What Social Network Is Best For You?
In your business and affiliate marketing efforts, focus is really the number one thing. Budding entrepreneurs will often succumb to the shiny object syndrome, chasing every new idea and new piece of technology that comes along.
It’s not that you won’t find new opportunities to be had with the latest gadget or app; it’s that if you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you’ll never stick with something long enough to see the fruits of your labor. The idea of entrepreneurship is to crack the code on one thing before you go and add more things to your plate.
In essence, this discussion on social networks is no different. You can try to be everywhere, but odds are you won’t do any one thing well enough to see the kind of results you’re hoping to achieve.
So, what social network is best for you? That mostly depends on your niche as well as your goals. Here are several ways of backing up your hunches with data and forethought.
Use BuzzSumo To Research Your Topic
BuzzSumo is a tool that lets you find the most shared content based on a topic, keyword, or domain. If you’re serious about finding a social network to focus on and what kind of content performs well on those networks, you need to do a little bit of research.
Let’s do a quick analysis of our own, just so you can see how this process works.
First, enter a keyword (with quotes) into BuzzSumo. Golf is a hobby that many people are passionate about, so let’s enter “golf” and hit “Go!”
Unless you have a paid account, BuzzSumo will only show you the top 10 results or so, but that’s fine for now.
You’ll find that some of the best performing titles include: “Monstrous alligator invades golf course in Florida”, “Immediately After Giving Speech Condemning ISIS, President Obama Heads Over to the Golf Course”, and “Japan is Turning Its Disused Golf Courses Into Solar Power Fields”. Interesting stuff.
Side note: keep in mind that you can save this content for later and share it with your audiences once you have your social profile set up.
In any case, we can immediately see that LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are not the right social networks for the golf niche; the shares are pretty low, especially compared to Facebook and Twitter. In fact, while Twitter is doing pretty well in the standings, Facebook is the clear winner here.
And that’s basically the process. You’ll probably want to put together a list of keywords related to your topic and research each of them to get a better overall picture. You may even want to look at domains that are similar to yours and analyze their most shared content. However, this is how you can draw some initial conclusions about where to take your social media marketing.
Talk To Your Existing Customers
What a revolutionary idea! If you already have people that buy from you or are subscribes to your email list, you can get in touch with them and figure out what social networks they’re in the habit of using. They may give you multiple answers, but you can always follow up with, “which one do you tend to use most?”
Am I saying that you should call up your customers? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Keeping that in mind, you can also use a tool like SurveyMonkey to survey your audience and get a better idea of who they are and where they like to hang out online.
These are the people that – for whatever reason – already chose to do business with you. They were attracted to what you were doing, and somehow found you online. If you want to attract more people like that to your business – and rest assured you do – then getting to know them should be high on your priority list.
Take A Look At Your Share Data
Admittedly, this only works if you already have a popular blog. If you find that your content doesn’t get shared that much, this data may not prove to be terribly reliable, and you may want to rely more on the other methods mentioned in this post.
In any case, the process is this: take a look at the content on your blog, and determine where the largest number of shares are coming from. Are you seeing a lot of shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google+ (or elsewhere)? One post won’t really give you an accurate read on the data, so make sure to take a look at your top 10 to 20 posts and add the numbers up to see where the most engagement is coming from.
Also keep in mind that it’s not unusual for two social networks to be neck and neck in the running. At the very least, you will have eliminated several possible options and narrowed it down to two. Use the other methods in this post to select your one and only winner.
Another way to get clear on your social media marketing is by reading reports, like this one from Hootsuite. There are plenty of industry-specific reports out there that talk about what social networks have been most beneficial for certain types of businesses.
Just keep in mind that some of these reports tend to be fairly general, and may not necessarily address your specific niche. Even so, there are many benefits to studying these, as they might contain additional hints as to how to grow your business or affiliate commissions.
If you’re looking for other resources, you could also try Socialbakers’ industry-based social marketing reports.
It’s time to go “all in” to one social network. Sure, you could spread yourself out among every site out there, and maybe even do it pretty well at it, but consider what could happen if you just focused on one. Are you getting excited yet?
Keeping your focus isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. Try it out for yourself and see what happens.