I just read an article about how this entrepreneur grew their business literally from zero to a million dollars on Instagram. And then I read another where this entrepreneur built their brand on Snapchat. And another on how someone leveraged LinkedIn to generate consistent leads.

You get the drift.

If you're beginning to look at social media marketing for your business, it can get overwhelming with all the buzz from different sources about the various social media platforms success stories.

There's always a new platform popping up every other time. Take Snapchat for instance. Up until recently, it was only the fancy of teens and school goers, but some influencers explored and it's now caught the fancy of people in business and even big, established brands.

The question that I get asked the most is - what do I do? Which social media platform do I leverage for my business - or should I just start sharing content across all the platforms?

If you're beginning to look at social media marketing for your business, it's time to turn down the volume. Stop all the noise from outside and begin a journey of discovery.

Here are some of the actionable steps that you can take to address your most pressing concern - what social media platform should I leverage and how do I find success in social media marketing.

Step #1 - Define your ideal customer profile

This should be an easy one since the ideal customer profile for your social media marketing will be the same as that of your target customer for your business.

The more specific you get, the easier it is to market and sell. Needless to say, the easier your success will be too on social media marketing.

'Teenagers' is not an ideal customer profile. On the other hand, 'teenagers with an interest in gaming that live in the state of California' is a defined customer segment.

Step #2 - Identify what makes them tick

Once you've spent time discovering your ideal customer segment, figure out the platforms that they hang out on, given their specific interests. Find out where do they go to consume content - is it blogs, YouTube, SnapChat or Instagram?

A good way to for discovery would be to speak to some of your potential customers in and around you. Ask them their preferred platforms and what do they go to each social media channel for.

Ensure you're not spreading thin across social media channels, and we'll touch up on that subject below.

Step #3 - Identify the format and messaging

Once you know the channels, you have a better understanding of the format of the content. For instance, if you're looking at Snapchat and YouTube, you pretty much know it's going to be delivered via video.

Although, if Facebook and Instagram are the channels, you will have multiple options in the format of content to choose from. It could be video or images or a mix of both.

While you're deciding on the content format and the go-to social media channel(s), it's important to have specific strategies for each channel.

Posting the same content across all social media channels is not going to get you the desired result. This is where you don't want to spread thin as building a following or audience on one channel could take up all of your time. Choose one or two channels that you feel has the most of your potential audience with your format of messaging and craft content around it.

For instance, we're leveraging YouTube as our go-to social media marketing platform with a strategy that's specific to it. Our ideal customer profile is a startup entrepreneur who's looking at building their product (mobile/web app).

With our #BiteSize by Arkenea videos, we address some of the most pressing concerns or queries entrepreneurs have by getting experts to answer them via video.

Now, this is a specific platform strategy. While newer social media channels will keep emerging, if you build your audience and a strong following on one or two, you wouldn't have to worry about jumping onto to every new platform each time it gains popularity.

Published on: May 4, 2016