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2016 is the year to stop wasting time on social media. That’s right, I did just say that, but don’t start deleting your Twitter or Instagram just yet, the key word is waste.

For a long time it’s been common practice for a company to have a presence on every social media platform out there. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Pinterest, YouTube to Vine, there seems to be an endless number of platforms to be active on and people have jumped on the bandwagon, quite often without a strategy in place beforehand.

For most companies this isn’t a sensible or wise decision, and we believe it’s more important to choose the right social channel(s) for your business based on your audience and the content you have available, as it’s far better to have quality content on a handful of sites, rather than average content spread thinly across several platforms.

There is a wealth of research available online detailing user profiles for each platform, if your target market is young women, it’s far more beneficial to focus on Pinterest or Instagram, rather than LinkedIn. The vast majority of Pinterest users are women, approx. 80%, between the ages of 25-45.

Once you know which demographic you would like to engage with online, deciding on the content is the next step.  Every social media platform requires a certain level of effort and time, some a lot more than others.

If you’re looking to create and post videos on YouTube it’s going to take a lot longer to record and edit than posting a short tweet. Videos on YouTube don’t need to be perfectly executed though, and don’t forget it is the second largest search engine after Google.

If you’re a small business that’s really keen on brand loyalty, Twitter is one social media platform you should focus on. The average Twitter user spends 170 minutes a day on the site, and around 29% are active several times a day. A key statistic is that 85% of Twitter users feel more connected to a small or medium sized business after they click the follow button. Once someone has followed your account it’s incredibly important to keep it up to date; Twitter users like content to be regularly updated. Imagine heading to your favorite news site to find that the headline is two days old. If someone makes the decision to follow your brand they’re likely to be interested in what your company is offering and what you’re up to. Engaging in this relationship is key to pleasing your followers, and means you’re more likely to get those important favorites and retweets.

For Millennials Instagram ranks highly on their social media list. According to JensTrends 37% of those born between 1980 and the early 90’s use Instagram and 55 million photos are posted each day. Although that sounds like a daunting platform to compete in, there’s actually less competition here than on Facebook or Twitter and an American Express survey found that less than 2% of businesses use Instagram. You do have to be creative to engage your audience, but people love seeing behind the scenes!  You can check ours out here – https://www.instagram.com/spindogsdigital/

Whichever social media platforms you pick it’s vital that the content is focused and of a good quality. You’ll get a higher level of engagement if you stick to a couple of platforms rather than juggling several accounts that feature out of date updates.  2016 will undoubtedly see some new and exciting social media platforms join the crowd and some of them might be useful to your company, just remember to stop and consider whether it’s the right space for you to be involved in before you jump in. Stop wasting time on maintaining multiple social media accounts and become highly effective on the social platforms that are making a real difference to your business.