Your Media Medium for Your Message
All the time, people ask me which social media platform should I be using? Of course, they’d love to use them all, but the question really comes from the fact that they have little time, resources or staff, and want to ensure they are using all of their time efficiently and feeling overwhelmed with the fact that they may have to take time every day using every social platform out there that there is.
False. My advice for small business owners has always been, first, do you want to grow? I know it seems like a funny question to a business person, but I have 2 clients where their business is completely wrapped around their ability to deliver their own services. One of them is in Home Renovations and the other is an Interior Decorator. Both of them express to me all the time just how busy they are from helping them with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization…like getting their business top of the list in google, etc.) and Website Design that they just can’t keep up! And both business do NOT have the dreams or desires of growing beyond themselves doing the work. They don’t want to add additional reno teams, so for these clients, I would say to them, why would you get on facebook then and spend the money on advertising if you are getting tonnes of business already through Google searches and you are maxed out already? For right now, don’t worry about it. Just focus on what’s working.
Second, if the answer to wanting to grow is YES. Then let’s talk social media. Back to the question — WHICH PLATFORM should I use?
Answer: Use the social media platform that will most reach your target market.
Next 2 Questions that you are business owner HAVE to be able to answer:
- Who is your target market?
- Where are they hanging out?
If the answer is Twitter, then BE ON TWITTER. If the answer is primarily Facebook then that should be your #1 focus. And if you have MORE time, choose a 2nd, 3rd or 4th social media platform (according to your time and resources) to manage.
YOUR MESSAGE is what matters. You can have a great message but if it’s not getting out to the world then it will just stay stagnant.
Choose the MEDIUM that is right for your MESSAGE. How do you know which medium is right? The media “medium” that is right, is the one that reaches the masses of your target audience for your message.
I’m currently working with a company that makes unique items. Their target audience is Women 35-55 with disposable income. When they first started working with me, they asked which social media platforms should we be on? We’re currently using twitter the most. Why were they using twitter the most? Because the owner is Male, age 45. And he loves twitter! Which is great, but it isn’t reaching your target audience. Where are your female customers hanging out? Twitter? No… but they are on Facebook! Now, if he wants to try and persuade men to buy for the women in their lives, be on twitter or use Linked In — but it’s going to be a workaround sell then going direct to the women. In this small business, with little time and resource, choose the one that’s going to make you sales faster! Then you can expand to other platforms once you’ve made it there.
Finally, if your answer to “Who is your target market?” is “EVERYONE!”, that’s the wrong answer! I realize you may at some level reach many different people in many different niches, however, you must start somewhere to be successful. You don’t have to narrow in so far into a certain niche and forget all others if you aren’t destined to reach more than one, but for the sake of utilizing your abilities, time and resources to their greatest efficiency and potential in the start-up or early stages of a small business, please, for your own sake, for the sake of feeding your family and using your time most wisely, select the medium(s) that will most effectively and efficiently communicate your message AND reach your audience.
If you are HUGE, like World Vision or Apple, then you may have all the resources, including time, money and staff, at hand, to be on every platform. If you are a start-up business, small business, non-profit, motivational speaker or ministry who is trying to maximize little resource to go a long way in your early phases, then my suggestion to you, is to select the one(s) that you can most effectively use to get your message out there in the time you have available!