How to choose the best social media platforms for your business

 

With so many different options out there, how do you choose the best social media platforms for your business?

It can be really daunting and overwhelming!

You know that it’s important for your business to have an ‘online presence’ but where the heck do you start, right?

Everyday there seems to be new platforms emerging and new updates for the existing ones!

So much change!

 

WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA AT ALL?

Before we work out how to choose the best social media platforms for your business, we need to answer a few questions around your expectations from social media…

Do you want a social presence for your business just to be ‘socially active’?

Are you looking to build brand awareness?

Do you want to generate leads and sales via the content that you post?

Will you want to leverage social media for its advertising capabilities?

Who are you trying to reach?

Which platforms do your target audience hangout on?

Answering these questions will help establish the best platforms for you to consider.

After all, you social media activity needs to happen on a platform where your target audience hangs out for it to be as effective as possible!

 

MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOU

I want to make things a bit easier for you!

The first thing to do is to take a deep breath and let it all that tension out…it’s going to be ok!

Here’s some good news

Social media doesn’t need to be complicated and you don’t have to change everything you have ever done to make it work.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

You need to find a way to make social media work for you!

Social media at its core is about communication.

It’s that simple.

The trick is deciding how you can best ‘story tell’ on a platform where your target audience spends a lot of their time.

In the second part of this blog, I am going to provide you with key features, demographics and best practices for some of the top platforms.

 

CHOOSE THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

facebook logoFacebook

The world’s biggest social media platform boasts nearly 2 billion monthly active users (MAU’s).

So in my honest opinion, having a Facebook presence for your business is not an option.

It’s a must!

Why you ask?

Think of Facebook as another Google.

If people want to find out more about your or your business, there is a very high possibility they will search on Facebook first!

Demographics
  • Age based, the largest user demographic is those aged 25-34
  • Facebook users are 53% female and 47% male
  • 56% of online seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 63% are between age 50-60
What Facebook Does Best

Facebook connects people, business and brands.

It is also hands down the most targeted digital advertising platform in the world.

Facebook is where you set up your social media ‘home base’, just like your website is your digital ‘home base’.

Best features for your business include:

  • The ability to connect with a vast number of people and prospects
  • Live streaming capabilities
  • The most targeted digital advertising platform in the world
  • eCommerce integrations
What Works Best for Facebook
  • Long form written content in posts in the news feed
  • Facebook hosted video is given preference over other forms of content
  • Live streaming is currently given preference above all content, period

Instagraminstagram logo

Instagram is owned by Facebook and spent most of 2016 unleashing updates, none more popular or controversial than its ‘Stories’ function which was Snapchat’s main feature!

With Instagram it has always been about beautiful images.

Now that includes video, stories and direct messaging.

Demographics
  • Instagram users are 49% female and 51% male
  • 55% of all online 18 to 29 year olds in the U.S. are using Instagram
  • The next largest Instagram age demographic is 30 to 49 years old at 28% usage
What Instagram Does Best

‘Insta’ is perfect for businesses that have a visual or physical product.

Best features for your business include:

  • The ability to showcase your products or story tell in a visually appealing way
  • Document and take people behind the scenes with the Stories feature
  • Communicate with people on a deeper level via direct messaging
What Works Best On Instagram
  • High quality images draw peoples eye and their attention
  • Quote and motivational images generally see high levels of engagement
  • Using hashtags with your posts is vital for their searchability and high engagement levels
  • Giving people a more immersive experience by posting images & using Instagram stories

 

Snapchatsnapchat logo

In the beginning, Snapchat was a disappearing photo app used by teenagers with a reputation for circulating ‘inappropriate’ material.

In March 2017, Snapchat launched on the stock exchange and closed its first day being a more valuable company than Ferrari and United Airlines!

Today, Snapchat has over 150 million MAU’s and has a younger demographic than most of the other top platforms.

Demographics
  • 60% of all users are under 25 years of age
  • Largest Snapchat age demographic is 18- to 24-year-olds
What Snapchat Does Best

Snapchat allows you to communicate in a way that is the most realistic to humans.

The content you post has a limited lifetime of 24 hours before it disappears!

Best features for your business include:

  • The ability to reach a younger but highly engaged audience
  • Content that creates a sense of urgency because it doesn’t last forever
  • A ‘snapcode’ which can be scanned to easily allow people to connect people to your account
  • Direct messaging, audio messaging and voice calling all inside the platform itself
What Works Best On Snapchat
  • Being authentic and transparent
  • Content that is not highly produced. Don’t overthink it and try to make it perfect.
  • Consistent content helps to build a loyal audience.
  • Show your audience ‘behind the scenes’…feed people’s curiosity.  

 

Twittertwitter logo

Gary Vaynerchuck calls Twitter the “water cooler of our society”.

Twitter is where you go for trending topics and news, to share short updates, communicate with people and search for things that you might need answers too.

Twitter can be a great tool in business for finding people you have a problem that your business can solve.

Demographics
  • 32% of internet users aged 18 to 29 continue to use Twitter
  • 13% of those aged 50 to 64 use Twitter
  • Almost half of girls aged 15 to 17 (49%) use Twitter, compared to 34% of boys
  • While only 19% of online moms use Twitter, 27% of online dads embrace the service
What Twitter Does Best

Twitter provides you and your business a real-time communication channel with the rest of the world.

There has been a lot of talk over recent years about Twitter’s lack of innovation and issues with the way they deliver content in the feed.

But there has been a gradual revival in recent months, which is seeing Twitter’s value start to climb.

Best features for your business include:

  • The ability to communicate and engage on trending topics and events worldwide
  • Digital advertising  (can be rather pricey compared to Facebook for example)
  • Provide real time customer service
What Works Best On Twitter
  • Multiple posts or ‘tweets’ per day is recommended due to each post’s short timespan
  • Tweets with images or video show higher levels of engagement
  • Tweets with 2 hashtags perform better that posts with none or multiple hashtags.

 

Youtubeyoutube logo

Youtube was founded in 2005 by three former Paypal employees.

Today, it is the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google.

More than 100 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every minute!

Demographics
  • 33% of all internet users also use Youtube.
  • User percentage by age 18-24 – 11%, 25-34 – 23%, 35-44 – 26%, 45-54 – 16%, 50-64 – 8%, 65+ – 3%, unknown age – 14%.
What Youtube Does Best

Youtube is one of the best places in the world to house your video content and share it with the world.

There are many other video hosting platforms that are amazing in their own right including Wistia and Vimeo, each with their own pro’s and con’s.

Youtube however, has the volume of traffic and eyeballs with nearly one third of all internet users on the platform.

It is also free to create an account and add as much video content as you can!

Best features for your business include:

  • An unlimited amount of video hosting
  • High levels of traffic and viewers
  • All content is searchable via Youtube and Google
  • Monetisation options are also offered (however they plan to change the threshold to 10k views)
What Works Best On Youtube
  • The length of video doesn’t matter, it’s the quality and value of the content that counts
  • Thumbnails that are vibrant and catch people’s eye will generally lead to more views overall
  • Using a tool like TubeBuddy, will allow you to add tags and optimise your videos for better engagement and searchability.

 

LinkedInlinkedin logo

People often refer to LinkedIn as the ‘professional’ version Facebook.

LinkedIn was started in 2003 and is one of the older social networking sites having survived many ups, downs and technology changes over the years.

In 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion with plans to integrate the platform with its Windows software.

Best features for your business include:

  • An engaged community of people with a business mindset and focus while using the platform
  • A more professional setting for your business to be ‘social active’.
  • The ability to create both personal and company pages for greater brand awareness
  • The ability to share and promote job vacancies, promotions, and share career opportunities
  • Digital advertising (can be rather pricey compared to Facebook for example)
Demographics
What Works Best On LinkedIn
  • Posting a range of content from white papers, ebooks, video and case studies
  • Posting multiple times per day and being socially active!
  • Publish written content on Publisher with is linked to your profile
  • Joining groups and engaging with other people’s content

 

TEST, MEASURE, REPEAT.

At the end of the day, these are just some of the top social media platforms.

Creative is the variable for success.

What you do and the value you provide determines the overall results you have with social media.

Remember that while each platform has certain functions, doing things differently is what helps you stand out!

There is not always one ‘perfect’ social media platform for your business.

Like many things, it is about testing, measuring and repeating.

Try things and if they don’t work, try something else!

Remain authentic. Provide value. Be socially active.

At the end of the day, being true to yourself, your brand and caring about the person at the other end is the most important thing.

I hope this article will help you choose the best social media platforms for your business.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below, I would be happy to help!

Thank you for your time and for reading this!

 

[WANTING MORE?]

Click here to read – HOW SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS CAN FIND TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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Anthony Murphy

5 thoughts on “How to choose the best social media platforms for your business”

  1. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  2. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

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