Pick Your Social Poison

- Posted by James Thomas in

People often ask me, how can I get a load of followers on Linked and Twitter? My response is always the same. Why?

There’s a reason marketing agencies and SEO companies exist, they fill a gap and offer a valuable service. They are experts in their field, and as such, they sell their time and expertise in this field. For some reason still unbeknownst to me, there exists a preconception that social media isn’t marketing, and it isn’t sales, it’s this intangible thing that you can just jump into and start using to great effect. This is wrong, on many levels.

This article is entitled Pick Your Social Poison a reason. The purpose of this article is to walk you through some simple qualification steps, to determine a couple of things. Firstly, why do you want to be using social media platforms for your business? And secondly, which platform would best help you achieve this objective?

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Keep It Simple, Stupid


Simplicity is next to godliness, not surprisingly, that’s probably why it seems to be in short supply. The best ideas are often the simplest ones. On that note, keep your objective simple, if you can’t sum it up in one line you’ve hired a bad consultant or had one too many coffees.

Why do you want to be ‘on social media’? Here are some common, simple, objectives to point you in the right direction:

- To increase brand awareness

- To shorten our sales cycle

- To increase customer loyalty

- To decrease customer attrition, or churn

- To generate leads

- To build trust with our customers

- To stand out in a crowded marketplace

- To give us an edge over our competitors

- To repair a damaged brand perception

- To better manage customer complaints

- To help boost our SEO rankings

- To drive more traffic to our website

Notice one thing that’s congruent with all those objectives? None of them is longer than a sentence. If you’re objectives span multiple paragraphs, or pages, you either need to rethink them or start from scratch.

This is a process we as an SEO company undertake with every new prospective client. There’s no point throwing around hefty SEO metrics and figures unless these figures are considered in context, and aligned with the overall corporate objectives of the businesses we work with.

That doesn’t mean you can only have one objective by any means. Having two or three objectives is fine, as long as you keep them simple and prioritise them, so that your primary objective serves as the end goal for any strategy you then go on to create.

Pick Your Poison


Once your goals are clearly mapped out, the next logical step is, how do we achieve them? This initiates a different conversation. What social media platforms should we be using to do this? The simple answer is, there isn’t a one size fits all solution, every business is different as will be their objectives.

How do you determine which social media platform will help you achieve your objective? This comes down to target market. Whatever your objective is, it will be linked directly to your customers, the two can’t exist in isolation (at least I would hope not!). Go where your customers are. If you were an SEO company like us, you’d be looking for a B2B centric social media platform, so LinkedIn would be a good start

To determine this, you’re going to have to do some basic research. Don’t take the say so of your colleague John who works in the sales department as gospel, if somebody gives you sour grapes and tells you they’re sweet it doesn’t change the fact that they are, still, sour grapes.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the social media platforms you might not be as familiar with.

LinkedIn – commonly referred to as the ‘social media platform for professionals’.  To summarise the characteristics of the average LinkedIn user, they are executives, decision makers and they have money. These people hold sway and pull the strings, if you’re a B2B business, starting with LinkedIn would be a smart move.


Pinterest – the visual social media platform. Pinterest users are heavily female, well-educated and have money to spend. This is primarily a consumer platform, so great for consumer facing companies looking to market or sell a product. If this is your goal, start investigating Pinterest and its viability for your business.

Google+ - the sleeping giant. Google+ users are tech savvy, discerning and influential. This platform is still primarily a B2B platform from a pure social perspective, but its SEO benefits are also hugely valuable. A good place to connect with influencers and build thought leadership.


At the end of the day, you know better than anyone who you’re customers are. Figure out specifically who they are, then start doing research into which platform you could best find this demographic on. Once you’ve done that, you can pick your social poison!

James Thomas

James is the CEO of Square Social, a company that helps businesses grow using Social Search. Square Social use a hard hitting combination of social signals and search engine optimization to deliver an unbeatable return on investment.