How to Pick the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
Every successful venture starts with a plan—so, too, with social. Before you put your business “out there” online, it’s important to craft a social media strategy. First and foremost in that strategy is deciding which social media platforms are best for your business. Contrary to popular belief, more is not necessarily better, and a platform that does wonders for your neighbor’s business may not necessarily be suited for yours. To determine what’s best for you, study the breakdown of each platform, compare the pros and cons, and weigh this information against your business goals and your target audience.
With 1.57 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the world’s most dominant social platform. Indeed, almost all businesses can benefit from having a Facebook page—for exposure, if nothing else. For businesses, that’s a good thing, because you can assume that at least most of your audience is on Facebook. In a way, your company’s Facebook page serves as your alternate address on the web. People may use your Facebook page to look up your company’s website, address, or phone number, and with the right marketing, it can be an excellent source of conversions. In fact, one in five views in the United States occurs on Facebook.
Facebook’s impressive data center allows you to analyze your audience in great deal. You can even set ads and promote posts to specific audiences based on age, sex, location, interests, and more. This makes Facebook great for highly targeted marketing. Overall, however, the most common age group on Facebook is users between the ages of 25 and 34, who comprise 29.7% of users.
Facebook is more than simply an advertising platform. Don’t forget the “social” aspect of this legendary social network. Your goal is to showcase your business’s personality and congeniality through your Facebook page. For your customers, the page is a way to interact with your business, either directly (comment, compliment, or complaint), or indirectly by observing your page’s posting and interactions. Leveraging Facebook as a customer service tool should be overlooked. If you practice the above, you’ll find that Facebook can be an impressive lead generator.
One of the top 10 websites in the United States and used worldwide by over 320 million active users, Twitter can be a great resource for your business. On Twitter, you can post mostly anything you want (videos, images, links, polls, etc.), so long as it’s 140 characters or less.
Twitter is a real time platform, meaning tweets are sent instantly and are followed up by more tweets in short order. That, combined with its wide reach, makes Twitter a popular channel for handling customer service. If you maintain an active presence on Twitter, you will notice that customers who are also active on the platform will begin to interact with you, either to communicate an issue, or issue praise.
Twitter is also a great way to share great content. Retweeting and replying to other users’ content is very simple, and you can boost your posts by using hashtags and tagging other users. If your content is seen and retweeted by accounts with large followings, your potential reach is huge. Your content even stands a change to go viral. That said, it’s important that you don’t just share your own content, but share others’ content as well. Twitter should be a constant stream of helpful information and useful, relevant content.
Instagram is ideal for businesses looking to showcase their brand or product in a popular, contemporary manner. Businesses can post vivid, engaging photos and can host them on a page designed for seamless viewing. Instagram is a platform with 600 million users, with the most popular posts revolving around food, art, travel, fashion, and similar topics of interest. In this sense, companies working in the arts may find their niche well suited to this platform.
The most notable feature of Instagram is that it is an almost entirely mobile-based platform, and that it has its own array of special filters and effects for photos and videos. While you can view Instagram profiles on a desktop, you cannot take photos, create new posts, or carry out other functions.
Instagram can be a great way to generate leads and present your company’s brand and voice. While artistic niches excel, don’t count out Instagram for your business. To succeed with Instagram, make sure the photos and videos you post are high-quality, and make sure you’re using the right hashtags and descriptions.
LinkedIn is the quintessential B2B platform, ideal for interacting with other businesses and potential clients. LinkedIn is the ideal place for making connections: whether that’s with vendors, clients, others in the industry, and even competitors. It’s also a great content generator. On LinkedIn, you can form a list of valuable business connections, raise awareness of your business, and stay on top of trends in your industry. You can also share your own expertise by starting your own LinkedIn blog and gain a valuable reputation as an industry thought leader. Lastly, if you’re looking for employees, LinkedIn is a great place to run your search. Pinterest
Pinterest is essentially an online scrapbook. Users can save photos and content they like by “pinning” it to digital bulletin boards. There are broad categories of boards you can search through, but users are also able to create and organize their own boards. Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visually oriented program.
Pinterest is a niche platform, and its users are primarily women. Popular categories on the platform include fashion, beauty, photography, food, exercise, and DIY projects. So is Pinterest a good idea for your business? If you can find ways to make your content relevant to Pinterest’s audience, you should go for it! Done right, Pinterest can be a low-effort platform that can greatly benefit your business. The important thing is to keep your boards well-organized, and to make sure you tag them so that they get exposure.
In many ways, Tumblr, which is a sort of mix between a traditional blogging platform, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tumblr hosts more than 200 million blogs, and is used primarily by young people. In fact, half of Tumblr’s visitor base is under the age of 25.
Most companies find Tumblr is not well suited as a business platform, or is too difficult to use. This is because the thing that distinguishes Tumblr is its audience, which is not merely a pool of users, but a community with its own particular culture. Within said community are many sub communities that actively post and converse on the platform.
While Tumblr is not for everyone, certain businesses can find great success in interacting with Tumblr’s very active community. Things go viral quickly on Tumblr, and it is a content funnel for many other platforms and websites, including Twitter, Instagram, Buzzfeed, etc.
Making Your Selection
Ultimately, the only one who can determine what is best for your business is you. You should analyze your audience, your product, and your social media goals to decide which platforms are best for your business. Don’t feel pressured to start with too many at once, either. A single well-curated social media page is better than several ones that were haphazardly put together.