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How Can You Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business?

Social media is one of the most effective marketing tools that small businesses can take advantage of.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to be on every platform.  These platforms are created differently. Some are more effective for your business than others.

Choose the Right Social Media Platform

How Can You Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business?

So how can you choose the best social media platform for your business? Well, this article gives you tips that can help you determine the perfect platform for your business.

  1. Understand the purpose of each social media platform

Before you start creating an account on every social media platform, it is crucial to understand what each platform is all about. If your target audience is millennials, having a Snapchat or Instagram account may sound perfect. That may be right, but it is vital to understand your audience’s behavior.

If you‘re operating a local business, creating a Facebook account is great because it will allow you to interact with the local community. Additionally, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. It works well for advertising, lead generation, and building relationships with customers.

Twitter is a great platform to build awareness for your brand.  LinkedIn is typically the best platform for B2B businesses. It is also ideal for editorial content. Pinterest is all about images, and if you’re looking to drive sales you can use it because more than 90% of users plan purchases using this platform.

Understanding the purpose of each social media platform will help you to narrow down which social media platforms are suitable for your business.

  1. Know the social platforms that your target audiences are using

After you’ve understood the purpose of every social media platform, the next thing is to find out where your target audience is interacting online. You must focus your social media efforts on the social platform your target audience interact with.

For instance, if you’re selling a product for people who are 60 years and above, you’re more likely to get few people in that age group on platforms, such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Reddit. Instead, you should concentrate on social media platforms such as Facebook or YouTube.

Similarly, you will be wasting your effort in developing your brand on a platform such as Pinterest if you are targeting men only. That’s because there are far more women on Pinterest than men. You can use any social listening tool to help you conduct an analysis of your current social audience. That will provide you with information on the age, gender, and location of your current followers, hence helping you to decide which social platforms are worth your time and which ones aren’t.

  1. Understand your business

What type of business do you operate? This is something that you should ask yourself if you want to choose the right social media platform for your business. If you are in the retail industry, it will be of great benefit if you become active on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other visual-based social platforms.  Visual-based platforms allow potential customers to see your products and imagine how your products would impact their lives.

If you are in the service industry, you may benefit more if you consider using Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These social media platforms are based more on texts, making it easier and quicker to share useful information that may be valuable to potential customers. Knowing the kind of business you run can help you determine which social media platforms are best for your business.

  1. Find out which social media platforms your competitors are using

Knowing which social platforms your competitors are using is equally important as knowing which platforms your target audiences use.  This will help to determine what you should do and provide a basis through which you can measure the industry activity.

Look at the type of content they post, how regularly they post it, and the number of comments, likes, or shares their posts get. Finding out how active your competitors are on social media and how their followers engage with their posts will provide you with useful information that you can imitate to succeed in your own strategy.

Many companies display links to their social media accounts on their websites, so collecting data on where your competitors are putting their social media efforts shouldn’t be difficult.

  1. Know the kind of content you want to create

This is a very important factor that you must put into consideration. There are different content formats- some may match your business goals and brand identity, while others may not. Moreover, some content formats will be more ideal for specific channels than others.

If you want to share company news, updates and whitepapers, platforms such as LinkedIn and SlideShare will be the most suitable.  That’s because these types of content are perfect for B2B audiences who can be mainly found in these two platforms.

If you want to share video content, you may consider Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or Vine. If you want to share content based on images, Pinterest will be the best option. About 93% of users use Pinterest to plan purchases. Instagram and Tumblr are also great for sharing image-based content.

  1. Figure out the amount of time you can allocate to each social media platform

One of the common mistakes that business owners make when starting out is trying to create an account on every social media app. That may not be a good idea because it takes a lot of work to keep all those accounts updated. And unmaintained accounts can show a bad image on your business.

The better way is to focus your attention on one or two social media platforms- updating one or two platforms require less time. This will give you more time and attention to increase your audiences on those channels and engage with your current followers.

Nevertheless, if you choose to create multiple social media accounts, you can look for software solutions that can automatically post updates to your multiple sites.

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