Did you know that Facebook has over 1 billion active monthly users?  Yes, that’s billion.  With a ‘b’.  If your business isn’t leveraging social media marketing, you’re pushing customers right to your competitor’s door.

Most business owners understand that social media is an important part of digital marketing, but many are overwhelmed by the idea. The good news is that social media marketing isn’t as hard as you think.  By answering three basic questions, you’ll have a good idea where to start.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lau Tzu (Click to Tweet)

3 Simple Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding Where to Start with Social Media Marketing for Business

1)       Where are your customers?

There are many avenues you can use when leveraging business social media.  The most widely used are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. Each platform appeals to different demographics.  By understanding which one is most likely to put you in touch with your potential customers, you’ll be investing your time wisely.

Over 60% of adults use Facebook.  It’s demographic is varied, making it a great place to get started.  By positioning your business on Facebook and maintaining an active presence, you’ll be joining the 58% of Fortune 500 companies who also use it for their businesses.  It embraces photographs, videos, link sharing and promotes a conversational tone, making it a perfect place to interact with your customers and share information about your business.

Twitter attracts predominantly urban users, with a large proportion accessing their accounts on mobile devices.  68% of the world’s top businesses use Twitter to connect with its 200 million active users.  If your business will benefit from connecting frequently and being present to your customers while they are using their mobile phone, Twitter is a good option for you.

LinkedIn is the most popular option for businesses serving other businesses.  It’s most frequent users are those who are sharing information about services that will benefit other companies.  While overall only 20% of adults actively use LinkedIn, an astounding 83% of businesses engaged in B2B selling are using LinkedIn for marketing purposes.

Google+ is valuable for any business that has potential customers who search Google.  Chances are that includes you, so you should definitely have an active presence!  With the integration of reviews and Google Local, as well as the increased functionality for those searching for general business information, a presence on Google+ is essential.

Pinterest relies on pictures to engage users and is well-suited for a business that sells retail products online.  The conversion rate from links to sales is highest on Pinterest than any other social media platform.  Its users make more purchases, more often through Pinterest than any other social media site, making it a vital place to be involved if you have products that can use pictures to drive sales.  Most Pinterest users are women in higher income brackets, so if this market segment appeals to you, your business should definitely be visible on Pinterest.

YouTube’s primary demographic is Generation Z users.  However, even if they aren’t in your target market your business can still benefit by having an active YouTube presence.  Video descriptions and titles are indexed by Google and shown in search results.  Since many businesses don’t utilize the power of video, your business will stand out in search rankings as a result of an active YouTube presence.  Video production engages users like no other medium, so taking advantage of this opportunity is wise.

 2)      How much time can you invest?

With so many areas you can invest time in social media, it’s no wonder it seems like an overwhelming task!  Be realistic with yourself about how much time you can spend, keeping in mind that social media should be a large part of your marketing plan and will pay off if you dedicate time to it.

Facebook can provide benefit with a moderate time investment, whereas a Twitter presence requires frequent monitoring since its users expect a fast response time.  Any social media that you establish for your company will require an investment to keep it current, active and engaging.

Being realistic about how much time you can invest will also determine how many places you choose to establish and maintain a presence.  It’s much more important to have one active and well-maintained presence that works to drive sales for your business than it is to have three or four that are neglected and do a disservice to your business image.

 3)      Which social media platform are you most comfortable with?

Where do you enjoy interacting?  Where are you the most comfortable?  If you enjoy the work you’re doing in social media for your company, you’re more likely to embrace it and give it the attention it needs to be a valuable marketing force for your business.  If you’re new to using social media for business, start where you feel most comfortable.  After you have established your business there, challenge yourself to branch out to other areas.

After asking yourself these questions, you should have a good idea where to start and which social media avenues will drive sales to your business.  Start slow, be consistent and you’ll soon be an experienced user helping your business realize additional revenue as a result of your efforts.

If you’re still not sure where to start or whether your business has the time to use social media to drive sales, please contact us.  We have experience helping businesses use interactive media to grow and would be happy to help you get started or expand your current social media business marketing.