Choosing the Right Social Media Channel for Your Business
When it comes to using social media to market your business, you don’t have a shortage of choices. In fact, the reality is that you likely have too many choices and you’re not sure which platforms suit your business and your audience best.
In this blog, we’ll be taking a high-level look at each of the various platforms available to you and what each platform excels at. Hopefully, at the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of which platforms you should invest your energy in, and which ones you can say adios to.
So Many Social Platforms To Choose From
Before social media (was there even a time?!), you had a pretty finite amount of choices when it came to marketing your business and connecting with your audience. You could do a radio spot, a television commercial, a newspaper ad, or a mail-out flyer. With the internet, we broadened those choices to email marketing and digital ad space.
Now, it almost feels like every month there is a new platform starting that you could use to connect with your potential customers. But what tends to happen, especially with budding businesses, is that we try to do it all.
Does anybody else feel like they are swamped with having a beautiful Instagram feed, posting daily stories, coming up with creative reels, staying on top of TikTok trends, posting relevant LinkedIn content, creating funnels using Pinterest, and now figuring out what the heck Clubhouse is?!
With the constant pressure to be present everywhere, we end up hitting social media burnout and hitting it quickly.
Instead of feeling like you need to be a rockstar on every platform, we’re going to advocate the activity of choosing a couple of platforms that fit your business best, focusing on those, and forgetting about the others. Instead of being mediocre or inconsistent on every platform, let’s work on being thoughtful and relevant on the platforms that make the most sense for you and your business.
The Top Social Platforms To Consider for Your Business
First off, you need to know what’s out there! Below we’ve given a quick overview of the most common and most popular social media platforms and quickly discuss their +’s and -’s.
Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business
Facebook has over 2 billion active users per month with one of the widest age demographics of the social platforms (18 - 65+). A Facebook page can turn your customer base into a community and offer you the opportunity to share photos/videos, update your audience with contests and new products, and communicate directly with customers. Through Facebook Ads, you can get your business in front of new faces with targeted ads in a variety of formats.
Facebook has seen a slowdown of new users in the past few years as fewer young people are using this platform. It still remains one of the most popular choices for social media, but keep in mind that ads can be expensive and if you’re trying to get in front of Gen Z’s, this might not be the best platform for you.
Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users and is quickly growing. This social platform is younger than Instagram and is sweeping popularity with those under 35. You can post photos, videos, and stories on Instagram that all connect with your followers. Plus, Instagram is committed to adapting and enhancing its platform’s functions. You can now set up an Instagram shop if your business sells products to get in front of new customers. And, to compete with the wildly popular TikTok, Instagram Reels now offers you the opportunity to create short fun videos to share with your audience.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, so your content needs to look nice. This is not to say you need a professional photographer to take all of your photos, but you might have to get creative if you’re not in the habit of releasing visual content. Additionally, you’ll need to have a fairly consistent and dynamic posting schedule if you want to see success on this platform.
LinkedIn is a social platform focused on working professionals. This is a community of business owners and employees that are looking to connect on a professional level. Compared to other platforms, this is much more “formal”. This is a great platform to consider if you’re business is focused on B2B products or services. Use LinkedIn if you want to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, grow your professional network, or engage with potential leads.
Pinterest is a visual social media platform that is popular with a more female-centric demographic. You can share, or “pin”, content for others to see. This is a great platform if you have highly visual content and have a clear niche. Pinterest’s social strategy can require a bit more knowledge than the previously mentioned platforms, but if you’re willing to learn, this platform can be a highly rewarding social marketing tool.
Twitter is an information-based social platform. Users share short messages in a “tweet” and businesses that choose this platform use it mainly to keep their audience up to date. It does not have the same broad audience as some of the other platforms, but Twitter users are a loyal and engaged audience. The limited message space means you’ll have to keep your messages concise and to the point, but you also want to ensure your message is interesting and informative. This can seem like a lot to capture, but if you can translate your content into this structure, you may see success in improving your brand awareness.
YouTube, a video-based social media platform, has become the second largest search engine, next to Google. With over 2 billion monthly users and a wide demographic of users, a wide variety of content can be successful on this social platform. Education material, such as how-to videos or product reviews, thrive on Youtube. If your business has content that can help inform or instruct your audience, Youtube is the perfect fit. The key to this platform is optimizing your content for SEO to make sure it’s searchable to those 2 billion users!
New Kids On The Block
TikTok entered the social media space in 2017 but took off in 2020. Users are predominantly under 30, but the audience demographics are growing. TikTok is a video-sharing social network where users can share short video snippets with their friends. TikTok offers huge potential for brand awareness and reach. Even accounts with a small number of followers can find their content seen by millions of people. If you’re audience demographics suit Gen Z’s and Millenials, you might want to consider getting on TikTok.
The newest player in the social media space as of 2020, is Clubhouse. This social media platform is audio-only and invite-only. Users, once invited in, can drop into audio-only chatrooms and listen to the conversations going on. The goal of the platform is to “build a social experience that felt more human—where instead of posting, you could gather with other people and talk”. Clubhouse offers the opportunity to build authentic and trustworthy connections with your audience. It is also the only platform that combats “screen-fatigue”. Clubhouse is only available to iPhone users as of now so audience opportunities are limited.
How do you go about choosing which social platforms to focus on?
Now you know all of the options, how do you choose the best social media platforms for you?
Making the choice as to which platforms to focus on starts with a conversation around what your business goals are. Your particular objectives might help eliminate platforms that do not resonate with your goals. Some common goals that businesses have when it comes to using social media:
Connecting with a new audience and potential customers
Solving the problems of your audience
Expanding your product or service offerings
Improving your customer service
Once you’ve got a clear understanding of your goals, you can start to determine which channels will have the most impact on achieving those goals.
Ultimately, when it comes to social media marketing, you want to get in front of your unique audience. So, understanding what platforms your current and ideal audience is using should give you a starting point on which platform to focus on. There’s no point in investing in a platform that your customers aren’t using!
Additionally, you want to consider what type of content you’re creating and what platform best compliments that content. Are you releasing videos? Blog Posts? Podcasts? Ebooks? Webinars? Depending on what your content is, there may be platforms that suit that content better than others.
Once you know your goals, your audience, and have an idea of what kind of content you want to share, you should be able to match these up with a potential platform. And like we said before, don’t feel the pressure to do it all. Even starting with one platform and figuring out a process for posting that works for you are a great place to start. After that, branching off into one or two other platforms might make sense.
Social Media Marketing should serve to enhance your business and bring value to your audience. You’ll see better ROI in your efforts if you are focusing and honing in on one or two platforms and doing those well, than trying to have your fingers in every social media pie.
Still not sure? Use this social media cheat sheet to help you decide which social media platforms will be best suited for your business.