In the world of social media, more isn’t necessarily better. Between major networks like Facebook and Twitter to visual platforms like Instagram, mainstream social networks alone can quickly spread your company’s social media efforts thin. Add in B2B social platforms like LinkedIn and niche sites, and the workload quickly grows. One study suggests that most business owners spend more than six hours each week just managing their social media presence. The average user has five social media profiles. It raises an important question: are you wasting precious time by being on too many social media platforms?
The Benefit of a Social Platform Analysis
A social media platform analysis helps businesses understand which social networks are delivering real results, connecting them with their audience and likely to yield a positive impact over the long-term. Instead of assuming that your business “must” be on every social media network, looking through the lens of the results generated helps you determine where to focus your time and attention the most.
Connecting Audience Demographics and Platform Users
Who are you trying to reach? The specific demographics of the individuals who use LinkedIn, for example, and why they are on the network are often completely different than someone using Twitter or Pinterest. Connecting your target audience demographics with information about who uses certain platforms can help you form an accurate picture of where your target customers are spending time online. There’s an old saying in sales that it helps to go fishing where the fish are. Spending time promoting your brands and products to people you’re not interested in doing business with is a waste of time.
Looking At Where Your Customers Spend Time Online
Once you’ve determined your target demographic, it’s time to figure out where they spend their time online. There are a number social media analysis tools on the market that can help you figure out this data. Google Analytics, Spout Social and Demographics Pro for Hootsuite are all good places to start. Concentrate your content on the platforms that have the highest percentage of your target demographic and build from there. Focusing on high-yield networks will let you reduce your time on social, while increasing your results.
Analyzing Your Existing ROI
Analyzing your existing Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the best ways to know if you’re actually getting something out of posting on social media platforms or whether you’re just wasting time. Establishing a core set of metrics can help you determine whether you’re generating the results that you want. Is your following growing on priority networks? Are people commenting, engaging with or sharing your content? What are your click rates on links that you share? Are your social media activities generating sales and other profits? Social media analytics tools can help you establish a baseline on these metrics and then follow progress over time.
Using Tools to Help You Better Manage Analytics
If you’re looking into analyzing the time spend on social media networks versus the return you’re getting by doing it, analytics tools can help. There are quite a few social media analytics tools out there, including those outlined above. There are also platform-specific tools such as Facebook Insights, which shows you your target demographics and when your fans are more likely to engage. Twitter and Pinterest also have free analytic tools if you convert your personal accounts into business accounts. Using a blend of social media analytics tools can help you develop a comprehensive picture of your performance, as well as an in-depth understanding of your most important networks.
Are You Achieving your Business Objectives?
If you’re spending a lot of time building a strong profile on many social media networks, there’s something you need to ask yourself: am I achieving my business objectives? The goals you’re aiming for could range from driving sales to building brand recognition with a specific audience in mind. If you’re active on social media with no business objectives, you could be spending that time on higher value-add activities. Develop specific goals and then look into the platforms that will help you achieve your goals. A few examples of business objectives may be cultivating customer relationships, growing sales, getting new insights into your target market and growing your brand sentiment.
Balancing Results from Paid and Organic Social Media Traffic
One of the best ways to determine if you’re wasting time using too many social platforms is by checking out your results from both paid and organic social media traffic after you carry out an in-depth social media platform analysis. If you’re promoting your business with a mix of paid and organic social media advertising, you’ll be able to glean a deeper insight into which one is a better investment. Many business owners shy away from advertising due to the cost. But the higher visibility and less labor-intensive content generation may be worth the trade-off.
Have you conducted a social media platform analysis for your business? Which networks are yielding the best results for your company and why? Let us know in the comments below or join in the conversation on one of our social media channels.