You know it’s important for your business to have an online presence, but with so many options available, how do you choose the best social media platforms for your business? Social media has — and continues to —revolutionize the way we communicate. Every week it seems there is a new update or emerging platform. It can all be very overwhelming!
Many brands make the mistake of believing in an “all or nothing” strategy, assuming that they must be active on every social platform to remain competitive and to be successful. On the contrary, a business that recognizes the connection between its target audience’s behaviors and which social platforms they gravitate to is likely to reap the benefits of building an online brand presence.
Before you decide on which platforms to adopt, consider answering a few questions around your expectations and goals for social media. It is helpful to consider your business’s key messages and measure them against what you want to accomplish with social media. Which platforms does your target audience use? Are you looking to generate leads and sales from your social media content? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Answering these questions is the first step in determining the best platforms for your business.
When defining your brand’s social media objectives, consider the following:
The world’s largest social network has more than 2 billion active users. In the 13 years since inception, Facebook connects people, brands, and businesses across the globe; it’s like a one-size-fits-all in terms of “who” the platform benefits. In other words, you could say that everyone is on Facebook, which is why this platform is a must!
Why you should consider Facebook for your business:
- It’s ideal for targeted advertising
- Ability to drive engagement through features like live video streaming
- Best platform for connecting people, businesses and brands
- Perfect for long form content and video
“Show, don’t tell.” Instagram is ideal for brands that use imagery to build brand recognition with audiences. It’s live story feature, and comment space let you engage with consumers on a personal level, and the option to add hashtags makes it easy to build a community around related keywords. Ensure your account is set up as a “business” one to measure reach and engagement.
Why you should consider Instagram for your business:
- Features include photos, video, stories, and direct messaging
- Perfect for businesses that want to showcase physical product with beautiful images
- Ability to utilize hashtags within posts is ideal for increasing discoverability and engagement
Where business professionals can market themselves and their businesses to other business professionals. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn is not intended for business-to-consumer relationship-building but rather, to engage with a community of people with similar business interests.
Why you should consider LinkedIn for your business:
- The ability to create a personal profile and a business page for greater brand awareness
- Digital advertising component
- Ideal for sharing career opportunities, job openings, and professional recommendations
- Excellent platform for lead generation and connecting with others in your industry
- Great for posting a variety of content, from articles and ebooks to video
A platform for the creative, crafty, and visually inclined. Cater to your audience’s specific interests with categorized bulletin boards. Pinterest doesn’t rely on high-frequency posting, and is useful for expanding your brand’s reach — your brand’s content will show up when users search for related content.
Why you should consider Pinterest for your business:
- Useful for driving blog traffic back to your website
- Click-through rates tend to be higher than other platforms
- The ability to integrate with Facebook and Twitter makes it easy for users to share your content, increasing brand reach and visibility
A platform ideal for time-sensitive content; Twitter is useful for informing people of breaking news, updates, and trending topics. This platform allows you to engage in real-time communication with your audience and offers direct messaging capabilities.
Why you should consider Twitter for your business:
- Hands down best platform for real-time communication and engagement
- Great way to insert your brand into conversations surrounding trending topics and events worldwide
- Digital advertising
- Good for sharing images and videos, and company news and updates
There is no perfect social media platform for your business and, like many things, you may need to test a few, measure your success, and try something else if you aren’t obtaining the results you’re after. And remember, no matter which social media platform your business chooses, it is better to create a strong prescence on one or two platfroms than a mediocre one on every platform.
Ultimately, if your business is authentic and aims to provide value with relevant and timely content, you can expect higher levels of engagement and better overall results with your social media.