The first step you should take is identifying your audience. Who are you trying to reach? You want to be as specific as possible with this because your findings here will lead you to the right platform to share your message. Who is your typical customer? What’s their age, gender, location, income level, education, etc. (otherwise known as demographics)? What are their interests and hobbies outside of your product or service? How do they consume media content? The answers to these questions will give you a profile of the members of your audience. Remember, you don’t just want to reach the most people, you want to reach the RIGHT people.
The second step is to define the goals and mission of your business. Of course, the main goal for every business is to drive sales by attracting customers, but you can create specific goals for your social media campaign. Do you want to generate brand awareness and grow your social following? Maybe you want to build meaningful relationships with your customer base? Do you want to showcase insights and expertise with videos? Are you seeking to connect with other businesses? What type of content will your business share? Collaborate with your staff to determine both the common and uncommon ways each social media platform could work for your business. Knowing what you want to accomplish will better filter the number of socials down to the ones that will be most valuable to your small business.
With steps one and two complete, it’s time to move on to finding where your potential customers are. With a better understanding of your target audience, you can examine each platform to determine if the average user fits your audience demographics. Find which platforms your audience is most active on. Consider frequency of activity. How often do they post or engage with content? Other than demographic category or engagement, you will also want to consider the way the platform is utilized. Is the content constrained to pictures or video (Instagram/YouTube)? Is there a character limit to posts (Twitter)? Is it used for business (LinkedIn)? Knowing where your audience lives and what type of content they are consuming will help you build your marketing plan.