If you don’t want to waste precious time, effort and energy on marketing your business in the wrong places AND you want to see a real return on investment then it’s incredibly important to consider carefully which social media platforms you will focus your efforts on.

This is also not a one and done kind of task. You need to check in with your social media strategy, including which platforms you’re using and how, regularly (every month or every quarter is a good starting point), because social media is constantly changing and your business will continue to evolve as well.

How to decide which social media platforms to focus on

Here are a few of the key things you should be thinking about:

Where are my audience spending time on social media?

It may seem obvious, but you must meet your customers where they are hanging out. That may not be on your favourite platform. It may be on a platform you know nothing about (yet). There is no point investing time, effort and energy into marketing on a platform that your ideal clients are rarely using.

The same question should be asked when you think about branching out onto a hot new platform. Are your customers hanging out there? Or are they likely to be soon? As I write this, the platform that seems to be on everyone’s lips is TikTok – but it’s not the right platform for everyone. There isn’t a single platform that has universal appeal. If your ideal clients are highly unlikely to be attracted to TikTok then it would probably be a waste to start investing your time, and maybe even money, into creating TikTok videos.

What return on investment do you want to see?

Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily be about income generated, although in some cases it will. The return you see could also include increased brand awareness, more subscribers to your mailing list, PR coverage, more website traffic and so on. Knowing this will help you use each platform with more purpose and direction, since you have a clearer idea of what you want to achieve.

Which social media accounts are you neglecting?

At this point, you might be thinking you’re already using all of the right platforms so job done, right?

But the real question should be are you showing up in the right places and using each of your accounts to their full potential? Simply having a profile isn’t enough if you want to see that return on investment. Take some time to think about your strategy for each platform; what steps do you need to take to reach your goals?

In doing this, you might identify some gaps in your knowledge, skills or confidence relating to each platform. If that’s the case, know that there are lots of resources (both free and paid for) available to help you get to grips with any and every social media platform. So, please don’t stay stuck and if you’re not sure where to find the help you need then feel free to ask.

It can be tempting to learn through trial and error, and you can certainly learn a lot about social media that way, but asking an expert for help with save you a huge amount of time, cut down on unnecessary mistakes and help you achieve success.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

No matter how many social media platforms you have identified as potentially beneficial to your business, you must now take a realistic look at the resources you have and prioritise where and how you will spend them.

If you have limited resources, it’s generally better to use one or two social media platforms exceptionally well than try to be on many different platforms and be unable to make the most of any.

It may be that you are able to cover more bases by involving other members of your team or outsourcing some of the work to an experienced social media manager.

If that’s not possible for you right now, there are still ways that you can develop and expand your social media strategy over time. When you first start using a platform to market your business it will naturally take more time as you learn the ropes and find what works. After a while, you will hopefully be able to streamline your processes and find more efficient ways of managing that platform. This then frees up some time to invest in other social media platforms. Often times, you can also take what you’ve learned from one platform and adapt it for another.

Don’t be afraid to build your social media strategy up one block at a time and remember to check back in with these pointers regularly. That’s the best way to ensure you’re not wasting time, effort or energy in the wrong places and continue to get the results you’re striving for.

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