The social media platforms that are available are many, but the big six are:
- LinkedIn (2003) (now owned by Microsoft since December 2016)
- Facebook (2004)
- YouTube (2005) (purchased by Google in November 2006)
- Twitter (2006)
- Instagram (2010) (taken over by Facebook in 2012)
- Pinterest (2010)
There are others, of course, and if you include the messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat and Skype you could be forgiven at being overwhelmed by how you can possible be active on all these different social media.
The good news is that you don’t have to be active on all of them. The secret is that you first identify where your target market hang out. Are they busy on Facebook or more likely to be found looking at LinkedIn? Are they big video consumers or more likely to be in discussion groups? Are they into looking at great images or more likely to be delivering soundbites in just a few words?
When you know where your audience is, then, logically, that’s where you need to spend your time.
Engagement drives traffic
There’s a big difference between broadcast and interaction. My recommendation is that you maintain a presence on the major platforms, but choose the platforms where your audience is to be interactive.
- Do have useful tips and advice and links to your blogs going out on all the platforms. But don’t invest your time where your client base aren’t active.
- Do spend time posting directly onto the platforms where your audience are active – AND engage with them. So comment on their posts, get into conversations and build relationships.
- Either set up email alerts so you know when someone has commented or messaged you or make sure you visit your chosen platforms daily to ensure you respond to these promptly.
- Don’t sell at your audience. Share you expertise and they’ll come to you when they’re ready to buy.
- Find out what they want to know about and share as much useful content as possible.
Remember, it’s not a numbers game, it’s about relationships. People buy (from) people they like!