Your website runs successfully, you have a product or service that has been well received by your target market, and now you're looking to expand your online reach. Where do you start? Social media, of course! But how do you choose the right social media platform for your business? Read on to find out how choosing the right one can make all the difference!
What Is A Social Media Platform?
A social media platform refers to a website or application that enables users to create and share content or participate in social networking. The platforms are designed for different purposes, such as:
- sharing photos and videos
- communicating with friends and family
- networking with professionals
- promoting businesses
Each online platform has its own benefits and features, making it crucial for you to choose the right one that aligns with their goals and target audience.
The Social Media Platforms Available Today
The evolution of social media provided you with various platforms to choose from. Some of the most popular ones include:
With 3 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It is great for you to develop a business brand identity, broaden your reach, and provide information regarding changes, events, and promotions.
Facebook also allows you to run Facebook Ads (targeted advertisements) that can reach a specific audience based on various demographics, interests, and behaviours. This is usually an area where you might benefit from expert advice and skills. So, if Facebook is a platform you want to utilise, our social media marketing services here at Starbright can help!
A close second to Facebook with 2.35 billion daily active users, Instagram is a visual platform perfect if your business focuses on product or service visuals. The platform is ideal for creating an aesthetically pleasing feed that can attract potential customers.
Instagram has features such as Instagram Stories, Reels, IGTV, Threads, and IG Shopping that enable you to showcase your brand in various ways and reach a larger audience.
Often referred to as the "adult Facebook" social media platform, LinkedIn is perfect for B2B (Business-to-Business) connections and networking. The platform has 135 million active monthly users, making it the most professional platform to promote your business and build relationships with other professionals.
LinkedIn also provides you with various tools such as LinkedIn Groups, Pulse (a news aggregation feature), and a job board for recruitment purposes.
YouTube is one of the biggest search engine platforms, with over 2 billion active monthly users. It is the perfect platform for businesses that focus on video content such as tutorials, product demos, and brand storytelling.
YouTube allows you to reach a vast audience globally and has features such as YouTube Live, channel memberships, and Super Chat (a feature that enables viewers to pay to have their comments highlighted during live streams).
If you want to stay on track with the latest trending news in your business or build brand awareness through quick updates, Twitter is the perfect platform for you. With 528 million active monthly users, you can see why it's an ideal platform for reaching a large audience quickly.
Twitter has features such as hashtags, retweets, and polls that can help you interact with your target market effectively.
There are many more social media platforms, including Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat, that have unique features and cater to specific demographics. But the ones mentioned above are the most widely used and have proven to be highly effective for businesses.
Now that you've familiarised yourself with the top social media platforms, how do you choose which one is the right fit for your business?
Let's talk about some factors to consider.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Social Media Platform for Your Business
Define Your Target Audience
Your target audience should be the number one factor to consider.
Think about this: You're a fashion brand targeting young adults in the 18-25 age range. Where would they most likely be found? Or you specialise in B2B marketing and want to reach professionals in the technology sector. Which platform would they be most active on?
Understanding your target audience's demographics, interests, and habits will help you determine which social media platform is best suited for reaching them.
Set Goals You Want To Reach
A set of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals should be in place before choosing a social media platform for your business. Goals will help you set up criteria for what the social media platform needs to have in order to help you achieve them.
Here are some common goals that businesses aim for on social media platforms:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive website traffic (Off-page SEO strategy)
- Generate leads
- Boost sales and revenue
- Improve customer engagement and relations
Research Your Competitors
Research, not steal, your competitor's social media strategies to learn from them. Take note of which platforms they are most active on and what type of content they share. This will give you an idea of what is working for them and which platforms might be best suited for your business as well.
For instance, if you're a digital marketing agency, you might notice that your competitor is highly active on LinkedIn and shares informative articles and case studies. This could indicate that your audience of professionals in the business industry may also be active on LinkedIn.
Test Social Media Platforms
Rather than jumping into every social media platform at once, have a look at the key features of each and test them out personally. This will give you a feel for each platform and help you determine which one fits your business goals and target audience best.
Here are some key features to consider when researching platforms:
- Demographics: Identify if the platform's user demographics match your target audience.
- Interests: Look at what type of content is most popular on the platform. If it aligns with your brand and business, this could be a good sign.
- User engagement: Pay attention to how users interact with content on the platform. Are they engaging through comments, likes, shares, or clicks?
- Advertising options: If you plan to run paid ads, research the advertising options available on each platform and see if they align with your budget and goals.
Look At Your Budget
Most social media platforms have no sign-up fee or subscription cost, but advertising and promoted posts often incur costs. Therefore, it's important to consider your budget when choosing a platform.
Platforms like LinkedIn have a higher cost per click (CPC) for ads than other platforms like Facebook. Therefore, if your budget is limited, it may be more beneficial to focus on platforms with lower advertising costs.
Think About Your Availability
A good rule of thumb when it comes to content marketing is to be consistent. With consistency comes regular posting content, following the same tone of voice, and engaging with your audience.
This requires time and effort. Especially if you plan to utilise more than one social media platform.
So do you,
- have the time?
- have the resources?
- have a team to assist you?
If you answer yes to all these, then you may be comfortable with choosing multiple platforms.
However, if you find yourself limited in resources and time, it's best to start with one platform to which you can fully commit. You can always expand to other platforms later on as your business grows.
On the other hand, a social media marketing agency may have the resources and time to handle multiple platforms at once. So, reach out to our social media team to see how we can help you.
Think About Integration
Your website is your business's online home. Therefore, it should be integrated with your social media platforms. Can your website be integrated with all your desired social media platforms? If not, choose the platform that will offer the most seamless integration or hire web development services to make it possible.
All Set To Go?
After reading this article, you'll be confident in your decision on the choosing a social media platform for your business.
Remember, it's not about choosing the most popular or biggest platform. It's about choosing the one that aligns with you and your business!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the best social media platform to use?
Choosing a social media platform to use depends on your wants and needs. Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each platform has its own unique features, audience, and purpose. It's best to do your own research or connect with professionals in the field to help you.
2. How do I promote my social media accounts?
One way to promote your social media accounts is by creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience. You can also utilise social media advertising, collaborations with influencers, and cross-promotion with other businesses.
3. Can I use multiple platforms for my business?
Of course! All platforms are designed to work together, and each one caters to different needs. However, it's important to consider your resources and capabilities before taking on multiple platforms at once. It's always best to start with one platform and gradually expand as you build a strong presence and following.
4. How do I measure success on social media?
Success on social media can be measured through various metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversions. It's important to set specific goals for your social media presence and track these metrics to see if you are meeting them.