You’re busy – we know this.

Running a business takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, which means that it’s nearly impossible to maintain an active presence on every single social media platform out there, especially the obscure options like ones for the wealthy, people at airports, and the aesthetically challenged (yes, these are all real).

Since you can’t cover them all, you need to choose wisely. Think strategically about your target audience, your industry, and your business. To help you develop a strategy for making your picks, we offer you these tips for choosing the best social media platforms for your business.

1.  Understand Each Platform

Before you consider jumping on every platform out there (besides the one for aesthetically challenged individuals – you’re too beautiful for that), learn about them. You’re likely safe avoiding the lesser-known options because they don’t have nearly as vast a user base. Instead, use your energy researching the big dogs.

Or better yet, save yourself some of that precious time and read the research we did for you.

Facebook

Worldwide, Facebook has over 1.3 billion users. So, if Facebook were a county, it would be the most populated one on the planet. People use Facebook to establish relationships and keep in touch with friends. This makes it an ideal platform for forging bonds with consumers.

However, the massive user base is a double-edged sword: with such a wide audience and so much content, it can be easy for your business to get lost in the shuffle. For this reason, Facebook is better-suited for communicating with already-established consumers rather than finding new ones.

Twitter

Twitter is an excellent platform to boost awareness of your business. It utilizes hashtags, which are words or phrases that help organize conversations and direct people to certain topics. You can research hashtags and find out what people are talking about as it relates to your business. By searching the trending topics, you learn what hashtags will help your messages reach as much of your target audience as possible.

Twitter is also the most widely use platform for instant updates, so it should be your go-to if you want to relay information to consumers in real time. Many brands choose to use it for customer service purposes because of this.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual platform that resembles a scrollable scrapbook or bulletin board with photos “pinned” to the page. It’s not as widely used as the other platform we’ll mention, but it can be effective for the correct, visually oriented audience as long as you are equipped with the necessary design team.

Pinterest’s audience is mostly made up of higher-income females, so if that’s your target, your business should be on Pinterest.

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing platform with more than a billion users. Because of its enormous content library, it has become one of the most popular search engines on the web. Consumers often use it for how-to videos.

If you offer services or products that require explanations, then this site can be a great way to communicate with your base.

Instagram

One of the fastest growing platforms, Instagram is popular among younger audiences. It’s a heavily visual site that relies on captivating images to stimulate engagement and conversations.

Use it if your product is aesthetically pleasing, to provide valuable information, and to cultivate engagement with your audience.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn appeals most to an older, professionally focused crowd. The highest percentage of its users fall in the 30-49 age range. LinkedIn’s value comes from the narrow focus of its users. These are career-minded individuals using the site to search for jobs and make professional contacts. It can also be a great place to recruit employees.

2.  Define Your Social Media Goals

As a business owner, your primary goal is probably to drive sales by drawing customers, but that’s not the only purpose of social media use for your business. Other uses include customer support, driving brand recognition, and developing and maintaining relationships with your audience.

Spend some time brainstorming your social media goals with your team. Cover all the obvious uses and come up with unusual uses as well. Formulating these goals is an essential starting point in discovering the best social media platforms for your business.

3.  Identify Your Social Media Audience

Once you have an idea about your goals, think about your audience. The key here is to be as specific as possible. Round up your social media team again, then pose and answer questions like:

  • Who is your average consumer?
  • How old are they?
  • What are their income and education levels?
  • What are their values and interests?

It can also be helpful to reach out to your audience members directly to learn more about them. Ask questions like those above and others so you’ll have a better idea about which social media platforms they will frequent.

4.  Follow Your Audience

We mean this literally, as in you should follow them on social media platforms. We also mean follow them to the platforms that they’re using. After all your research, you should have a pretty good idea about where your target spends time on social media.

Find where they are and observe the content they create, like, and share. This will serve as a helpful guide for the type of content that you should create to resonate most strongly with your target audience.

Social media is a tricky game. Finishing all the necessary research to find the best social media platforms for your business is a great and crucial start, but it is only the start. Then you need to create and follow through on social media posting plans that are based on a carefully crafted strategy.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions or create a custom social media strategy to help your business thrive.