Social networks can be a great way for your business or nonprofit to engage with your customers. They can also be a great source for new connections! But it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the huge variety of social networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube… who has the time to keep up with all of them?
The good news is that you don’t need to worry about every social network. In fact, it’s often best to pick one or two that are the best matches for your business.
First, let’s look at a few really important questions: who is your audience and what’s your goal?
Identifying your audience and your goal
Every social network has its own personality. A great first step is to figure out which networks match the culture and personality of your unique business or nonprofit.
Take a few minutes to jot down some notes on the following questions:
- Which kinds of people am I trying to attract? What are some things a lot of my customers have in common? What do they do for fun?
- How would I describe my company’s culture? Do you emphasize professionalism? Are you more casual?
- What am I trying to accomplish? Do you want new customers or do you want to strengthen your relationships with existing ones?
Choosing the right network
The questions above help paint a picture of your business or nonprofit. Your answers will help you figure out which social networks are the best match for you!
Here’s an overview of a few of the most popular social networks. Which sound like the best fit for your company?
- Facebook: Facebook has become the McDonald’s of social networks. It has a pretty broad appeal across a lot of audiences, so it’s often a good choice for businesses that are starting to dive into the social media world. There’s one exception, though: if your main appeal is a younger or really tech-savvy audience, it might not be the best fit. Many have left Facebook behind and have moved to different networks.
- Instagram: Instagram is a great choice for any business that has great images or video to share. Tour guides can share photos from their trips. Restaurants can share mouthwatering specials and menu items. And Reels – Instagram’s version of TikTok – can help introduce your brand to new eyes.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the standard for B2B. If you’re trying to develop professional connections, it could be a great match for you.
- Twitter: Twitter’s main focus is what’s happening right now. If you run a business that could really benefit from being involved with conversations or interacting one-on-one, it’s worth a look.
- TikTok: You might not think about TikTok when you think about business, but it holds some great opportunities for the right company. TikTok’s short videos are a great way to reach new audiences and create new connections. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not really a great match for more formal businesses. There’s a big focus on fun and showing your sense of humor.
- YouTube: If you have video content, YouTube and its recommendation engine can help you reach new people. And there’s something for everyone – from video tours of homes for sale to recorded webinars.
Starting your social journey
As we mentioned above, it’s often best to start with one or two social networks and build from there. It’s much better to have a couple of places where you can really shine! Regular updates with fresh content is important once you’ve made a choice, and that can be hard to do if you’re spread thin across too many networks.
It’s best to find a place that matches your business or nonprofit’s culture. If you don’t, you might seem out of place – and this can turn off your customers. In other words, don’t make it look like you’re trying too hard to fit in!
But most of all, it’s best to pick something and give it a try. Doing something is better than doing nothing, and there’s no better time to start than now!