How many social media profiles should your business have?
There’s a finite amount of time in the day for small business owners, as well as a never-ending list of tasks to be done. It’s common for marketing tasks—such as creating content for social media—to slip in your list of priorities as you fight to keep on top of customer orders and responding to enquiries for the things you offer/sell.
However, deep down, every business owner knows that stopping your marketing efforts isn’t a good idea. Plenty of businesses work on a cycle of feast and famine; if, during a feast, you don’t spend even a little time promoting your business, when the famine comes, you’ll have to start from scratch to achieve any visibility, which will prolong the period of time you’re low on work.
Social media is obviously one of the mainstays to come from the internet, and one that businesses can easily use to their advantage—the main investment being their time. However, as each year passes, more social media platforms appear and a few fall out of favour, and it can be difficult to work out which platform should benefit from your time and energy.
One could argue that you should be on every platform, so that the users of each of these sites can find/engage with you, as they may only use that one—and if you aren’t on that site, they probably won’t know you exist at all. Creating a handful of profiles on each platform isn’t that big a deal, after all…you only need to do it once.
However, the other side of that coin is having something for them to read/look at when they do find you. Finding the time to post good content across multiple social media platforms, though, can be a real issue for entrepreneurs. Usually, businesses start well, then they realise that they can’t maintain the same output when they get busier, so the whole thing stops and is forgotten about.
Imagine if someone found you on Facebook, for example, but the last time you were active there was three years ago, not long after you set up your page. What would they think?
Probably that you’re a ghost, an expired business, an entity that’s no longer trading…
So, my question is: is it worse to have no profile on a social media site than one that’s run by Mr Nobody?
Neither is ideal, of course, but if you’ve only got a limited amount of time, you can’t be consistently creating content on every platform that exists.
On balance, I think it’s worse to be a ghost. Even if someone stumbles across your long-forgotten profile on any one site, the impression they will get of your business will be a negative one—so it’s maybe not worth setting it up in the first place.
Instead, it’s a much better idea to choose one or two platforms only, and to dedicate the time you have to servicing these really well, which means posting often, with content that will resonate with the people using the site.
Opt for the one/two platforms that you believe your customers will use. Every social media site will have details of its demographics; pair these with the profile of your target audience. Liken it to a dating site and find the perfect match. Then the time you spend, and the content you create, will likely hit the spot. The last thing you want is for your efforts to sail over its users’ heads—so do your research.
For instance, the most popular social media site at the moment seems to be TikTok, which is growing rapidly and is all some people seem to be concerned with. It’s a young crowd that uses this site—if your target audience for the product/service you offer is young people, then this is a site you should be on, and creating content for. If, however, your target audience is a good generation older, it’s likely to prove a waste of your time to be active on there. It doesn’t matter if 90% of the population and God himself uses TikTok, if your potential customers barely know the site exists, it’s not a social media platform you should consider.
It’s easy to fall into the trap that you must be part of the ‘next big thing’, but don’t throw away your time on something that will bring you little return. Just because the media may hype something up, or it’s all people around you seem to be talking about, it still doesn’t mean your perfect customers will be users…and that’s key.
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