Go where your customers are: Cross-reference the demographic of your business with that of the social platform. Most make their demographic information public.
Listen: Are your customers already using a social venue to talk about your business? That’s the biggest indicator that you should be there to facilitate the conversation.
Gauge your bandwidth: Decide whether you have enough time to commit to creating a robust, professional-looking presence on a particular social channel.
“We are a small company, so we need to focus our efforts,” says Joe Freitag, founder of leather goods company Friday & River. “That means we choose to stick to the social media platforms that are most used by the people who like to connect with our brand.”
Match the channel to your content: Do you have great imagery? Use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Do you have the ability to create compelling video? Use YouTube. Do you want to be seen as a thought leader in your industry and converse with others? Use Twitter.
Don’t be distracted by the shiny and new: Before launching into a new social media channel, make sure it has staying power. Are bigger brands using it? What’s the mainstream media saying about it? Who’s financially backing it?