Short Answer: Only the ones which are relevant to your business AND you have the time to manage.
Unfortunately I often find that business owners often get a wild hair and sign up for every social network out there, regardless of the relevance to their business. They’ve signed up because a friend or colleague did so, or because they read an article about how amazing a particular site is.
What happens after the sign-up is the real downer. The business owner and their team often leave those profiles unattended. A virtual ghost town. If someone comes to a stagnant Facebook or Pinterest page, they’re going to get a bad 1st impression. They may even write you off altogether.
Don’t jump the gun and sign up for them all, ask yourself (and answer honestly) these 5 questions to help determine which social networks your business should be on:
What are my goals for social media?
Do you want to improve customer service? Or perhaps increase traffic to your company blog? Maybe both? Each social network is unique, and each one is often good for different things. Before you dive into the wonderful world of social media, make sure you have set goals and determined which sites will help you achieve them.
What social media sites are my customers on?
This question may take a significant amount of time to answer. One way to find out where your customers are online is to ask them face to face. More than likely they’ll be glad to pass along that information. Another way to find out is to spend time researching the web. Spend time browsing social networks to find users from your target market and researching articles that shed light on your search. If these options don’t work, you can always ask an expert.
What social networks do I enjoy using?
This may be the most important question to answer. If you are going to stay committed to social media for your business, you had better sign up (at least in the beginning) for ones you enjoy using. If you’re not thrilled to be on Facebook or Twitter, then you’ll likely find other ways to use your time.
How much time can I spend weekly on social media?
Social media isn’t a magic trick that will instantly change your business. You’re going to have to spend time each day producing content, connecting with others, and honing your skills. It’s important to make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle, so budget your time wisely. As you gain efficiencies over time you’ll be able to add more to the mix to improve your results.
What type of content do I have to share on social media?
Don’t assume it’s easy to produce content for social media. Cute animal photos and daily deals will only get you so far. Think long and hard about what content you and your team produce, and then use that information to guide your decision on what sites to join. Different content works well for different sites, so don’t assume one piece will work for each site.
After you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to get started. Join relevant (and fun) social networks where your customers already hang out. Then start sharing exciting content and interacting with the community. Something tells me you’re going to enjoy it!
If you need help deciding which social media sites to join or need someone to manage your online communities for you, by all means, get in touch.