social media for business featured image

Social Media for Business – 3 Must-Use Criteria for Choosing Your Networks

Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of social networks you are active on? Has the thought ever crossed your mind, whether or not a social network is actually doing anything for your business?

If you find yourself struggling to be consistent on every social network you’ve signed up for and wondering if what you’re doing is even working for your business, this article is for you.

In this post you will discover the three questions you must ask yourself when using and choosing social media for business.

Social Media for Business – Does This Network Bring Me Joy?

Frustration with social media sets in when you commit to being on a platform, you show up regularly and finally run out of things to say. You open up the app, stare at the screen and try and think of something.

social media for business Shapchat screen shot

Opening up a social media app and staring at the screen trying to think of what to say is a titanic waste of time.

There are social networks we’ve convinced ourselves we must show up on regularly if we want our business to succeed.

It’s true. The more networks you are on, the more exposure you will get and the more potential you have for reaching your audience. The problem that people like you and I face is we live with limitations that big corporations or large influencers don’t face. The primary limitation being time.

Sitting in front of a screen waiting to think of something to say is a titanic waste of time. The less you enjoy a network, the more time you’ll waste trying to conjure up content to share.

The first question you must ask yourself when using social media for business is, “does this social network bring me joy?”

Using enjoyment and fun as a part of the “should I be on this network” test will help you stay away from networks that will frustrate you every time you log on.

Social Media for Business: Is My Audience On this Platform?

If you are working to build an online business, full-time or just to make $1,000 in side income, you must always be aware of who your audience is.

In regards to social media, you want to be on networks where your audience is present. It just makes sense, right?

Clarity on your target audience is fundamental to business and that makes it our #2 question you must ask yourself when choosing social media for business.

“Is my audience on that platform?”

The clearer you are on your audience the easier it will be for you to research and explore where your audience is and make a decision on what network to spend time on.

Two Quick Tips for Discovering What Social Network Your Audience Is On

You are most likely not a market researcher so here are two insights to discover where your audience is at right now.

  1. Lots of statistics exist giving demographic breakdowns on social network users and this article from Hubspot is their ultimate list of social media statistics. Spend some time here learning about who is using what network.
  2. With 1.7 billion daily active users, I can confidently say your audience is on Facebook. Even if you’re targeting teenagers and you hear anecdotes that “teenagers aren’t on Facebook” that statement is only half true. They are on Facebooka, just not in the daily active numbers they are when it comes to, say, Snapchat. Facebook is a great starting point for nearly anyone looking to be more intentional about using social media for business.
hubspot offices

Hubspot is a great resource for discovering current online marketing and social media trends, best practices and industry reports. Attribution, Rebecca Churt.

Don’t overthink it finding your audience.

Be intentional with the networks you select and be prepared with a reason for why you choose a particular social network.

On the surface, that’s all you really need to do.

Sure, there are ways you can improve and do better down the road in finding your audience. What’s important right now, today, is that you start reaching the audience is waiting for you and that should be reason enough to get moving.

Social Media for Business: Does This Network Fit In My Workflow?

When you are building your business the last thing you need is distraction. Unfortunately that is what social media has become for most of us, a distraction.

Larger social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are baked into many areas of our life. The are also deeply integrated into the devices and apps we use regularly. The popularity of these social networks makes them easily accessible and because of that accessibility we can be consistent on these networks with very little effort.

Other networks, such as Snapchat and Instagram, have very few integrations and these social media networks require you to post from within their app in real-time. The pressure to create good content consistently and post in real time becomes a major distraction and takes you out of your productivity zone – unless you have a method for integrating the network into your workflow.

That is the question you must ask yours when choosing social media for business: “does this network fit within my workflow?”

One Social Network that Destroys Productivity and Simply Doesn’t Fit In My Workflow

I desperately want to use Snapchat. I like the simplicity of the network. I like how I can keep up with people who interest me. The problem is that everything must be done in real-time and unlike Facebook or Twitter, I cannot do a quick visual scan to decide if I want to give a particular story or Snap more attention. Either I look at the picture or I don’t. Either I watch the video or I don’t.

The time required to actively engage with other users on Snapchat is the single greatest reason that Snapchat doesn’t fit into my workflow. I can’t quickly create or consume content and doing anything in Snapchat requires me to pick up my phone and live in Snapchat.

For me, Instagram presents very similar challenges to me as Snapchat does, however, I enjoy Instagram more and thus, it becomes easier to overcome this challenge.

In a paragraph above I say, “… unless you have a method for integrating the network into your workflow.”

You Can Overcome Any Limitations of Any Social Network with Strategy and Purpose

When you have a specific strategy for a network, it becomes easier to pull that network into your workflow. For instance, if you use Periscope to do a daily show then that daily show is scheduled into your calendar and it becomes a natural part of your workflow.

Another example, this time from Snapchat, is DJ Vallauri and his weekday “business prop” segment. Every weekday, DJ starts his “business prop” with the same intro and drops the prop the same way each time. It’s a rhythm and it just works.

DJ Vallauri Snapchat screenshot

DJ Vallauri does an excellent job of highlighting how to use a real-time social network like Snapchat in any workflow.

A strategy means you know what you’re going to create and you know when you are going to create it. That purpose becomes a part of what you do rather than distract you from what you’re doing.

Finally, How to Choose Which Networks You Will Use for Your Business

Choosing the networks you will use for your business social media becomes much easier when you ask yourself the three questions:

  • Does this network bring me joy?
  • Is my audience on this network?
  • Does this network fit within my workflow?

As helpful as those are, how do you handle a social network when two answers conflict, such as, “I hate using this social network but my audience is there.”

I have created a very simple tool for The Entrepreneur’s Online Platform Launch Course that makes deciding a cinch and I’m going to share a section taken directly from this $2,000 course with you below.

Grab a piece of paper and take a moment to draw out a chart that resembles the slide below:

Social media for business table example

Use a separate sheet of paper and create a table that mimics the one you see here, placing the social networks you use in the left column

In the left column, list every network that you’ve attempted to use for your business. On the top row place each question in a column:

  • Brings Joy
  • Audience is Present
  • Fits In My Workflow

Once you’ve created your table, go through and rank each network against each question. For instance, if you’re ranking Instagram, give a 3 if you agree that it “gives you joy” or a 1 if you don’t agree.

You can see my completed table below.

social media for business online platform launch table

You can see individual networks rise to the top when you rank them against the criteria we’ve covered in this article.

Once you’ve gone through and ranked every network against every criteria, highlight the columns that have the highest ranking.

online platform launch slide example

You will see certain networks rise to the top and it is up to you to decide which networks you’re going to use.

The highest ranking networks are the networks you may want to consider using regularly. While I have highlighted four networks, perhaps you only want to use two or three. Maybe, you highlight three networks and none of those three reflect a network that you truly want to use. That’s fine. This is simply another tool to use in order to be intentional about which networks you choose to use for your business.

This simple exercise gives you a visual breakdown of the networks that offer your business the best chance to succeed on social media.

The #1 Benefit to Choosing Specific Social Media Networks for Your Business

There are millions of articles, trainings, courses, guides and checklists that will bring you up to speed on how to use social media for business on any given network. When you identify 1-3 networks that you are going to focus on, you can focus on consuming material that focuses on those same networks.

You don’t have to put pressure on your shoulders to learn about networks that you have said “no” to and you can use all your time and energy dedicated to social media to work hard on only the networks you’ve selected.

The overwhelming sensation you feel by trying to show up everywhere is not unique to you – anyone who is using social media for business shares that same feeling. Choose to rid yourself of that frustration and give your very best to only those networks that you’ve determined will work out best for you and for your business.