If you’re trying to figure out how to choose the best social media platforms for your business but have no idea where to start, you’re not alone! Social media marketing can be an indispensable tool in your marketing arsenal when you learn to use it right. However most business owners and marketing professionals spread themselves too thin and try to do everything and anything, all at the same time.
Before You Start
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of today’s topic, there are 3 important questions for you to consider before you even think about opening a new social media channel:
- Who is your target audience?
- What kind of content are you sharing?
- Do you have the resources to maintain on a consistent basis?
Knowing the answer to these questions will allow you to choose the best social media platform that makes sense for your business.
1. Who is your target audience?
Understanding your target audience will give you a better picture of which platform they hang around on. Ie. if your target audience consists of working professionals between the ages of 30 – 45, then LinkedIn is a better bet than Snapchat.
2. What kind of content are you sharing?
Consider what type of content you’re planning on sharing. Do you run a creative business? Does your branding rely heavily on photography? Then Instagram would be a great tool to highlight your work and company culture. Does your content marketing strategy involve tons of listicles and fun reads? Then Facebook will be your new best friend.
The type of content you choose to share will greatly affect your decision. Do your research to understand each platform and choose the one that makes the most sense.
3. Do you have the resources to maintain on a consistent basis?
Being on social media means nothing if you can’t be consistent. Make sure to analyze whether you have the resources to maintain your social channels consistently. Whether you manage them yourself, hire a Social Media Manager, or consult with an external agency. Make sure to have a clear plan in mind before committing to anything.
Choosing a Channel
So now that we have our foundation laid out, it’s time to pick a channel. Figuring out how to choose the best social media platforms for your business takes a solid understanding of each channel. Here’s my round up of the most popular social media platforms and whether I think you should be on them or not.
You should be on Facebook if: you’re willing to pay to play. In June of 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced that there were over 2 billion people on Facebook. That’s almost 30% of the entire world’s population. Of course, when you have such a popular medium you’ll have a lot of competition vying for users’ attention.
With the Facebook algorithm pushing towards prioritizing posts from a users friends and family, businesses are facing declining numbers in their organic engagement. Most businesses have swallowed that pill and turned to Facebook advertising. It should be said however that Facebook ads can get you impressive results at a relatively low cost.
You should be on Instagram if: you’re a creative or if your business has beautiful imagery/photography. The Instagram community has a heavy focus on sharing beautiful content and having the perfect Instagram feed. Although any business can do well on the platform, having good content to share will get you ahead in the race.
Many businesses also use Instagram to give fans a sneak-peak behind the scenes and highlight their company culture. It’s a great way to attract potential hires and show users why they should want to work there. Either way Instagram can serve as a great tool in your marketing tool kit if you can use it for its advantages.
You should be on Twitter if: your target audience is the young, tech-savvy millennial. Twitter is kind of like the cocktail party of the internet. For some people it’s information overload, however for die hard Twitter fans it’s the perfect place to get in the know – FAST. It’s a great place to share timely information, so if you’re an up and coming journalist this place is for you!
You should be on Pinterest if: you’re targeting women who are interested in fashion, food, DIY, or weddings. The Pinterest community consists of millenial, well-educated women with above-average incomes. Being the 3rd most used social media platform among US adults, Pinterest is growing rapidly around the world.
Again, beautiful imagery will greatly benefit you on this platform since it’s purely visual. Make sure to design visually appealing pins in order to see the greatest return on your investment.
You should be on Google+ if: your target audience consists of men living in the US who work in tech. What’s even better is that the Google+ user base is huge, yet competition is still relatively low. Use this platform to share useful, informative content that your users will look forward to reading.
You should be on Reddit if: you’re willing and able to interact with a very particular community. Redditors are very aware when it comes to spammy, sales-y tactics. Their main user base includes males aged 35 – 44 with their largest populations in San Francisco and Toronto.
If you decide to go with Reddit as part of your marketing strategy, focus on providing helpful, valuable content. That way you can create an authentic, reliable brand while building intimate relationships with your audience.
Choosing the right social media platforms for your business requires research, understanding, and strategy. Hopefully this post helped you better align your objectives and choose the right channel for you.
Now get out there and start posting with all your new found social media knowledge!