In 2020, Statista found that 420 billion people actively use their social media accounts. For many businesses, social media offers a way to get free exposure and gain followers even as a startup, but it’s hard to know how to choose a social media platform for your business.
By now, it’s clear that all businesses need social media profiles. Not only does it support your search optimization and content distribution, but entire communities may form just to share your brand and products. This is why it’s so crucial to understanding your audience and what social platforms they use the most.
What Social Platform is Best for Your Biz?
First, all social media platforms can support your business. We simply want to select the best platform that you should pay attention to the most. This is especially true if it’s just you running your business and marketing operations.
Certain tools make it easier to manage multiple channels. For example, Buffer and Tailwind App help you set up scheduled posts in advance and offer automatic content aggregation.
There’s also plenty of tips on what to post and how often to post on social media.
These are the best channels depending on the audiences you want to reach and the time you can dedicate to engage on each platform.
Start with Your Brand Personality
If you haven’t already done a brand architecture exercise and developed audience personas, it’s important to do this before selecting a social media channel.
One major question that can help you understand your brand’s personality: is what lasting impression do you want to make on your customer?
Is your brand quirky or refined? Is it both? What kind of sports car would your brand drive? What’s your company mission? How do you speak to your customers?
Answering these questions with your marketing, sales, and customer service teams can give you some great ideas about your brand personality, as well as buyer personas. You’ll want to think about how your audience’s intent and problems match the solutions or products your company provides.
How to Choose a Social Media Platform for Maximum Engagement
Before we dig into each social media channel, you should think about these questions when determining what social media networks are best to engage with your audience.
- What customers are in your target audience?
- What platforms do you see your customer using the most?
- What story do you want to tell about your business?
- How do your products fit into your customer’s lifestyles? Why do they need this product or service?
- What kinds of content can you create consistently day to day, week to week?
- Does your audience respond to video over images? Are you comfortable with design and editing graphics?
- How will social media directly support your website? What pages do you want your fans and followers to click through to?
Now that you know what you’re looking for and what audiences will likely follow and engage with your brand, here’s what to look for in specific channels when choosing a social media platform for your business.
Even if your main audience isn’t on Facebook, it’s still a large enough platform that you’ll reach millions of people who could be interested in your products and share them across channels. It’s also very reliable and constantly works to market your business.
In fact, every business should have a Facebook Business account with a page and ads account. You can target millions of people by several data points, as well as update your own email subscriber list or customer list from your CRM to reach customers directly on the social media platform.
While it’s still the most popular platform with 2.45 billion monthly users, Facebook doesn’t connect with all audiences. However, you’ll still want to set up your profile and at least schedule out content on this platform as a beacon for searches of your brand on social media.
Facebook is best for brands who want to reach these audiences:
- Any age group: Facebook has the widest age spread
- Best for 28 to 54: Studies find that Facebook skews slightly older in age for audiences
- Like to shop online: Facebook offers the ability to add your products to a shop and advertise your products dynamically based on your audience’s interests.
- Best for groups: Starting and joining groups dedicated to the community around your products is a great way to find influencers and share educational information, while still subtly promoting your expertise and brand.
Facebook ad manager is also an incredible tool that will allow you to target audiences across Facebook and Instagram, as well as mobile.
Note for inbound sales: You can create smart lead generation campaigns that gather opt-ins right from the FB app, then deliver through the API into your CRM for fast, highly qualified leads sent daily to your salespeople.
Another popular social platform, LinkedIn delivers for B2B every day. With similar audience targeting tools for company profiles on LinkedIn, as well as the ability to blog and join groups, there are a ton of ways to build visibility for your business with other influencers and brands in your industry.
LinkedIn is best for brands who want to reach these audiences:
- Targeting B2B: LinkedIn is well known for offering targeting that no other social platform can do for employment, executive matching, job experience, titles, and more.
- Industry influencers: If you want to reach B2B, there are a variety of ways to publish content and join in on conversations. There’s also Pulse, which lets you drive traffic to your website.
- Finding top talent: If you’re looking to recruit and bring in experienced talent, LinkedIn offers a few tools for matching the perfect people for your business.
- Professionals looking for webinars: Information is key to getting ahead so plan on being a beacon of information for your industry through your company page on LinkedIn.
It’s important to post company news and industry-related information on LinkedIn. Many businesses use LinkedIn scheduling tools to publish articles every day, but they may also host discussions in groups and create events.
There’s a lot of news and entertainment that goes down on Twitter, and not every business can hang on this social media platform. People are quick to judge, so it’s best to nail down your brand personality and choose a talented social media manager to handle this channel if you’re hoping for higher engagement and sales.
Twitter is the best for audiences who:
- Range in age from 24 to 35 years old: Twitter has a young and eclectic crowd, but the majority are older twenty-somethings.
- News and story hunters: Most of Twitter’s audience just wants to know what’s happening and pay attention to hashtags and trends.
- Other B2B audiences: After LinkedIn, B2B audiences also love Twitter and look for information, videos, and links related to keywords.
Twitter offers targeting ads but it’s generally more costly. Still, the platform claims to have a higher engagement rate than Facebook for advertisers.
Next to Facebook, all brands should have an Instagram account. Not only does this platform also have billions of active users each month, but it’s made for visuals and videos. Brands on Instagram see engagement from a wide variety of audiences, but hashtags are particularly important when captioning your posts.
Instagram is best for audiences who:
- Spend hours scrolling: Instagram users spend at least 30 minutes to an hour browsing the platform per day.
- Mainly live in the US and Canada: Studies found Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in Canada
- Want to shop online: Instagram offers amazing shopping tools for businesses to tag their products within posts, as well as a number of targeting and advertising tools.
Instagram’s users span all age ranges, but you’ll mainly see 18 to 30-year-olds using this platform. Because of its visual style, it’s an opportunity to humanize your brand while also displaying your best products. With Instagram Stories and Live, you can also share behind-the-scenes content.
Other Platforms to Try
If you have more time or simply know these platforms better, here are a few pointers to using other popular platforms for your business.
- Best for online shops with unique products and younger audiences
- Must be able to take videos and edit them
- Offers amazing live features for your dedicated followers
- Share links to your products in your profile or tag them in the comments
- Most businesses should use YouTube for SEO, education, or exclusive content purposes
- Best for those who understand how to edit and produce videos
- Supports any content goals, blogging, and social media sharing that needs video
- Great for lifestyle brands
- Mainly skews 26 to 47 for female audiences
- Beauty, education, crafts, furniture, and aesthetically pleasing brands do well on this platform
- Best for supporting blogs and links to products on your site
Managing Social Media: Let Us Do the Heavy Lifting
We’re looking for businesses just like yours that need help with engagement and visibility on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and more. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have an emarketing management team on your side?
We’d be happy to offer a free social media marketing proposal so why not schedule a complimentary 15-minute discovery call to discuss your goals!