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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
Oct 14

Is social media right for your business? 5 questions to ask

A lot of people assume that businesses have to be on social media to survive. Our clients ask about it all the time. Should I be on Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? LinkedIn?

Well the short answer is – it depends. On the size and nature of your business, on your audience, and on the products or services you provide. For some businesses, a social media presence is a must-have. But the truth is, not everyone needs to be tweeting every day or posting stuff on Facebook. Here are a few questions to ask to figure out if it’s right for you:

Who is your target market?
How old are your customers? Do they use social media? If they do, where are they active? Lifestyle products can do well on Facebook and Pinterest. But if your audience is B2B, those channels aren’t appropriate; tweeting links to your new blog post or white paper might be a better bet. On the other hand, if you sell to an older demographic that’s not online much, your marketing approach may need to be a bit more traditional.

What kind of business do you have?
If you have a lifestyle-related product with lots of images to share, Pinterest is great. Are you a consultant whose greatest asset is your knowledge? Write LinkedIn Pulse posts to share that expertise – and position yourself as a subject matter expert. Do you sell baby stuff? Tweet out links to mom blogs and share pics of your cute items on Instagram.

What is your competition doing?
How are other businesses in your field using social media? Are they doing it well? Take a cue from them to see what might work for your business – and what won’t.

Do you need to share information or have a story to tell?
Keep it interesting and provide value. Post interesting content, share your knowledge, and tell people stuff they want to know. Having a sale next week? Tweet it. Want to share your subject-matter expertise? Post a video on LinkedIn. Got a special summer menu? Instagram those food shots.

Do you have time to do it right?
Nobody’s going to like a Facebook page that has three posts a year – or shares stuff that isn’t interesting. You have to have the time update your posts/tweets/photos/pins regularly to keep people engaged. If you don’t have time, hire someone who does.

Social media is an incredible tool for engaging with your audience. You can use it to respond to their questions, share stories, inform, intrigue and entertain. But remember, it’s not about jumping on a bandwagon – it’s about finding the right platforms for your business and your audience. Meet your audience where they spend their time – and provide them with content that adds value to their lives.