually learn?

  1. Instead of assuming that social media should be used, a marketing plan should drive this decision.

  2. Instead of analyzing “social media” as an option, each platform should be considered individually.

  3. Each platform that is used must have the focus, time, and funds behind it to make it work.

Andrew Gregory
Author Name
Andrew Gregory / COO & Founder
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https://www.claritysquared.com/articles/social-media-for-business-how-to-decide-what-is-right

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