How Do You Figure Out Which Social Network is Best for Your Business?
When new social media platforms seem to pop up every minute, how do you decide which network deserves the biggest chunk of your resources? Answering these questions helps:
- What type of business do you have? Retail? Consulting services? Restaurant?
- Who are your customers? What age group and demographic are you looking to attract?
- What are you trying to accomplish with social media? Are you trying to sell something directly online? Are you hoping to make connections and network? Are you trying to introduce specials or coupons to encourage repeat sales?
Once you've answered these questions, you can match the results to the most useful social networks and make them the forefront of your social media marketing campaign. Here are the top social media platforms out there right there and the sort of business that is most likely to find success with them.
Facebook is still the leader, especially since Meta now owns both Facebook and Instagram. The demographics have skewed older over the years and because of the ever-tightening algorithm, not every business is going to get significant and instant ROI through organic reach. Still, you can get a significant boost by using Facebook’s reasonably priced ad campaigns. So, which businesses should be on Facebook? All of them. Every single one, from entertainment to technology to retail and service.
The key for Instagram is age demographic. Users are age 18-30ish, so if they are your target market, this is where you should be. In the beginning, it used to be enough to just have a presence, but these days, folks expect your marketing to be a little more slick. Product sales do best on this platform, especially if you provide great images and lay out a detailed sales strategy of search terms and links.
YouTube wasn't on the list when I wrote about platforms back in 2015, but there’s no ignoring it now. People love to watch videos and YouTube has the longest pedigree of providing those videos. YouTube also has a very representative demographic of age groups, genders, and interest. This platform is best for businesses that can show how-to videos and who are ready to invest in producing video content.
I didn’t mention TikTok in 2015 either because it didn’t exist back then! It’s one of the fastest growing platforms ever, which means huge numbers of people can see and act on your marketing. Don’t believe me? Try googling “TikTok Made Me Buy It.” Creativity is what TikTok is known for, so marketing here needs to also be creative to seem organic. TikTok definitely skews towards a younger audience and producing these short videos can be difficult and/or pricey for some businesses, so don’t just jump into this without a plan.
Are you selling a product related to food, fashion, or DIY projects? Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest – all day and all night. This platform is NOT for everyone, but if you fit in the specific niche though, then you're golden. Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female, the perfect customer if you're selling a product that a woman would buy for herself or for someone else. Think jewelry, photographers, home decor, party supplies, and so on. For these kinds of products, a presence on Pinterest is well worth the effort and probably worth advertising dollars as well.
LinkedIn is a different type of platform and has a very specific audience of professionals. The platform is all about making business connections with millions of people using it weekly to look for jobs. Connections between companies for outsourcing or partnerships is also part of the package, so maintaining a respectable presence here is important. You can also advertise on LinkedIn and there conversion rates are impressive, if this narrow audience is your target.
The years have not been kind to Twitter. They have actually lost followers and the company is in disarray. Still, for certain topics such as politics, sports, and entertainment – things that have immediate engagement possibilities – Twitter is the place to be. If your business is also up-to-the-minute and you can play on that field, then this could your platform.
LOL! This was on my 2015 list, but you obviously don’t need to worry about it any longer. That said, every company with an address should have a Google Business Profile, which does have some aspects of social networks since you can post images and articles there and respond to customer comments.
So, now that you’ve answered the three questions and run through my brief summary of social platforms, which one will you choose first? Sure, you can have more, but it only makes sense to focus on one at a time so you can make the most of it. And remember, if you’d rather hand this task off, just give us a call and we’ll do it for you!
Photo by Liza Summer
This article is an update to “Which Social Network Is Best for Your Business?” dated 1/5/2015.