New social media sites come out all the time. In fact, just this January Twitter launched a new video-sharing mobile application called Vine that has reached 13 million users on the iPhone alone! It is important as a business not to hop on these platforms immediately  but to really take the time to think “will this be beneficial to my business?” While thinking, we prompt you to consider these few questions to find out what social media sites will work best for you:

1. Who are the specific users on the platform?

It is important to identify the specific demographic utilizing each social media site. Look at social media just like television or print advertising. Each platform has different users and so it is important to ask the following questions:

• Who is on it?
• Why are they using it?
• When are they using it?
• Where are they using it? (Are they on their computer/phone?)
• Why do they use it?
• How frequently are they using it?

Here’s a good social media demographic analysis by Pew Research Center: Instagram, a photo sharing mobile application is popular African-Americans, Hispanics, urban residents, 18-29 year olds, women. Compare this to Pinterest, which is popular among rural residents, women, whites, some level of college education or higher, middle to higher income.

Taking this into account, it would make more sense for an online gift basket score, for example, to have a presence on Pinterest more than Instagram.

2. Who’s going to continue to use the platform after its initial launch?

I remember being in high school and getting invited by my older sister to be a part of this social media site called “Facebook.” It was popular among her group of college friend, but I hadn’t hurt of it around my high school. I even remember making this post the popular site at the time, Xanga, about Facebook:

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Who would have thought that Facebook would become the social media powerhouse that it is currently? Today Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users, with nearly two-thirds of small businesses using Facebook for marketing purposes. Facebook has allowed a platform for businesses to communicate directly with its customers, helping businesses establish direct interactions and build brand loyalists. Due to this, it is important to pay attention to social networks that you might initially not consider the best option for your business. Who knows, someday they might be!

3. Does the audience on the social network contain potential customers or influencers?

World-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective forms of marketing. When analyzing a new social networking site, investigate how users will be able to influence their networks. Think Facebook likes, shares, Twitter follows and retweets, Google’s +1, Pinterest Pins, etc.

These are just a few questions you might ask yourself when establishing your online presents. I hope they help give you guidance. Reach out to us and let us know if you have any questions!