How To Choose The Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
Over the years, social media has grown from simply “a social experiment” to one of the most effective marketing tools available to any business. Every day we see new businesses spring up on social media and go viral with their products and services.
Some of these businesses make seven figures and still do not have a physical location or any semblance of a formal/traditional structure. There is no questioning – social media is a powerful medium.
While social media continues to bridge the gap between potential buyers and businesses, it’s near impossible for small and medium-sized businesses to maintain an active presence on all social media platforms.
We've created this article to help you navigate through the massive confusion, indecision, and information overload that is bound to overwhelm most business owners and marketers when trying to decide the best social media channel for their business.
IMPORTANT INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS
As a business owner, or marketer, knowing the numbers behind most of these social media platforms will give you a better understanding of your audience, and help when formulating Ad strategy, budget placement, and content creation.
- As of January 2020, the world population stood at an estimated 7.8 billion people, while the number of internet users stood at 4.5 billion.
- The average daily time spent on social is 142 minutes a day.
- 81% of all small and medium businesses use some kind of social platform.
- The average daily time spent on social is 142 minutes a day.
- There are 725 billion active social media users.
- As at the end of 2019, Only 20 Fortune 500 companies actually engage with their customers on Facebook, while 83% have a presence on Twitter
- The top 3 content marketing tactics are social media content (83%), blogs (80%), and email newsletters (77%)
1. START OFF WITH A LIST OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS:
Social media offers several benefits to a growing business, but it’s important to jot down your goals before going full throttle into social media marketing. You should ask yourself: What’s the marketing goal on this social media platform?
This is a short list of possible goals for most businesses:
- Improve the delivery of your service by staying active on a social media platform – this allows you to attend to customers’ inquiries, complaints, and concerns.
- Identify new and valuable leads and prospects and reach out to them to inform them about your line of offerings.
- Study new audiences, demographics, and segments as they are also stakeholders whose behaviors, opinions, and spending habits can directly or indirectly affect your business. Learn their needs, wants, and ideate solutions that center their pain points.
- Aggressively Increase brand awareness by both creating contents tailored towards or/and creating ad campaigns to achieve a wider marketing reach of social media users
It’s important to have specific goals before you move forward. When you arrive at what looks like your list of social media goals, you will be able to routinely audit your performance using the ‘actual vs. expected’ formula.
2. DETERMINE THE BEST 3 SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS:
There is no universally accepted method for ascertaining where to find your audience, but there are great practices that you can adopt. The goal of social media marketing is to put your brand directly in front of your audience.
You have to understand your audience at a basal level. By understanding the industry trends, purchase habits, social media habits, and the social media platforms itself, you can accurately predict where to find your audience.
- If you run a brick and mortar business, you can ask walk-in customers to fill a simple customer survey. Ask questions like their preferred social media platform, if they are comfortable with ordering online and engaging (follow and likes) with vendors/brands.
- You can also use the data insights provided by the social media platforms themselves. For example, Facebook audience insight is a feature that tells you about your ideal customers and the potential audience size based on certain commonly used keywords, group segments, large companies, and more.
3. CURATE AND CREATE THE TYPE OF CONTENT THAT RESONATES WITH YOUR AUDIENCE:
After determining the best social media platform(s) for your business, the next step is to create a content plan for your brand. Different forms of content work for different audiences and platforms. Fashion brands tend to respond to visuals of the apparel more than text describing the apparel.
Career professionals tend to respond to detailed, long-form blog posts and articles than visuals. As a business owner, you should post the kind of content that will draw the type of leads you are looking to convert.
Different forms of content include:
- Industry reports
- Video content
- Blog posts
- User-generated content
- Webinars and live streams
SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO CONSIDER:
Facebook is the largest social media platform by a healthy distance, with over 2 billion monthly active users. Facebook adds 500,000 new users every day, six new profiles every second. 74% of Facebook users check it every day. There are 60 million active business pages on Facebook. Facebook has 5 million active advertisers on the platform.
Facebook is arguably the best platform for lead generation as the platform has been able to collate, and segment user data in a way that business owners and marketers can target very specific audiences. Also, if you are looking to build real human relationships, and grow your followership organically before selling or pitching, Facebook is also a great platform to start with.
Facebook allows users to post a variety of content, but as a business owner, you will want to post content that reflects integrity, trust, and maybe a little harmless fun. Remember also; there is a lot of competition, so you have to be consistent.
BUSINESSES THAT USE FACEBOOK THE MOST
- Marketing and Advertising
- Computer Software
- Real Estate
- Higher Education
- Education Management
- Information Technology and Services
- Financial Services
- Hospital & Health Care
Twitter represents urgency. Twitter is the ideal platform for businesses that want to connect with their followers by the minute with breaking news, disclaimers, product launches, change of address announcements, and more. Twitter has been heralded as the millennial’s favorite platform, as most users are under the age of 50.
According to Statista, 49 million Americans make up 15% of monthly users worldwide. 80% of U.S. tweets come from 10% of Twitter users. Twitter ads with video are 50% cheaper in cost-per-engagement. Twitter users spend 26% more time with ads than other social media users.
The best type of content to create and post on Twitter is quick and easy to read text content, such as how-to articles, listicles, and guides. Posts with images tend to perform better on Twitter than video. You can also organize polls, giveaways, and quizzes to engage with potential customers on a much more per intimate level.
10 BRANDS TO STUDY AND EMULATE ON TWITTER:
- Major League Baseball
- Innocent drinks
- DiGiorno Pizza
- General Electric
- Marsk Line
- MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Most business owners make the mistake of thinking LinkedIn marketing only works for career professionals and B2B businesses. From a very distant view, this perception may seem true, but there are also a lot of B2C businesses that thrive and do big engagement numbers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great choice for lead generation also.
If you are looking to grow your personal brand outside of your business, then LinkedIn is a platform you should prioritize.
A lot of thought leaders, motivational speakers, career professionals, and authorities in different fields use LinkedIn as a marketing tool to reach out to and engage leads through posts and conversations.
According to SimilarWeb, LinkedIn received 844.11 million visits from July 2019 to December 2019, where the user spent 6-minutes and 55 seconds on the platform. 40% of monthly active users use LinkedIn daily. There are 11 million Millennial decision-makers on LinkedIn.
Of LinkedIn’s total user base, it was last reported that 44% are women. LinkedIn ads and LinkedIn premium also allow you to advertise or send messages to people outside your network.
If you are looking to explore the world of pictorial marketing, Pinterest is the go-to-platform for strictly images. Pinterest is a graphics-heavy platform that can help drive sales for your product and services. According to a report by Sprout Social in 2019, Pinterest reported 291 million monthly active users worldwide.
Over one-third of Pinterest's current monthly active users are from the U.S. With Pinterest, users can use features like commenting, liking other people's pins, repining to their own boards, following boards of colleagues and friends and, sharing pins on other social media platforms. As a business owner, you can also embed selected pins on your website or blog for much more exposure.
INDUSTRIES THAT USE PINTEREST THE MOST
There are many benefits to using social media, and if you haven’t started doing social media marketing, now is the time to give it a rethink. It’s never too late to hop on the train and start networking on your top two or top three social media platforms (after applying the steps we mentioned).
As a small and medium-sized business considering paid advertising on via social media, you must spend time to understand your audience, where to find them and know if they are comfortable making purchasing decisions on these selected platforms.