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The Side Dish

The Social Media Platforms You Should (And Shouldn’t) Be On

Chelsea Warren, Social Media Specialist / 10.5.2017

As the social media specialist for our advertising agency, I start my work with every new client by conducting a social media audit. I look at every platform they have and note the ways they do – and don’t – match up with best practices. One of the most common issues I’ve noticed when doing these audits is that of social media platforms — almost every brand is on either too many, none at all or the incorrect ones for reaching their target audiences.

social media audit

Before you pivot your social media strategy, it’s important to conduct an audit of your efforts.

Where Does Your Brand Fall?

Too Many Social Media Platforms

Companies often fall into the “too many platforms” trap, because they feel like they need to be everything to everyone to achieve social media success. Consequently, they jump onto every new platform as it becomes available. This leads to resources that are spread too thin and the embracing of habits, like the following, that hinder social media success:

  • Posting the exact same content on every platform or auto-posting from one platform to another
  • Few-and-far-between posting, because you can’t find the time to generate content for all your different platforms
  • Poor community management (i.e., not taking the time to respond to questions or reviews)

No Social Presence at All

Though difficult to imagine in our hyper-digital age, there are still many companies that do not have a social media presence at all. There are some businesses, usually of the referral-only variety, that can pull this off. But if you need to market outside of your current clientele for new leads, you need a social media presence.

Companies who avoid social media altogether do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes these brands are (understandably) afraid of social media. When things go awry on social, they often do so in a big way, and can have a significant impact on branding and the bottom line. Other companies in this boat are stuck in traditional advertising mindsets, believing the old (and often incorrect) adage, “If it worked before, it will work again.” Another reason companies avoid social media is that they recognize that it’s a lot of work, and they’ve decided it’s not important enough to invest in at this time. (But that’s a whole other discussion …)

The Wrong Social Media Platforms

Finally, we have the brands that have embraced one or two platforms (usually Facebook and Twitter), when really their target audiences are elsewhere, like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat (for the younger generation), or LinkedIn Pulse (for their executive clientele).So, what’s the magic combination? How do you know which platforms to start/keep and which ones to avoid/ditch? Here are a few factors to take into consideration.

social media icons

Before you choose your social media platforms, make sure you consider which ones will be of greatest profit to your brand.

Audience

Each social media platform slants to a specific demographic of people. Before you can decide which platforms you should use, you need to consider the following about your ideal client/customer/subscriber:

  • How old are they?
  • How do they consume information
  • What is their profession?
  • What country do they live in?

Your answers to these questions and more will play a significant role in determining which platforms are right for your brand.

demographics

The demographics of your target audience will largely determine which social media platforms you choose.

Resources & Time

While your target audience determines which platforms you SHOULD use, time and resources determine which ones you CAN use.

To maintain and thrive on social media, you need the manpower and the time to do the following consistently:

  • Check on each platform daily (or more often, depending on the brand) to do community management
  • Follow trends and influencers in your industry for curated content
  • Write content, create visuals and approve this with someone on your executive team
  • Post a sufficient amount of content to meet ideal social media posting quantities (see below for a good rule of thumb from the Buffer blog)

We estimate that for every platform you have, it will take at least an hour per platform per day to maintain them, maybe more in the beginning.

K, So Now What?

After I conduct my initial audit with each client, I ask them these same questions. Together we determine which platforms make the most sense for their brands.

Some of our clients take my audit and recommendation and run with them on their own. Most of my clients hire the BIG YAM communications team to do it for them, complete with content creation, community management, long-term strategy and daily posting. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?

Curious what a social media audit would reveal about your brand? Looking for a little social media assistance? Contact us today!