If you’re looking at improving – or creating – the social media presence of your business, you can quickly become overwhelmed. It seems as though more social sites crop up every day and to maintain an active profile on them all would be nigh-on impossible. So, how can entrepreneurs choose social media platforms that are relevant to their potential customers and their product or service? In this article, we’ll be looking over some of the key points to help you navigate the wilderness that is social media marketing.

Who are your customers?

The question itself is simple, but the answer can sometimes be a little unclear. Despite this, who your product or service is aimed at should definitely play a part in picking the social mediums which you decide to use. If you’re selling a self-published e-book on baking, then images of your cakes and condiments could be a big hit on sites like Pinterest and Instagram. If, however, you’re selling enterprise software to large businesses, Pinterest probably shouldn’t be your priority.

Which platforms “work” for your industry?

Again, this question varies based on an endless number of variables. Physical products which offer some form of excitement, such as an action camera, can work amazingly well via video sharing – such as GoPro’s infamous user-generated marketing strategy. On the other hand, a web designer won’t have insane videos of themselves jumping off cliffs to put online (unless web design has changed since I last checked!) and might be better off using Instagram to display their awesome work.

Your strengths and weaknesses

Social media comes in all shapes and sizes. Text, images, and video are all serious contenders in the world of content marketing and by picking a social channel which plays to your strengths, or those of your company, you can truly maximize the impact that social media has on your business. If you have an excellent copywriter on hand, then perhaps blogging or Reddit will be your primary methods of getting the word out. For dab-hands at Photoshop, something such as Deviant Art or Instagram will likely work a little better. Talented filmmakers, however, will likely gravitate towards YouTube or Vimeo.

Obviously, having a combination of talents opens more doors for social media marketing!

Your experience with specific social media channels

While learning a new social media platform isn’t the most difficult task in the world, having to learn multiple formats can quickly become quite time consuming. Although this time spent will pay off later on, time is a valuable commodity – especially to business owners. Sometimes you simply do not have the time to spare. That is why I would suggest that, whenever possible, you stick with the social media sites that you know; you can always add more platforms to your strategy further down the line.

Play to your strengths, work on your weaknesses

When all is said and done, in all areas of business, you should always carefully consider your decisions. If you opt to use every form of social media in your marketing strategy, you’ll quickly realize that you’re spending hours managing the profiles – and some will work better than others. It’s far better to have one or two well-performing profiles on popular sites than fifteen subpar profiles competing in a race to minimal attention!