Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
Try imagining yourself standing in a shoe store and trying to figure out what type of shoes you’ll need for your upcoming trip to the beautiful Alps. If the salesman tries selling you sandals, ballet shoes, stilettos, or even sneakers, would you be interested? No. You would be waiting for him to come up with a pair of boots. It’s a no-brainer.
Take the same situation to your online business. You may have social media accounts running, but if you don’t know what types of customers are using what types of social networks, you may end up disengaging and even frustrating them. In a social network where people are looking to make professional connections, sending updates with photos of food will cause your posts to be ignored. Similarly, if you are posting heavy research-based content on a platform where people like to share travel and lifestyles photos, you will find the same empty void.
Just like shoes have different purposes and different suitability, various social media channels also have different kinds of audiences, motives, expectations of those audiences, and even technical dynamics. If you want to run a successful marketing campaign on social media, you need to understand which of these social media channels would suit your audience.
The Social Media Landscape
Social media is continuously evolving—major players are trying new things and incorporating features to win the market, while new platforms are emerging also, bringing revolutionary concepts to the industry. The first thing to know is that there’s no shortcut here. You need to commit to personally staying up-to-date on social marketing trends, or working with a team that you trust to get the job done for you.
How to Determine Which Social Platforms to Use
As a marketer or a business owner, you may feel the urge to be present on the maximum number of social media channels you can handle. However, quality is better than quantity. Strategically select a few and really concentrate on them until you get results. If you dive into one network and aren’t getting the engagement you’re looking for, consider mixing up the strategy. But just being present everywhere is no longer enough, and will likely not lead to many new sales or clients.
Let’s look into some finer aspects of choosing the right social media networks for your business:
1.Target your Customer Demographic
For starters, you need to determine what type of audience you are targeting. For instance, if you have followers on Twitter, it does not necessarily mean you have an audience willing to spend their money with you. If you are selling T-shirts and you use LinkedIn, that’s pretty much a waste of time. Keep in mind that you don’t want to just have followers, but you want to be followed by the people who are or will become leads, customers, and ultimately brand ambassadors. In social media, a following is only as good as the way they are nurtured and engaged.
It is wise to be listed on these big four social platforms – LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. However, you should also study your industry and learn its reach. For instance, if you sell video services, you should definitely be present on YouTube and Vimeo while also considering Pinterest and Instagram to drive hits to your videos and your website.
Here is a breakdown of the best uses of each top social platform based on the industry:
- Facebook: The best network for huge traffic, quick buzz and targeted advertising using Facebook Ads.
- Pinterest: Perfect for health & beauty, fashion and food brands.
- Twitter: Best for connecting with influencers and clever content.
- LinkedIn: The single best network for B2B companies and company news.
- Instagram: The right social platform for brands that offer physical goods.
- YouTube: YouTube marketing is the smart choice in many industries, starting from automotive up to marketing and SEO services.
3. Business Size
Lastly, the size of your business should guide your decision on how to engage each social network. If you have a small business, you might want to use the free tools of each social network but if your business can afford to spend on paid marketing, you can capitalize on paid features of many of the social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and even YouTube Ads. Twitter and Instagram are known for reaching new customers through (free) hashtag strategies, whereas Facebook is building a strong targeted advertising platform.
There’s no magic formula for figuring out the right networks to utilize for each business, but there are pretty strong suggestions available. Do your research, try things out, and ask your current customers which networks they are on the most. Choosing the right social media networks can be challenging, but we are also happy to help you brainstorm strategies (at no cost). Just visit our contact us page. Good luck!