How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms
The Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business
You want to promote your business online. Yet, there are so many social media platforms to choose from. How do you know which ones are the best marketing channels for you? In this post, we’re going to look at both the old standbys and new kids on the block in the social media world. We’ll tell you who’s hanging out where, making it easier for you to decide where to focus your efforts.
Facebook: The Must-Have Social Media Channel
You need to be there. Why? Well, because everyone is on Facebook, from the 13-year-old girl who shares her first day of high school to her grandmother who ‘loves’ her post and comments with heart emojis. Yes, if you want to reach the more than two billion people on this channel create a page. B2C, as well as B2B companies, can benefit from having a Facebook presence and engaging with their customers on this platform. It is also important to post regularly, but at different times, until you determine when is the best time to get your audience’s attention.
Twitter: A Platform for Meaningful Dialogue
Twitter has been around for more than a decade. Like Facebook, it also has a huge audience. Every month, there are approximately 330 million active users. Thus, it’s not surprising that 65.8% of American businesses are using this social media channel for marketing purposes. Twitter is probably the best channel on which to connect with customers in real-time, too. With the recent announcement that tweets can now be 280 characters in length, rather than 140, there is even more potential for meaningful dialogue between businesses and their target market. Thus, having a presence on Twitter, as well as Facebook, should be a no-brainer for most companies.
LinkedIn: The Place to Be for B2B
It’s the professional social media platform used by job seekers and employers. It’s also the key social media channel for B2B organizations. For example, B2B companies are likely to find that LinkedIn is the right place to launch new products or generate leads. Another great feature that LinkedIn offers is the ability to post long-form content that can help a brand to establish itself as an expert on industry-specific subjects. However, it is key that posts and LinkedIn pages and profiles be optimized, so that the right people can find your posts.
Instagram and Pinterest: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
These are two of the most visually-oriented social media platforms available right now. Pictures and videos are very memorable and attention-grabbing. Check out these cool factoids:
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
- People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read, and 10% of what they hear
So, for companies that have stunning images and videos to showcase, Instagram and Pinterest are great platforms to have a presence on. Also, some recent changes at Instagram make it even easier to post great content. For example, Instagram now allows videos of up to one minute in length, and Instagram Stories is giving Snapchat a run for its money, reeling in the millennial audience who can’t get enough of ephemeral content.
While Instagram attracts men and women in almost equal numbers, Pinterest has a largely female audience. It also is the go-to channel for crafting ideas, recipes, fashion, etc. So, while some B2B companies have found success on the platform, and almost any business can find a way to use Pinterest effectively, it may be a better choice for some companies than others.
Snapchat: Where All the Cool Kids Are
While millennials and Generation Z may have Facebook profiles, they are now primarily spending their time on Snapchat. Consequently, Snapchat is where you need to be if your target market is youth-based. And, if you use the platform effectively, it can pay off. “In fact, research shows that Snapchat gets nearly a 4x higher engagement rate compared to similar platforms like Instagram.”1 According to Entrepreneur magazine, there are various ways to use Snapchat for marketing purposes, including: offering promo codes, launching products, and leveraging influencer marketing.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember not to try and establish a presence on too many social media channels at once. Start with two or three channels that you think make the most sense for your business. See if you can reach your target audience effectively through those platforms. Then, consider establishing yourself on more platforms in the future, keeping an eye on social media trends and new channels that may emerge in the future.
Which social media platforms have you used to market your business? What tips do you have for businesses wanting to establish themselves on YouTube, Yelp, etc? Let us know in the comments.
1Siu, Eric. “3 Ways to Use Snapchat for Marketing.” Entrepreneur. 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 10 Nov. 2017. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289286.