With the available amount of social networks available nowadays, it is difficult at times to choose the best ones for your business. Obviously, they don’t all have the numerous followers that a Facebook or Twitter have. Choosing should be intelligent.
The confusion of how and what to choose
Just because some of the less well-known social media channels are more specialized doesn’t mean that they are not valuable to you and your business. In fact, at times, they hold more value for you than some of the other social media channels that are broader and far more generic. You should look at them as designer social networks. If you truly get to know them and understand how much they can do to help you and your business become successful, you can leverage that knowledge and really make your social media results sing on a long-term basis.
The new available networks
Some of the new networks that you may want to check out for your business are Pinterest (which allows people to come together based on their taste and interests in specific graphics), Houzz (a social network that is specifically for the interior design industry), GetGlue (a social network for entertainment [television, music, and movies]), just to name a few. There are countless others and if you start with a more general search based on your particular niche, you are bound to find information that is of great value to you.
Fools rush in
As a business owner, it is a really sensible idea for your to take your time when it comes to getting involved with too many social networks too quickly. It is a really good idea for you to look carefully at all of the social media channels that you think might be appropriate for your business and narrow them down to the point where you eventually settle on four or five. If you spread it too thin, you won’t end up with social media channels that provide you with the value that you are looking for. If you have a steady, consistent array of top-quality social media channels that you are working for your business, you will have tremendously positive search engine optimization (SEO) results as well, which is, of course, always one of your business objectives.
Before you jump into choosing your new social networks, there are some essential questions that you should ask.
- Are the members of the groups that you are targeting a part of your target audience/market? You need to do some homework and ensure that your target audience(s) are members of the new groups that you are considering joining. If your objective is to interact with both current clients as well as prospective clients, the quality of the specific members of those social media networks is of utmost importance.
- How will you be using the particular new social media channel that you decide upon? Of course, the ultimate reason that you are choosing a particular social media channel is to be able to advance your business. Whether you are promoting one product and/or service or everything in your business repository is not important. What is important is that you will be using it effectively and leveraging it to its fullest potential. It is very important to remember the interactive aspect of your connections as well. Whatever you do with that particular channel, you must make sure to make progress when it comes to building relationships with other people.
- How much time and effort are you willing to dedicate to that particular social media channel? Of course, first and foremost, you need to commit to being consistent and interacting (and working the channel) on a regular and consistent basis. When you first start to connect with a new social media channel, your efforts are bound to be greater than if you were engaging on a social media channel upon which you already have a strong history and following. Only you can decide exactly how you can most effectively focus your efforts.
- How do you envision your success with this particular social media channel? When it comes to business, goals and objectives are critical to your success. You should have both short-term and long-term goals in mind from the very beginning (when you write your business plan before you have actually executed anything). It is important for you to remember that you may not see results for a while but that doesn’t mean that you won’t see them at all. You certainly will find that your efforts will pay off (usually in a matter of months, at the longest).
- Where will your business be in a few years from now? There is no way of knowing for sure exactly what the future holds for your business, although you may be able to get a pretty accurate idea. The reason for that is that you can control your own actions but not other people’s actions. You should make sure to have as solid a strategy in place as you can from the beginning and hopefully, your plan will be realized as time progresses. Of course, it is inevitable that you will need to make adjustments along the way. That is part of what keeps it interesting and exciting.
With the rapidity of the changing technological landscape, it is very important to keep abreast of what is going on and the new tools that are being made available on a regular basis. Your connections critical to your business and where you choose to connect with them is just as important. You really don’t know until you start to do research how some (or perhaps all) of the technology that is being made available will help you to advance your business. You certainly owe it to yourself to check it out. With an open mind and a commitment to hard work, you will absolutely get to where you need to be with your business.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.