In today’s hyper-paced business atmosphere, executives and marketers alike are often too overwhelmed with day-to-day chaos to spend time pondering social media strategy.
For those of you ready to hoist your laptop out the window, here’s a simple tip to help you pick the right social media channel without missing your son’s T-ball game: don’t reinvent the wheel.
More specifically, emulate what other social media marketers do to find success.
Social Media Explorer’s 2012 social media marketing industry report is an excellent place to start. It interviewed more than 3,800 marketers to find how they use social media for business. The sample was fairly diverse, with input from both B2B and B2C marketers at companies ranging from one to more than 1,000 employees.
The report asked marketers which question about social media they most wanted answered. The second most popular response behind “How do I measure social media success?” was “How do I find my target audience with social media?”
This is just another way to ask “Which social media channel is right for my business?”
In the report, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube are the top five social media tools marketers use (in that order).
Moreover, three factors affect the popularity of various social media channels: experience, time and market focus (B2B vs. B2C).
Experience: Marketers with fewer than six months of social media marketing experience mainly use Facebook (87 percent), with Twitter a distant second place (67 percent). Marketers with more than three years of social experience still heavily rely on Facebook (94 percent), but also incorporate other channels such as Twitter (88 percent) and LinkedIn (74 percent).
Time: The more time marketers dedicate to social media, the more diverse their channel portfolio. Brands that spend only one to five hours weekly on social focus on Facebook (89 percent), Twitter (72 percent), LinkedIn (68 percent) and blogging (51 percent).
As a rule, those able to invest 40 hours or more each week had a more diverse social media portfolio. In addition to the social media mainstays of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and LinkedIn, these marketers had time to experiment with other channels like YouTube or other video sites (82 percent), Google+ (77 percent), photo-sharing sites like Pinterest (51 percent), and even geo-local sites like Yelp and Foursquare (44 percent).
Market focus: B2B marketers are more interested in LinkedIn (87 percent), Twitter (84 percent) and blogs (65 percent) than B2C marketers, who tend to tightly focus on Facebook (96 percent).
The bottom line
When you go to pick the right social media channel(s) for your business, don’t reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of the tremendous amount of quality social media marketing content on the Web and learn from your peers.
LinkedIn groups, social media forums, and syndicated blog directories are a few places on the Web where you can find useful social media marketing ideas for almost any industry.
Life is hard enough—take a cue from the Beatles and get by with a little help from your (online) friends.