We get social media questions all the time from business owners who really want to use the channel to grow, but aren’t sure where to focus, or how to measure results and determine success.

So without further ado, here are 3 top small business social media questions answered.

1. How many social media platforms should my business be using?

As with a lot of questions that pertain to social media, it depends. It depends on many factors such as: Who’s your target audience? How much time do you have to allocate to social media? What resources do you have for content generation, and so on.

Many business’s feel like they need to be everywhere to maximize exposure. But in reality, overextending yourself beyond the resources available, can actually hurt your brand. Bottom line: Only use the platforms that you have the time and resources to do well. Being on a social platform just to be there, and doing it poorly, is a risk that can result in a negative perception by a client or prospect. If you’ve already don’t this, don’t feel bad, even large enterprise companies make this mistake. Contact us to discuss how we can help to assess and correct any concerns.

2. How do I determine which social media platforms my business should be using?

To start — re-capping point one above — be sure that whatever channels you decide on, you ensure you can execute them well.

First, I recommend looking at your audience. Where are they most likely to hang out? Are you operating in a B2B or B2C environment? Do you plan on promoting content, or are you more likely to depend on organic reach?

If you operate in a B2C environment, consider Facebook, Instagram Twitter. If you operate in a B2B environment, look at LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook often comes to mind first for B2C companies because of its huge potential audience (who doesn’t have a Facebook page) and very robust targeting options (check out this EPIC inforgraphic to see them all). If you plan to promoted content here you’ll have access to more targeting options and ad units that any other platform. If your business is conducive to creating very visual images and videos – Facebook and Instagram are your go-to’s.

LinkedIn has really upped its targeting game over the past few years, and continues to role out new features seemingly every quarter. It too offers robust targeting options but, due to the higher quality audience boasted by the platform, you will pay more to reach these individuals. LinkedIn also doesn’t pose the same business page organic reach restrictions that Facebook does.

Twitter is a bit of a mixed bag… I’ve used Twitter extensively in the past at some very prominent organizations with some success. But, ultimately, brands really struggle with developing a “Twitter strategy”. Twitter ends up being somewhat of a catch-all for the content being created for other platforms as well as a customer service and external communications channel. Somewhere along the line Twitter lost its true identity, and it just kind of exists now.

If you’d like help assessing your business and the best social platform option to drive your business please get in touch.

3. Does my business NEED to be on social media?

In a word, YES! If your business isn’t using social media you’re missing the boat. Is doing social media well a lot of work? Absolutely. But, if you stick with it, and really view it as a part of your marketing mix, you will see the results.

Social media offers an unparalleled ability to develop and drive the perception of your brand, reach new and difficult to engage audiences and build a sense of community with your clients. If executed probably it can drive serious results for you.

If your business isn’t on social contact us to learn how you can get started today!