When you are choosing social media networks its important to understand what the different networks are used for and what kind of information is shared on all of them.
This slightly tounge-in-cheek photo gives a really good overview of how differently the same information could be shared across different networks.
Which networks should I choose?
Unless you’re a gigantic global brand you won’t need to be present on all of these straight away. There are two key considerations as to which channels to choose:
1. Which of these networks do your clients and customers use most often?
2. Is your content appropriate for the network’s predominant style?
3. Which ones do you already know and enjoy using?
You’ll get the greatest return on your time and effort if you put good content into the area where your clients and customers are already spending time.
There is one caveat to this, you have to be sensitive to context of information usually shared. People have a very low tolerance for anything that is percieved as unwelcome or heavy-handed in places where they may be purely focused on socialising or downtime.
With the obvious warnings out of the way – don’t be discouraged from trying something creative and a bit different. Just take a look at what the shipping line Maersk have managed to create
Key questions to answer before you start posting
While social media is often seen as ‘free’ it can suck up a lot of time and resources. While its quick, easy and free to create accounts on the main channels you want to make sure you’ll get a good return on the time spent.
Before you begin – I’d suggest you quickly sketch out some answers to these questions:
1. Why are you doing this? (To listen to and engage with customers, to reach new customers?)
2. What content will you be sharing? (This should be some of your own, with a mix relevant items from other sites/commentators)
3. Have you got a plan for how often you’ll be posting? Who will be doing this? Do you have any systems to make this easier?
4. Have you thought about talking to a PR/social media company? (They will help you make the most of opportunities and avoid/manage major bloopers)
Start by oberserving and listening – try things out!
Once you have a few key questions answered the best way to start is to create an account and start observing what’s going on. You’ll build things organically once as you learn.