Choosing the right social media channels for your business can be an intimidating and daunting prospect, especially with many of them being quite time-consuming to manage and maintain.
Each social media channel has its own form of communication amongst users along with its own psychology and scope of user. Thus it is key to focus on the right channels and more so the right mix of channels that effectively portray a strong branding image for your business.
There is no doubt that when you look at channels such as Facebook, what automatically springs to mind is a light hearted personal way to network, which is why many businesses combine the use of Facebook with more professional channels such as LinkedIn.
Remember, each of your users will be accessing different social media sites in search for key content so you need to tailor your message to fall in line with this demand. It would be pointless to post overly-inappropriate humour via LinkedIn as it would damage the professional image you were trying to portray. Here is a brief summary of the top 3 social media channels which you should take into account when deciding on the best channels for your company.
Facebook: A personal networking site, whereby users visit to keep up with friends and family, share personal info, share nostalgia, connect and share memories, all with the main goal of being entertained. Could your business create and tailor content to suite this audience?
Twitter: Twitter is quite like Facebook in that it is quite a personal social media channel. It allows brands to communicate with their consumers on a one to one level and because it is faster paced it requires more up to date, time-relevant content.
LinkedIn: This is the more professional social media channel of the three. Users access LinkedIn far less frequently than the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Consumers are focused on achievements, looking for ways to do their job better, success, key hints and tips and so on.
As mentioned above the amount of time users spend on the different social media channels varies, for example users will visit LinkedIn less frequently than the likes of Twitter. It is essential to identify the amount of time and the reason why a user visits each social media channel. For example, Facebook and Twitter users will be accessing the sites to pass the time, so are more likely to want to be entertained. They are also more likely to access these channels out of peak working hours, whereby it is the likes of LinkedIn and other professional social media networks that users will visit during the working day.
When it comes to the likes of professional channels, changes to current affairs and the economy are recognised as noteworthy. Whereby channels such as Facebook and Twitter's headline focus will be more light hearted content, such as entertainment and sports news. Of course, this is not set in stone but it is key for companies to acknowledge where the focus lies for industry topics that impact their company.
In other words, it is key to understand how and what to communicate via social media. Is it a light hearted brand that can more effectively communicate to its target audience with more personal social media channels or is the opposite true? Many brands are now combining the use of a wider spread of social media channels and tailoring different messages according to each channels emotional and communicational demand. Although this can also be an effective method, there is the risk that this can weaken the strength of the message.