Social media has dramatically changed the way that businesses communicate with customers, providing marketers with endless opportunities to engage. And with an ever-increasing number of social platforms now available, brands have plenty of options at their disposal. But which one is best for business?
Unfortunately, that’s not a simple question to answer, because there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that’ll work for every brand. There are a few things that brands should be considering, though, to ensure that they’re using the best social platforms for their industry.
First and foremost, companies should be thinking about their social media strategy. In particular, what they’re looking to achieve, which demographics they’re most interested in connecting with, and where to find them. Once a company really understands its audience and knows how to talk to them, it’ll be easier to choose the right social media platform.
What Are The Different Social Media Platforms Out There?
From social giants like Facebook and Twitter to more niche image-focused platforms like Pinterest, there are many social media platforms available. Take a look at some of the most popular options to see which might best suit your current marketing targets.
- Facebook: Social network with huge advertising opportunities and options to target different demographics.
- Twitter: Fast-moving social media platform offering great opportunities for brands to develop their unique tone and engage with users.
- LinkedIn: Business-centered social platform connecting like-minded professionals and brands.
- Instagram: Image-focussed content, stories, live footage with paid-advertising options.
- Snapchat: Focus on user-generated content, with potential for brands to connect with younger demographics.
- Pinterest: Visual search engine with endless opportunities for image-centric businesses.
Tips For Choosing The Best Platforms For Your Business
Before your dive straight into the world of social media, take a step back and compare which platforms are best for your business. While it’s perfectly acceptable to engage with customers on several platforms at once, it’s worth focusing your energy on creating a powerful social presence on the platforms that offer the best opportunities for your brand. Here are our top tips to help you choose.
Define your goals
No marketing strategy should begin without clearly defined goals, and a new presence on social media is no exception. So, take the time to define your goals clearly, making sure all team members are on board with the overall ambition. Think carefully about why your brand is going to use social media, and what you hope to achieve in both the short and long term.
Make sure you have quantitative targets in mind, and that you know how you’ll measure success as your social campaigns run. When you have a thorough understanding of what success would look like for your brand, you’ll be able to think about how this can be achieved, and which social platforms would give you the biggest advantage.
Understand your audience
Even if your brand is completely new to social media, it’s highly unlikely that your audience will be. So think about how your audience uses social platforms, and which platforms they’re most likely to check on a daily basis.
Making the most of social media requires a good understanding of who your target audience is, and which demographics make up the biggest spenders in your customer base. Analyze existing data to ensure you have a crystal clear picture of your key customers, then move on to thinking about the ways in which these demographics typically use social media.
Take advantage of the statistics shared by social platforms, which regularly reveal who their most prevalent users are, and how they tend to use the apps. For example, Instagram has revealed that 30% of its users are aged between 25-34. Similarly, the biggest demographic on Facebook is males aged between 25-34. Snapchat’s users tend to be younger, 50% of its current users are under the age of 25.
Think about advertising opportunities
Different social platforms provide vastly different opportunities when it comes to advertising. So if paid-advertising is on your agenda, this is something that’s worth considering before you decide on which platform to use.
Facebook is one of the top platforms for paid advertising, and businesses have plenty of different advertising options to explore here. One of the key advantages of Facebook is its capacity to target adverts according to very specific parameters, a feature that makes its ads highly profitable.
Other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, also provide good opportunities to advertise, though their ads tend to be slightly less targeted and therefore clicks may not be as high in quality. So it’s vital that you think about which platforms your audience is most likely to be using to get the most out of any advertising spend.
With so many options available to businesses, venturing into the competitive world of social media may seem daunting. But once you begin to understand your target demographics, and get to know how they’re using social platforms, all will become clear.
Think about the new opportunities that social media could provide for your business, and make sure you’re taking full advantage of its highly engaging and entertaining nature. In doing so, you’ll be able to connect with new customers, improve awareness and position your company as a go-to brand that customers can rely on.
About the author:
Sean Begg Flint is the founder of Position Digital, a digital marketing agency for ambitious startups and growing brands. He is passionate about helping businesses establish and increase their online presence through purpose-driven content marketing and using digital outreach for good.