With such an array of social media sites to choose from, which one is the best one for your business? All too often it is assumed by business owners that they NEED to jump on the bandwagon of each new and emerging social media platform, otherwise their business will fail. But this is not true.

Each social media site has its own special focus and not all of them will be suited to your business offerings and objectives. So instead of signing up to each one and clogging up your already busy marketing schedule, consider these important points to determine which ones to invest your time in.

1. What are your customers using?
This may be the most important point, because without a substantial audience, your marketing efforts may just go to waste. For example, if your target customers aren’t heavy-users of Pinterest, then why invest a lot of your time and effort on there?

Identify your ideal target consumers and try to understand what types of social media sites they are using. Ask yourself, “Who are my customers? How old are they? What are they interested in?” With this information in mind, you can then use a simple Google search to see which social media sites are most popular with the demographics of your target consumers and find out where they are spending most of their time. Going where your customers are will ensure that you garner a valuable following and increase awareness of your business among the right crowd.

2. Where are your competitors?
You’re not the first and you definitely won’t be the last business in your industry to have a presence on social media. But hey, if you’re a latecomer, you can still use it to your advantage. They’ve tested the waters for you – have a look and see which platforms your competitors are thriving on and receiving the most engagement from their fans. From this, you’ll have a good idea about the platforms you should invest more time on to yield more valuable results.

Alternatively, by knowing where your competitors are thriving, you may also see a window for opportunity by finding a platform that they’re lacking on. If you believe you can utilise it well for your business, then you can take the upper hand and make your mark on this platform.

3. What type of content do you want to share?
Each social media site has its own special focus. Instagram is about sharing interesting and engaging images. Twitter is about giving updates about your business activities. Pinterest allows you to share your interest-based ideas and products. And finally, Snapchat allows you to share on-the-spot video updates to your followers.

The type of content you are able and comfortable with sharing will help to determine the platforms you should utilise. Choose the platforms you know you will be able to invest time in to create an ideal brand impression and valuably connect with your consumers.

However, the exception to all this, is Facebook. Facebook has become one of the most powerful tools on the Internet and if you’re not on it, then you can be sure that your potential customers are paying attention to your competitors instead. Even if you believe it’s not the primary place to reach your audience, your presence on Facebook is like a listing in a business directory; it’s one of the first places people will turn to find you.

Therefore, start from Facebook, and see which other platforms you can best branch out to. Just remember: having a few well-curated social media profiles is always better than many half-done, neglected ones. So choose wisely.