Like a Kid in a Lolly Shop

Posted on , in Enterprise Solutions

When I was a kid, my Mum would take me to the local shopping centre and give me 10 cents to spend in the lolly shop (she wasn’t stingy – it’s just that it was a long time ago!). The shop literally had hundreds of types of confectionary which made my purchasing decision difficult, even stressful! So much to choose from!

My initial method was to buy a mixed bag – that way I could at least get a variety of sweets. However, I found that I didn’t really like some of the mixed bag contents. So then I started putting my 10 cents towards one type in the hope I would like them. Over time I worked out my favourites and stuck to them. Finally, the stress was gone and I was comfortable that I was making the best use of my funds.

Many businesses act like kids in the social media lolly shop – making the fatal mistake of believing they need to be active on all of the social media platforms.

It is recommended that businesses choose a maximum of three social media networks to begin with, and execute them thoroughly and effectively.

However, operating only one social media account, where valuable content is consistently posted and ongoing account management is handled correctly, is preferred over several poorly managed social media accounts.

Once you have established a loyal and growing network, you can introduce additional social media networks to your marketing efforts.

Some of the key questions businesses should ask, to help decide which social media networks to select include: –

  1. Can you maintain the chosen platforms?

One of the main reasons that businesses struggle to maintain an active presence on social media is the amount of time and resource required. Most completely underestimate how much time it will take, or the amount of money required. Expecting results instantly, most give up and shout ‘social media marketing doesn’t work’!

Given this, you should only select the social media network(s) you are capable of maintaining for the long term. This includes the ability to:

  • post content regularly and consistently;
  • pay to promote the content (if required); and
  • maintain the community.
  1. Is your content being posted on the best platform?

The social media platform should align to the style of content your business uses.

For example, a legal firm would find LinkedIn suitable for posting topical legal articles, but may find it challenging to produce imagery for Instagram.

Similarly, a cake decorator may find Instagram ideal to demonstrate new cake products, yet lack the skills to write written content for LinkedIn.

  1. Is your target audience found on the chosen social media platform?

As a business, you must consider whether your target audience are on the social media platform you are using.

If you have an informal / casual brand ethos, such as a street wear clothing, then the content posted is unlikely to match the more formal, professional tone of users on LinkedIn. You would be better suited to the more consumer-based audiences found on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. How expensive is the social media platform? How much will it cost to build a following?

Generating a large following is typically the biggest challenge you will face when starting out on a new social media platform. The competition for people’s attention can be fierce and building an engaged following requires regularly posting content and constantly engaging with your community. You must be prepared for the ongoing investment, with little or no return in the early stages.

Are you using the best social media platforms? Are you trying to use too many platforms? Is your resource allocation correct or are you using a ‘mixed bag’ approach?

Australis College is offering an intensive Social Media Marketing program aimed at providing businesses and individuals with the marketing knowledge, skills and tools to make social media marketing an important part of your future. Click here for more information and to get started today.