Where do your potential customers hang out online?

I use social media for my website design business to establish my expertise and promote my business, to get ideas from others in my field or related fields, and to inspire or share information with my potential or current small-business clients.

For the last four or five months, I've been trying to educate myself about how best to use my time on social media to let more people know that I help small businesses create websites on Squarespace and Weebly. I've attended a couple of useful seminars and there's no shortage of infographics, articles, blogs, and studies available to learn the latest research. In fact, it's too much information to keep up with!

As a one-person operation, I can't possibly achieve the recommended number of posts on numerous social media channels that the corporate social media managers use as their standard. Even if I were to automate and schedule posts, there's no way I could keep up with that level of marketing, while still running a business. But if you're curious about what social media managers do, here's a great article from Buffer Social about all the things that can be part of a social media marketing job: A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager.

I have decided that my approach, given the time I have, is to do my best to post on several social media channels several times a week. I create original posts and I also share helpful posts from others in my industry. I researched where my potential customers are spending time online and now focus on posting in those locations. I created an infographic based on data from the Pew Research Center to summarize the audiences of five of the biggest social media products. YouTube is another widely popular social media site, but the study didn't include that data.

Kerry A. Thompson blog - infographic on who uses which social media products

Facebook is popular with everyone, so I spend the most time there posting on my Facebook business page. (Please Like my page, by the way!) I also spend time posting on my Inspiration for Entrepreneurs Pinterest board and on LinkedIn, where my potential clients spend their time. Then I also spend time on Twitter, where I get a lot of industry-specific news, and Instagram, where I share the same images I create for Pinterest. Videos aren't part of my social media strategy yet, but the pros say that they are very effective. Here are some images I found on Dreamgrow that show the relative popularity of 15 of the social media sites being used today.

Kerry A. Thompson Blog - infographic showing most popular social media sites

If you're feeling like you could use more help with social media for your small business or nonprofit, I can recommend my colleague, Amy Smith of The Social Media Smith, who can help you sort through your many choices to make a plan for social media marketing.

I'm still negotiating my way through the social media world, so stay tuned. Whatever I learn, I'll share with you too. But remember, websites are still the heart of your business presence online. That's where I can help!