Choosing the “Right” Social Media

Many organizations struggle to find the “right” social media outlet. It seems like “everyone” is on Facebook, so they want to be there, but Twitter’s “trending topics” makes Twitter a great spot for going viral. None of these are good reasons to have an online presence via these channels.

What to consider when choosing social media outlets:

  • Most importantly: where does your target user spend his/her time online?
    • It might be Facebook or Instagram, or it might be online forums.
    • Find out through ethnographic interviews
    • There’s no point in spending time on a channel unless your users are there
  • What time of day is your user typically online?
  • What do you want to share?
    • Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are predominantly places for promoting other content (images, blog posts, articles by other people)
    • Blogs are great for sharing more detailed information that users will want to return to
    • Forums are helpful for starting conversations (LinkedIn also offers forums)
  • How often do you want to share?
    • Twitter and Instagram move quickly, so a good strategy will include posting at least 5 times a day*
    • Facebook cycles posts, so posting more than once a day is unnecessary
    • Blogs (especially those with RSS feeds) offer a longer shelf life (i.e. people will return to read older posts), and so they rarely update more than 3 times/week
    • Forums encourage community discussion, and while they require significant moderation from the company hosting the forum, they require less actual “posting.”

*Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck will allow you to schedule posts in advance, rather than posting to Twitter 5+ times each day.

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