How to Choose the Best Social Media for Your Company
It seems like every day, a new social media platform sprouts up from nowhere. Then, right away, marketing gurus start telling you that you must be on this new platform if you ever want to be successful.
The problem is that each social platform requires time, energy, and money – resources that most small business owners and solopreneurs are already running low on. So, what are you supposed to do?
Here’s the truth. There are absolutely zero reasons to try and dominate every platform. For one, unless you have a large team or budget, you just don’t have the time. Additionally, your target audience isn’t on every platform, so you shouldn’t be either.
So, how do you know which platforms are worth the work and which ones to skip? In this article, we’re sharing everything you need to know about choosing the best social media networks for your company.
A Look at the Options
Before you can choose which social media is right for your business, you have to know the options. While you may already have an idea of the major players, here’s a quick rundown of what they are, their benefits, and more.
Facebook is the biggest and most popular social media network, with 2.963 billion monthly active users. While people of all ages use it, it skews to a slightly older audience. Facebook offers many great business features, including groups, events, advertising platforms, business pages, and more. However, you’ll have to spend money on ads to gain traction as a business page.
With 450 million monthly active users, Twitter is where people go to share their thoughts on politics, entertainment, business, and more in 280 characters or less. Generally used by millennials and gen-z, Twitter gives people an immediate outlet to share their opinions with an audience. However, since getting a new CEO, Twitter’s fate has been a bit uncertain.
Instagram is an app and platform used predominately by millennials and gen-z, where users can post pictures and videos, share stories, and create reels. With 2.35 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a great place to connect and gain brand awareness. However, Instagram is a visual platform, so aesthetics is a must-have if you plan to succeed on Instagram.
LinkedIn is a business and career-oriented platform used by 900 million professionals. It’s the only platform created for B2B interactions and is commonly used to network and connect with professionals, prospects, and partners. However, usage can be sporadic for some users, and it isn’t the best for B2C companies.
Snapchat is a social media platform primarily used by teenagers and younger adults. With 375 million daily users, Snapchat lets users quickly share photos, videos, and messages with their friends and family. The pros of the app come from its private nature and its filters and lens effects that make sharing more fun. However, it can be challenging to grow and connect as a business.
TikTok is a social media and entertainment platform used mainly by gen-z, where users can post short videos and interact via comments, likes, and DMs. TikTok has more than 1 billion monthly active users and an algorithm that makes it easy to grow new audiences quickly. However, TikTok doesn’t offer all the video creation features to businesses (for example, companies don’t have access to all the sounds). In addition, some potential security concerns may result in the United States banning the platform.
With 435 million monthly active users, Pinterest is a platform and app primarily used by women in the 18-49 age range. Pinterest makes creating and saving images, links, and resources easy. It also allows users to follow each other and comment to build community. It's terrific for search engine optimization and has an entire business suite to help companies grow on the platform. However, if your business isn’t one of the primary niches served by Pinterest, you might have issues growing there.
With 50 million daily users, Reddit is a popular social media platform based on discussion boards and groups. It’s most popular with males aged 18-49. Reddit has an expansive content library that connects people to topics they’re interested in while also allowing them to engage in conversations with others. However, Reddit users are mostly anonymous, and it can be challenging to break into any groups or gain traction – especially as a business.
YouTube is a video-sharing platform popular with people of all ages. With 2.1 billion active users, it’s the second most used search engine globally (second to Google). As a result, it’s a terrific place to build your brand and engage with users. With tons of advertising options, it’s also ideal for gaining traction quickly. However, because YouTube is a video platform, you’ll have to have the time, energy, creativity, and budget to create video content regularly.
6 Steps to Selecting the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
Okay, now that we’ve done a brief rundown of the social media platforms. Here are some steps for determining which one(s) is right for your company.
1. Start with Your Audience
This is the most critical factor when determining which platform to prioritize. You want to go to a platform where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you're going to target gen-Z, you won’t want to pour all your resources into Facebook. So, start by figuring out where your customers are, and eliminate any platforms that don’t fit the bill.
2. Consider Your Brand
The second thing to consider is your brand and brand persona. For example, if you’re a visual or artistic brand, you definitely want to consider visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest first. Alternatively, if you’re a very professional brand, you might want to avoid more casual platforms like Twitter or Snapchat. In short, you need to know your vibe and find the platforms that mesh with it.
3. Check Out Your Competitors
If you still aren’t sure about the best place to set up shop, look at where your competitors are. See which platforms they use and where they’re the most successful. While you don’t want to copy your competitors, you can glean some helpful insight from researching what’s working (and not working) for them.
4. Consider Your Available Resources and Strengths
Every social media platform requires different skills. For example, YouTube requires you to know how to make video content. Instagram requires you to be good with visuals. Reddit requires you to become enmeshed with the community. Each platform requires something different. Take time to assess what skills you have and what resources you have to pour into social media before going all in on one.
5. Define Some Clear Goals
Consider your goals and what you plan to accomplish on social media. Are you looking to increase website visits and conversions? Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great for this. Attract new customers? LinkedIn might be more your speed. Grow brand awareness? TikTok and Twitter are great for brand awareness. Creating clear goals can also guide you toward the right platform for you.
6. Choose a Platform (and Learn All About It)
Once you’ve done your research and know your goals, you should be able to decide which platform is the right choice for your business. Once you’ve chosen which social media platform you want to focus on, take lots of time to familiarize yourself with how it works and start creating content. Make sure you devote the time to understand it inside and out. Do some trial and error and give yourself time to become really good at it.
Take Advantage of Social Media – One Network at a Time
Social media is too powerful of a tool to ignore. However, that doesn’t mean you have to dominate every social media network out there. In fact, trying to manage them all could hurt you. That’s why you have to choose the best ones for your company and pour all your resources into dominating it.
Most likely, you’ll end up choosing a couple of platforms, so be sure to repurpose your content and use social media tools (like Hootsuite) to automate and minimize your work.
Taking an intentional approach and selecting a platform or two at a time will go a long way toward getting you tangible results. So, follow the steps above to choose the best networks for your company so you can start dominating social media instead of drowning in the options.
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