Which Social Media Channel Is Right for My Business?
In this day and age, you’ll be hard pressed to find a brand that doesn’t have a presence on social media. If you’re a brand that’s just starting out or a veteran in your marketplace looking to expand into a new platform, you may be asking yourself: Which channels should I be focusing on?
Ask many people and I guarantee the answer will be; “As many of them as possible.”
This, however, is quite often not the case. Social media success is not marked by having your brand on every single platform, nor by haphazardly posting in order to simply fill a newsfeed. Quality is better than quantity, no matter if you are talking about the content you are producing, the time you are spending on each platform, or the number of platforms your brand is active on.
When trying to figure out where you should be spending your time, try to answer these three questions:
- Where are your target personas spending their time?
- Where does your message resonate the most?
- Can you create relevant content that broadcasts your message efficiently and accurately?
A financial firm that primarily focuses on B2B marketing would probably see a higher return on their time by writing informational articles and engaging with industry professionals on platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter than it would be trying to build an Instagram presence. Why? Instagram is primarily a photo and video-based social media channel, and a financial firm may not naturally lend itself to sharing visually interesting content. Meanwhile, an architectural firm could realistically provide industry insight and project updates on Linkedin and Twitter while also curating an Instagram feed that appeals to an audience who admires the elements of design so prevalent in that field.
Finding the right social media platform for your brand is dependant upon the needs of your business and your ability to provide content. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry. Below, I have highlighted the best uses of each of the leading social media platforms.
Facebook has had a tumultuous year but it still remains the most prolific and influential social media network. According to Hootsuite, 1.47 billion people are daily active users and there are 80 million small to medium-sized business pages. With that being said should you have a Facebook page? Short answer: Yes.
But should you expect it to be a successful way for you to market your business? Well, that depends on how you use it.
With Facebook’s pivot toward their “Groups” functionality and the importance, it places on “meaningful conversations,” you might find it hard to reach your audience members through all the noise if you don’t engage in paid advertising and boosted posts on the platform. That being said, if you are a business that hosts a lot of community events, relies on community feedback, or you are trying to sell a product directly to consumers, Facebook’s reviews, events, and Shopify integration functionalities are second to none among other social networks.
As reported by Hootsuite, 75% of B2B and 65% of B2C businesses market on Twitter, and 85% of small to medium-sized businesses believe that Twitter is an integral tool for providing customer service. But with the average half-life of a single tweet being just 24 minutes, how does one ensure that their brand’s message is being communicated effectively through the platform?
The hard truth is, unless you are devoting a significant amount of time engaging with others and consistently tweeting on the platform you very well might just be screaming into the void. The crux of a great Twitter presence is not necessarily using it as a megaphone to amplify your message but more like a two-way radio to interact with your customers, your community, or like-minded businesses.
With over one billion monthly active users and 70% of US businesses utilizing the platform, Instagram is the third most widely used social media platform in the world, according to Oberlo. As I explained earlier, if you do not have the visual assets (photography and video), this platform might not be for you. Instagram users want a visual and artistic representation of your brand. This requires a constant flow of new and exciting photo and video content for users to engage with.
If you can swing it, I suggest utilizing a healthy mix of user-generated content to encourage tagging and engagement, professional photography that really tells the story of your brand, and candid “of-the-moment” shots that give your brand authenticity.
Over the past few years, Instagram has made it easier for business to see direct ROI from utilizing their platform. From integration into Facebook’s Ad manager, swipe up to link out features on Instagram stories (for accounts with over 10k followers) and direct shopping on Instagram for approved business, there are many opportunities to utilize this platform to benefit your business.
If you’re a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is definitely the place for you. According to Foundation Inc., 80% of all social media generated social media leads come from LinkedIn. But like any platform, it’s all about what you post. LinkedIn presents the unique opportunity to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry through posting LinkedIn Articles and thoughtful company updates. But more than that, the platform also allows your employees and executives to leverage their own LinkedIn presence to further bolster your brand’s credibility.
Deciding where you should spend your time and money on social media is always daunting. However, as long as you set clear goals, understand your audience, and know the best uses of each platform, you’ll be growing your audience and influence in no time. But remember the key principle to social media success: Quality is always better than quantity.