When offering advice to businesses on using digital tools to enhance and engage with their audience, I am always asked is social media right for my business and confronted with the same two questions. “Should we be using social media and which ones should we be using?”
Both are legitimate questions in an era where social media has exploded with the way we connect with people, however the answer to those questions are never a simple answer.
It is an understatement to say that social media has been success in helping organisations connect with millions of social media users. Whether it is used for recruiting purposes or used to enhance relations with existing or new customers, the various social media networks that are now available are a fantastic way to communicate to wider and potentially larger audiences in a cost effective manner. Studies have shown that the 55-64 age bracket of users on Twitter have grown by 79% since 2012, thus proving that anybody can use social media.
So to answer the question of is it right for your brand? The answer depends upon 2 factors. Firstly, you need to ask yourself whether your target audience uses social media, and if this is case, I would argue that invariably the answer would be yes – provided the time and resources involved will provide a equitable return on investment compared to other marketing promotional techniques that can be used to reach your audience.
Hence, the second question you need to answer! Do you have the capacity in terms of time and resource to maintain a presence in the world of social media. The amount of work required will without doubt depend upon the size of your following and how often they engage with your brand. As a bare minimum you should be able to cope with checking your profile at least every other day and posting on your profile at least three times a week. If you however do not have the capacity to meet this demand, then maybe perhaps as an organisation you need to rethink your presence in the world of social media.
So if you can cope with the demands of social media, which network should you join? As an article response, this is an unanswerable question as it requires research and knowledge of your customers and products, and it very much depends on your business and the capabilities you possess. First you need to define what you want to use social media for. Once this has been answered you can then align your needs with the functional options that each social network provides.
In future articles I intend to enlighten you with much more details surrounding the various different social networks, from LinkedIn, Twitter to Youtube to Instagram and Facebook. In the meantime however I encourage you to experiment with each network and most importantly I wish you the best of luck if you decide to proceed down the road of Social Media.