Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Your Business
The worst strategy is no strategy or action-planning. As a small business you just can’t afford to take those risks. That’s why it’s critical that you understand each social media platform, their respective demographics, & how they may benefit your business.
Facebook – Beware The Algorithm
There’s no doubt that Facebook rules as king on social. Boasting 1.15 billion active daily users, it's no secret that Facebook is probably your number 1 pick for social media marketing, but not so fast. While Facebook remains on top & continues to wow users with new features like group analytics, interactive comments, messenger ads, & even more innovative video streaming methods, Facebook has most notably decreased organic reach meaning it’s now even harder for you to reach your existing or new audience without paying. This can hurt small businesses as they don’t always start out with a large marketing budget to begin with. So paying for eyes & the advertisements for those eyes can seem incredibly daunting & intimidating.
I recommend creating a unique community, news-worthy picture or video posts, & content that generates engagement. Even though it's more work, success on Facebook begins with your audience & content. Most businesses can generally benefit from being on Facebook. 71% of every adult with internet has a Facebook account. And those adults could potentially be customers, so it might be in your interest to create an account on the platform, especially if a good percentage of those adults spend 20 minutes on Facebook everyday.
Twitter - A Bit Over-Saturated
Underdog or not, Twitter has over 313 million monthly active users, & is considered the platform to be on for both users & business’s looking for the absolute latest in trends, news, & engagement from larger brands. Twitter is most popular among the 18 - 45 age group & college-educated. Twitter is also the most saturated of the social media platforms with 53% of users never actually using their accounts. That's right, most of the people are you are trying to reach on Twitter aren't really available. Bummer.
To combat over-saturation Twitter created First View in 2016. “First View is an engaging & highly visible way to share your brand story with compelling video creative across Twitter’s massive audience..” – Twitter For Business. First View only lasts 24 hours & ' Love At First View' began based on research that users are more in tune with the first videos they see on their timeline.
Incorporating Twitter into your digital strategy means that you can bring customers to your website through tweets, increase your reach through takeovers, sponsor promotions, & suggest downloads or app installs to followers. Twitter has an array of options available to you, you just have to know they are there & how they work to your benefit. I love Twitter for business because it’s a quick & easy way to share your message. It forces you to re-imagine your story into 5-6 second 140 character snippets of content. It also puts you right there with everything else & can be a great free tool for a business just starting out online. Brands with a huge customer service element, or that provide a source for education, news, entertainment, & trends thrive on Twitter. But be weary of the algorithm. Posts promoted at the right time with video/pictures, & high engagement will be shown higher on your customer's feeds.
Instagram has over 400 million daily users & over half of Insta’s users are between the ages of 18-29. The image & video social sharing platform has changed the way business’s tell their story & are able to relay their message to new audiences. When considering Instagram it’s good to also think about your time commitment as Instagram isn’t as text-friendly as Facebook or Twitter. Be prepared to plan out posts, & invest in a good camera, props, or time with your phone to get your page off the ground. If your brand is very visual, art-related, a creative subject, or you just want to give it a shot this platform is for you.
Snapchat has over 300 million monthly users & 100 million daily users. There are over 1 million snaps created everyday & your business could be one of them. Snapchat requires a bit more attention as it forces you to put together scripts or graphics depending on how involved you want to be. This is usually helpful when planning potential TV shows or ad placements for your followers. If you aren’t use to being on camera or aren’t a fan of constantly-changing artificial intelligence, this platform might not be for you. Snapchat is ideal for in-the-moment subjects, takeovers, embracing the humanity behind your brand, & personality. Action-packed, travelers, or interactive brands are ideal for Snap.
If it wasn’t obvious, Pinterest has a pretty large following, 317 million to be exact. It remains dominated by women by almost half, with men still far behind. The age group for Pinterest varies with users falling in the 18-64 bracket. Pinterest is great for your brand if your content is very interactive or niche. Let’s say you own a restaurant, & you get a ton of inquires about you recipes, you can then make a board, be sure to enable rich pins, that allows your follower base to re-create your recipe step by step. If you are an artist or have a thing for particular crafts, this is also the platform for you. Pinterest is for teaching, showing, & not so much selling. It operates a lot like google as it's key-word heavy. Don’t expect to get a lot of traffic by promoting the heck out of your business on here. Build a community, curate content, & nurture them with your story for optimal success.
While college grads, job-seekers, & young professionals continue to grow on the site, Linkedin is the only platform where those between the ages of 30-64 dominate. Linkedin is great for B2B relations, networking with other business owners in your industry, & creating a community for the team that makes your vision possible. I wouldn’t count on Linkedin for much more than that until you get a substantial following. You’ll also spend way more than you should on ads for your business.
While more & more people are getting use to the idea of social & are open to more than one account, we recommend doing research on the best platform(s) for your business & demographic. Stick to one or two platforms once you make your decision. Consider your availability on other platforms at a later point in your business plan..
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Source: The collected data comes from the Pew Social Media Update 2016