Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Peach, Tumblr–it’s no surprise you’re overwhelmed trying to decide what social media channels you should be on. With more new channels popping up all the time, everyone is competing for your attention and they do a great job of making you fear you’re missing out if you don’t join.
Time to put your marketing blinkers on. I may be a marketer, but I am skeptical and critical of marketing which is really important if you want to learn how to sift out the BS. And the truth is that some products are right for you, but definitely not right for me. Social media is the same way. You and I may not need to market on the same channels.
In this series, I’ll go through each social media channel in depth one at a time. Before we even dig into the major social media channels though, I want you to write the answers to the following questions down in your biz notebook:
- What do I sell and why do I sell it?
- Who is my audience/tribe and what are they interested in?
- Occupation or level of education?
- What are your audience’s pain points and how do you solve them with what you offer?
Take some time with these. Unless you’ve really nailed down your marketing plan, then some of this may not come quick, but it’s SO IMPORTANT. So, do that first.
The reason you need to answer the questions above is that they will help you better understand where and how to connect with your tribe online. Everyone is not everywhere all the time. Many social networks serve niches or require specific media (ie, Youtube). Meet your people where they’re at and learn how to serve them a blend of what they want and what you can offer.
If you’re getting started on social media, I highly recommend you only stick with one of the major channels. Not only will you find a bigger audience, you’ll also have the opportunity to see what other people are doing and learn from that. Some suggest you look for new channels and become and authority on it while it’s still young. While that’s a good strategy, it could require a lot more work and if your audience doesn’t end up hanging out there, it will be a waste of time.
Major social media channels #1: Facebook the behemoth
More than 1 billion people use Facebook. It’s the largest social media network out there, and it acts like one. Facebook is really ahead of the game, especially with advertising, data collection, and its new Canvas tool that will be rolling out soon.
I always recommend businesses start with Facebook, because just about everyone is on it…and on it a lot. The average US consumer spends 40 minutes on Facebook a day. That’s a lot of newsfeed scrolling!
Speaking of newsfeed, let’s break down the some of the most important Facebook jargon:
News Feed: it might seem obvious, but it’s the long scroll of posts you see when you login. Facebook has an algorithm (fancy math sequence) to decide what shows up on your news feed, and as a business it’s getting harder and harder to show up there organically (non-paid).
Timeline: this is the content listed on your page, made mostly up of content that you post.
Friend: this is someone you’ve requested to be friends with or someone who you’ve accepted a friend request from. You can only be friends through a personal page, not a business page or group.
Like/Facebook Reactions: People can choose how to react to posts by choosing an icon.
Tagging: You can alert people to posts or photos by typing @ and then their name. You should see a list come up once you start typing the name–click on the right one!
On Facebook, there are four main things you can use: a personal profile (required to use Facebook), a public fan page (aka. business page), group, and ads. I know some people who use their personal profile for their business, but it’s good practice to separate personal use from professional use–your audience doesn’t need to know about the personal details in your life.
I’ll be honest, I don’t spend a ton of time on my public fan page. I created it mostly to use ads and have a place for people to go to to find me on Facebook. The page continues to grow, and I always go back to check messages, but I focus mostly on Facebook groups.
Facebook ads are awesome. You can hyper-target by demographic, interests, and other social data. In my opinion, a well crafted ad is the best bang for your buck on social media.
But, WHOAH, back up Nellie! Who is really using Facebook? Here are a few stats:
- 1.04 billion daily active users (mostly on mobile).
- Approx. 83.6% of Facebook’s daily active users are located outside the US and Canada.
- 91% of Millennials use Facebook
- Highest user group: women between 18 and 49 years old.
What does that all mean? Facebook users are super engaged, mostly female (the demographic that shops the most), and located globally. And what does that mean? There is a lot of opportunity to get word of mouth recommendations, and that is the best marketing you could ever ask for.
As you can see, Facebook is a busy place…which can make it a tough space to break through. It’s so important to watch your analytics to see what people are engaging with and what they’re clicking on in order to understand how to increase your visibility on this platform. And because it’s becoming more of a pay-to-play environment, advertising can be highly effective. Just make sure you target and test with small budgets before launching a big ad campaign.
Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments why you use Facebook and what successes you’ve had with it for your business.
Want to keep up-to-date on Facebook changes? I share all the breaking news with my Facebook group, Totally Rad Entrepreneurs. Come join us!