Choosing the right network isn’t about putting Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram into a hat and picking out all 5.
The right network isn’t necessarily the one that is the most popular right now.
- The right network is the one where your customers or influencers are.
- The right network is the one where customers will pay attention to you.
- The right network is the one that works to drive your business.
So, you need to answer 3 questions…
- Where are my customers, prospects or influential people?
- What can I provide of value to these groups of people (customers, prospects, influencers)?
- What is the goal I’m looking to accomplish?
Where are they?
Here’s a pro tip:
- Start a dummy gmail account and import your entire email/contact list.
- Go to a social network and seek out the “Find Friends/Connections” link.
- Scan the dummy gmail contact list for your customers.
This is a great way to see who among your existing network is on a particular site.
What is valuable?
Ask or Observe.
Ask your customers, prospects or people of influence what they need/what is valuable to them? Send them a survey. Call them on the phone. Email them.
Or observe them by running some searches to see what they talk about. Jump on Twitter search and look for your company name, product name or industry terms. Look at what people share. Look at what people say.
Take from this information to build a content strategy. If you need help with your content strategy, you might want to consult this nifty guide we created.
What is the goal I’m looking to accomplish?
Only you can answer this, but I’ll bet it comes down to one of these three objectives: more awareness, more leads, more sales. If you’re really enlightened you might also seek: deeply understand customers, learn from mistakes, improve customer service and delight the customer, or improve collaboration. But let’s start slow…
If you want awareness, don’t be to heavy handed about sales funnels, and make sure to choose a conversational, easy-to-share-on platform. Awareness and engagement can often go hand-in-hand, so make sure to talk directly with people.
If you want leads, make sure you’ve got great content, calls-to-action, and a path to capture email addresses or phone numbers for follow up. You’ll typically want to take people from a social network to a landing page or a website, but if you do capture leads on social media, be sure to choose a network that gives the capability to easily capture information.
If you want more sales, make sure you are priced properly for the site’s demographic. Make sure you are on a site that indicates intent to purchase, like Pinterest. Some sites are heavily mobile; are you trying to sell on Instagram? Have you made it easy to buy from the mobile phone? Are you trying to sell on Pinterest? Have you included the price in the description, and are all of your links active?
There’s a number of things to consider when choosing the right network, but one thing is for certain, the right network isn’t just the one you immediately think of.
Do the work, put in some time..it’ll save you a lot more time in the future if you build your community in the right place, in the first place.