Social media is among the most effective marketing methods that a business has at its disposal. However not all social media channels are the same, each has its own set of unique users and the different ways they interact with content.
So how do you choose the best social media platform?
Here are four steps to determine which platform is perfect for your business.
Identify your audience
Define your goals (business goal)
Find your competitors on social media
Find your audience
Identify your audience
Each social media platform caters to a different type of audience, so pay attention to the interests, gender and age ranges of those you are trying to target. Be as specific as possible since it will make your decision easier. Use these guidelines to determine your target audience:
- Who is your typical customer?
- How old are they?
- Are they male or female?
- Check their income and education level?
- What are they interested in, outside of your product and service?
- They likely to spend money on what?
- How they access the internet (Phones, Laptops, e.t.c.)
Define your goals (business goal)
Choosing a platform to focus on is dependent on understanding your goals for social. Once you have defined your ideal audience, it is time to create a strategy. Choose which platforms you would like to focus on. As a business owner, your primary goal will likely be to drive sales by attracting customers, yet, there are other creative goals for social media.
While some brands use social media to drive brand recognition and to develop friendly relationships with potential buyers, others use social media for customer support.
I would recommend starting with at least two social platforms for a small business, creating a posting schedule and a branding guideline so you can make sure your messaging matches how you want people to view your business.
Where are your competitors on social media?
Find out where all your top competitors are on social media. Check each of their social media pages and see what content they are posting, how often they do, and how many users are engaging with that content. Once you conclude which social media platform is yielding the greatest results, choose that one.
Find your audience on Social Media
Now that you have your audience profiled and your goals defined, it’s time to find your audience. To do this, you’re going to determine which platform your audience uses by looking at the demographics of the users on each platform.
You’ll also want to consider how active your audience is on that platform and how individuals use the platform.
Below are the attributes of the top social media platforms;
Facebook reports over 1.3 billion users. With these numbers, Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide. It is also one of the best social media websites to market any business. On this platform, you can specifically target your audience by age, employment, interests and other characteristics, making this a very dynamic platform to advertise and build brand awareness.
Twitter is an excellent platform to build awareness for your brand. This social media platform utilizes the hashtag, which organizes conversations around a word or phrase. By searching hashtags, you can learn what people are talking about so you can craft your tweets to take part in popular conversations. Twitter can also offer insight into what topics are trending. It is often used by news outlets to find stories.
Since Twitter is often used to provide real-time updates to an audience, many brands combine Twitter with offline engagement, such as events.
Pinterest is used for “scrapbooking” or, in other words, saving content by “pinning” photos to a virtual bulletin board. Female users dominate the Pinterest demographic. Some of the most common pins are recipes, style ideas, striking photographs, and DIY crafts.
Since Pinterest is a visual-based platform, you’ll need strong graphics to engage users. Successful business use of Pinterest has been linked to strong retail sales.
Although YouTube boasts 1 billion users, its reach extends far past that. You don’t have to sign up to be a user to view content on YouTube.
YouTube has also become one of the biggest search engine platforms. Many of these searches are for “How To” videos. Service industry businesses who can offer this type of content work well on this platform.
LinkedIn has the distinction of being the most utilized platform for older audiences. It boasts the largest users among ages 30-49. People use LinkedIn to search for jobs and to network professionally.
Having a company page is a great way for other professionals to find your business and get a glimpse of who you are as a business owner. LinkedIn also uses SEO similar to your website and Facebook so it’s important to keep your descriptions and information as current as possible.
Instagram is one of the biggest platforms, especially among young audiences. Like Pinterest, Instagram relies on photos for conversation. As a result, this platform works really well for visual-based businesses, like art, food, retail, and beauty.
As a business owner, one of the best things about Instagram is the ability to grow your follower base organically through the use of storytelling, good images and hashtags. Authenticity goes a long way on this platform.
The largest demographic of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24. This social media platform has evolved from a video-creation app solely meant for users to express their creativity to a marketing and advertising haven.
TikTok allows brands to engage with users through video, only in shorter, bite-sized clips. The allure of TikTok for businesses is the sheer number of active users on the platform, you can find everyone from influencers and celebrities to politicians and the average Joe.
By understanding and implementing the tips above, you can optimize your social marketing strategy and find platforms that complement and support your business objectives. When you are strategic and thoughtful about your content on each platform, you will reap the benefits of better engagement and more loyal followers.
At Endive, we understand your unique needs when it comes to getting in front of the right audience and we know that mastering social media can be time-consuming. Targeting the wrong audience not only wastes time but also money. We can help you achieve your business goals and objectives and help your company flourish.