Yesterday I did a social media talk for my local WiRE Somerset Network (Women in Rural Enterprise) and realised that social media is still very much a confusing and mystifying subject among small business owners. Although these women know that marketing their business online is very important, they still don’t know ‘how’ to do it and most importantly, how to save time on social media. Much more tried and trusted methods seem to be relied upon such as local newspapers and specialist magazines. Spending time on social media still seemed a difficult option. They were completely unaware of how to save time on social media.
So why is there still a stigma around social media? I believe the reason is that there is a perception that we have to ‘do it all’. Just voicing that sends busy business women into a frenzy of ‘oh more stuff I have to do’. I for one agree with them. Our time is so so precious and very limited. We all have the same amount of time and no one person has more than any one else. So we must spend it wisely. So we must consider carefully how to save time on social media.
So how do we save time on social media and keep our sanity?
The key is to only spend time on the social networks that are important to your business. Each social network has specific demographics so you can target which social networks to spend time (and money) on by discovering where your potential customers are likely to be.
Once upon a time, when the social networks were young, everyone was spending time on every social network. Mainly because they were new and shiny! Now, they have matured and what statistics show us is that different types of people, ages, gender and income brackets, spend their time on specific social media networks.
So you can save time on social media by targeting the social networks that will bring the best return for you and your business. Get to know those networks, how they work, the ‘lingo’ and get to feel comfortable with them. If you’re not sure how to handle them, then take a social media marketing workshop to cut your learning time.
Social Media Networks and Their Personalities
I’ve often thought of each social media network as a personality. Each has a different feel, temperament and tempo. And of course, each has their own loyal users. So let’s take a brief look at each of the most popular networks. Consider only three to save time on social media.
Facebook is the big daddy (well at least at the time of writing) and has over 1.19 billion users globally. Also, as of yesterday 4th February 2014, Facebook is 10 years old! It’s used by an equal number of women and men with the largest group of users being aged 25-34, followed by 18-24, then 35-54. It’s has the largest concentration of consumers online. So ignoring Facebook is definitely a no-no for any business. Facebook is essential to your online marketing strategy. Plus, Facebook ads are much more targeted and easier to use than Google Adwords.
Twitter has been around almost as long as Facebook and has around 645 million users. It’s interesting to note that Twitter users tends to read rather than send out tweets and over 40% use Twitter as a curated news feed. Mostly young people aged between 18-29 and most people use their mobile phones to tweet.
An international network that is mainly used for career development and head hunting. A good friend of mine who is a LinkedIn Expert and head hunter says that around 80% of jobs are not advertised but companies use LinkedIn to ‘hunt’ for the right people. More men than women use LinkedIn and they tend to use it for networking and business knowledge.
It’s now important to have a Google+ business page as well as your Google Maps listing. Consider there are over 235 million users worldwide. Mostly male and in the age bracket of 18 to 24 as well as being more technical. The unique features of Google+ are Hangouts and Circles which can both be used very effective for business.
Now owned by Google and has over 1 billion users every month. The most popular age group is 18 to 35. YouTube is very effective as a search engine and I personally use it more than Google Search to discover products and how to videos.
The newbie on the block but packs a powerful punch. Over 2 million users worldwide and it’s important to note that this social network’s activity is mainly sharing and direct sales. It’s used overwhelming by women because it is simple and effective for shopping online. If you business sells products or services that can be ‘visualised’ then this is a big one for you.
So by considering carefully the ‘personality’ of each social network you can decide which ones to use in your social media marketing plan and save time on social media.