It seems that almost every quarter, a new social media network emerges.

That’s a great thing for users. For business owners and marketers? Not so much.

Here’s how it happens: a new network emerges; it gains popularity; a certain demographic rushes to join the new, cool network; businesses rush to join the new network, too.

Not. So. Fast.

It may or may not be worth your time. Here are seven questions to ask yourself before your business joins the new, cool social media network of the day.

Is my target audience using this platform?

You only need to be where your audience is. You have to be able to be nimble enough, and in tune enough with your audience to decide where they’re directing their attention to decide whether it is worth it for you to be there, too.

Are people engaging with me on this network?

If you’ve already made the move. Determine if people are actually taking time to engage with your content on the network. If they are, then it’s a good sign. If they’re not, then you need to evaluate the type of content you’re posting or whether you should even be on the particular network.

Am I engaging others?

Are you actually interacting with other people on the network or are you just posting content and disappearing until the next time you decide you want to share something. Remember, social media is a two-way street. It’s about conversation. It’s not about businesses and/or marketers pushing their messages in people’s faces.

Is it relatively easy for me to be consistent?

Nothing is worse than making a big splash on to a new platform, posting a few times, and then going silent. Before you make the jump, be sure you can maintain posting content and engagement.

Am I being consistent?

If you’ve already made the switch. No worries. But be sure you can maintain what you’ve started. If not, exit quickly.

Can I create opportunities to highlight my product or services?

Not only should you consider how well you can engage with your audience, you should also consider how well you’ll be able to highlight your product or services. For example, a baker may be able to showcase his/her beautiful cake designs on Instagram, but may not be able to do so on Twitter.

Why am I using this network?

Perhaps you’re using the social network to generate brand awareness. Perhaps you’re using the social network to drive sales. Perhaps you’re using the network to tell your brand story. Whatever your WHY is for using the network, get crystal clear on it, and act accordingly.

Some people will tell you that you should be on each and every social media platform possible to maximize your chances of reaching your target audience. This could not be farther from the truth.

You should be very strategic about the social networks you engage in. You should be able to give a solid answer to WHY you or your brand is engaged on whatever platforms you’ve chosen. You ought to be able to create a WHY for each network.

If you can’t, then it’s time to move on. You don’t need to use each and every one of them. to be effective.

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