Which social media platforms are right for your new business? Plus some time saving tools to help you along the way.
It is difficult to imagine starting up a new business in 2105 without engaging big time with social media, but where the hell do you start! Should it be Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest – the list goes on. Think too much about it and panic will take over, is my tweet too long? Is my Facebook update too short? Am I using the right #hastags and what are they anyway?
TIP: Just keep it simple, dip your toe in first, but have a plan.
Now the first thing I should say is and this is very important, social media can be very time consuming. Your life will begin to disappear before your very eyes unless you can afford to either pay someone else to do it or you pick your platforms wisely. Not every social media platform is a great investment of your time, so today’s post is to help you decide which ones are best for you and your brand.
TIP: Pick wisely, choose carefully
Social media has a lot to offer a new start up brand, customer service, business intelligence, and creating awareness to name a few. So if you are smart, know who you want to reach and when then all you need is good engaging content and you are off and running.
I would recommend starting with just one or to platforms, in fact you only need a couple be really effective. Remember your time is valuable don’t waste it. The default platform for most businesses has been and still is Facebook, although this is changing.
Oh! One very important thing to mention is DON’T use social media as a way of ramming your new brand and products in people’s faces. Social media is about subtly and give and take. If you want to reach out to new and existing customers give them interesting content not – buy me, buy me, buy me.
The best way to start is by looking at some of the main contenders:
- Who they are?
- What they are for?
- Who uses them?
- How and if you should?
- When should you post content to them?
When is the worst time to reach people on social media so as not to waste all that effort you have put into writing amazing content? The quick answer is when your audience is online! But when is that I can here you ask frustratingly?
- Is it when they first get out of bed?
- Is it when they are all glued to their mobiles and tablets on the morning train?
- Is it in their lunch break?
- Is it before they go to bed or is it all of these times?
Well you will be glad to know that there are mountains of data out there so we know the answer to all these questions and here they are.
TIP: There are a number of tools that can save you a lot of time by allowing you to schedule your social media output. The one I use every single day and could not live without is Buffer, but there are others such as Tailwind.
Facebook – For the afternoon
If your audience is 25 and older you will find and reach them on Facebook. But when is the best time to reach these new customers and how? Facebook ads are a fantastic way to test out ads very cheaply. You can set up a campaign in literally minutes. You can select a budget, a time period; I usually spend no more than £3.50 for one 24hour ad campaign. Then if it works do another one. You are in total control.
TIP: Targeting is extremely precise; you can target your audience by gender, age, hobbies and interests, country and much more. I would recommend testing your new brand out by running a couple of small campaigns.
Best time: 1 – 4pm any day. Peak time: Wednesday 3pm. Worst time: Weekends before 8am and after 8pm.
Twitter – For lunch
Use Twitter to post text messages and share useful information, updates, quotes the whole world will see. Twitter frequently is the key. Tweets with images definitely out perform text only ones. Apparently throw in an image and you get 48% more retweets.
Although data suggest the best time to tweet is Mondays to Thursday’s I find Mondays are dead loss. I also prefer to start tweeting from about 7.30am so I can reach those poor train commuters.
Best time: Mondays – Thursdays 1pm – 3pm. Peak time: Mondays – Thursdays 9am – 3pm Worst time: Everyday after 8pm, Friday after 3pm
Linkedin – Not on a Friday
As I am sure you all already know, Linkedin is for your professional networking side so be careful what you post. LinkedIn is the place to make business connections and establish collaborations. Although I don’t use Linkedin anywhere near as much as I should it presents some amazing opportunities for your new business.
Best time: Tuesdays – Thursdays. Peak time: Noon, 5pm – 6pm Worst time: Mondays and Fridays 10pm – 6am.
Pinterest – For the weekend and all things visual
I love Pinterest although it did take me a while to understand what it was really all about. Basically it is an online scrap board or pinboard but it is fantastic for brands honestly. It is a place to post everything visual and then lat others spread the word for you.
I will go into the brand benefits of Pinterest in another separate post very soon.
TIP: Pinterest users lean toward higher-income consumers, and especially women. Top categories for sharing include: Business, Health & Fitness, Gardening, Food and cars.
Best time: Saturday mornings. Peak time: Friday 3pm Worst time: Sharing during normal office hours.
Google+ For breakfast
Google+ is for communities, deeper discussions and following key influencers. Now I have read all sort of statistics and theories about Google+, some thing it is really the next social media giant while many others think it is a fundamentally flaud model. Having said that I know lots of people who live on it.
I have to be honest again here (I am all the time of course) buy I have never given Google+ my full attention. As I said earlier you only need a couple of platforms be really effective and I prefer Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest as my main ones.
Best time: 9am – 10am. Peak time: Wednesdays 9am. Worst time: Early morning and Evenings.
Tumblr – For the night owl
Now I include Tumblr only because it is covered in the infographic. It is not a platform I use very much. However, I will revisit it and let you know how I get on.
Best time: Friday’s evenings 7pm. Peak time: Sunday – Tuesdays 7pm – 10pm. Worst time: Before 4pm.
YouTube – Whenever you like
YouTube is a great way to share video content such as product reviews, tutorials and training to name but a few. I have setup YouTube accounts many times over the years for my corporate clients. YouTube also takes all the pain out of getting your video perfectly compacted and formatted online. You can then just link to them from your website it is so easy. Trying to pin down the best time to upload content to YouTube is not that easy.
Best time: Roughly speaking though it is 2 – 4pm Mon.Tues, Wed, 12 – 3pm Thurs and Fridays plus 9am – 11am Saturday and Sundays.
Instagram – Love Wednesdays
Instagram is the place to share fun photos and videos, as well as behind-the-scenes clips and updates. Instagram however demands interaction, comments and detail if you want to engage properly with your audience. Is there really a best time of the day to post on Instagram so your photos and videos get more views, likes and comments? Whether you just want more likes to boost your selfie esteem or if you are a brand trying to reach a larger audience, it all depends on timing.
So if you want people to like your Instagrams, the best time to post is 2 a.m. and 5 p.m, especially 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Instagram
Best time: Anyday 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. Peak time: Wednesdays 5pm. Worst time: Anyday 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Who is your target market?
The main take away from this post is to focus on understanding your audience. Determine when your followers might be on your chosen platforms and post or pin around that time.
- What do they read, watch, attend and listen to?
- What do they really like or find interesting?
- What’s their age and gender?
- Where do they live?
- What is their lifestyle?
- What are their interests?
Infographic courtesy of: SurePayroll