Which Social Media Platforms Should I Choose for My Business?
April 7, 2022
What a loaded question… there are multiple schools of thought on this, but honestly, it comes down to the following criteria to choose what is right for you!
You have the time and money to effectively manage the platform along with any others you may choose, simultaneously.
Your target audience or core personas are present and ideally, dominant on the platform.
The content you have to share is well-suited to the platform.
The goals you want to achieve, and the business results you want to get from the platform are worth the time and effort. (Note: This one can take a little time to figure out.)
You have the patience to not expect instant viral success or high expectation monetary returns from your first post, or your 50th for that matter!
Figuring out the must-have social media accounts for your industry or business comes down to your target audience and business goals. The good news is, you don’t have be on every single social platform if you don’t want to. Nine times out of ten, it is far better to choose one or two platforms and do them exceptionally well, as opposed to expending all of your budget and resources trying to scattergun your efforts across multiples and honestly, doing most of them poorly.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform(s) for Your Business
Hot Tip: It is important to understand that not all social interactions are immediate dollar value gains for your business! You are building a relationship with someone you have never met (and may never meet irl), so take the time, don’t rush it, and know that if you work at it, someone you first connected with 6 months ago through a simple liked post, could grow to become your biggest client in the future if you respect them online and get to know them better.
Every social media platform is going to offer different features, styles and benefits. Understand the people, the platform, and how it is used first, then decide if it is going to be the right fit for your business.
As the top-rated social network for B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is all about networking with your connections, sharing quality information to generate thought leadership and promoting your brand. On LinkedIn, your business takes part in a conversation with other industry thought leaders. You can also join LinkedIn Groups that align with your business to discover connections within your industry.
By publishing valuable and unique content on your LinkedIn page, developing your own newsletter to keep your followers up to date, or by sharing existing content from your connections, and engaging with industry related groups by offering information that is relevant and useful, you can foster connections and build a strong B2B community on this platform. Growing organically on LinkedIn isn’t as hard as it is on Facebook and Instagram but it still requires effort, primarily in terms of content. Remember, LinkedIn’s audience is mature. They’re professionals who generally understand their markets very well, so show them you respect that when you are delivering your content.
We hate to say it, but you just have to be on Facebook if you are wanting to get into social. Owned by Meta, it is still the one platform that really doesn’t differentiate between B2C or B2B relevance. Use your page as a small snapshot of your website, featuring useful information such as your contact details, hours, location, services, upcoming events and so much more. While many other social platforms offer some of these options, most don’t let you include this much detail!
Facebook is a fairly low-effort social media platform compared to some others because you are not expected to include visual content with each post. However, using photos, graphics and especially video, you will turn more heads and get more play on the algorithm. So long as you understand that it is now a pay to play arena for business, with organic all but dead for businesses on the platform, you will find this a great, low cost and easy social SEO opportunity to bring your business into the social media game.
It is politely ageing out though, however, see the next platform to capture that younger audience.
Another Meta owned platform, Instagram is a high-engagement network with brand-loyal followers, that can help your business succeed. It is however, a highly visual platform, this social network is best for highlighting your products using photos, stories, reels and longer form video content. If you don’t have the resources to make content that shines from every angle, you may want to steer clear.
Not so much a focus anymore, but still relevant is the that by using hashtags, your business can be discovered while users browse topics related to your brand. While your brand’s content needs to beat the skewed algorithm on Facebook to reach your full potential audience, on Instagram, your content is more likely to appear alongside content from the user’s friends and peers.
Both Facebook and Instagram have been going through monumental changes over the past year, so ensure you get in and do some training through their blueprint resource to truly get a handle on the latest options for your business.
As the second most-visited site on the internet after Google (which ironically owns YouTube), YouTube is a high-volume social network as well as a search engine – double the bang for buck. In addition to boosting your rank in Google search, YouTube has the potential to generate high traffic volumes.
YouTube content is highly likeable, linkable and shareable, integrating extremely well with other marketing such as other social channels, content marketing strategies and email campaigns. The main downside is that it takes a lot of time, money, and resources to maintain. It is critical for businesses on YouTube to regularly create video content to stay relevant, so be prepared to work on this one. The good news is that your content can come in many forms – from webinars and behind the scenes to showcases and explainer videos, there are a lot of ways to create great content. Just make sure that you have the resources to produce great videos before you invest too much in your YouTube social media and search strategy.
If you can handle the volume required, it is a good platform for B2C and B2B brands to invest in because more adults are on YouTube than on Facebook. Users watch YouTube videos to learn new things, research new products, watch news and follow their favourite content creators. Take this opportunity to establish your brand as one of those top content creators by showing off your personality, products and services.
If you’ve never dabbled in Reddit, it’s time to get acquainted with this strong, intelligent and highly allegiant audience. Reddit is a social news and entertainment platform where any age can post content to sub-communities (called subreddits). The most popular content is pushed to the front page, where the best content from all the subreddits is viewed by the masses.
You can utilise subreddits to segment your audience, promote deals and interesting news in the right communities, and employ customer service by managing your own brand’s community, host Q&As and live events, it really does have some fantastic capability if you are willing to put in the time and effort!
But be warned, do not just walk in with a sales pitch on this platform, spend some time there, understand it, get to know the acronyms, the conversations and discover where you should be and how you should engage with this audience. When you enter Reddit, you are dealing with a highly engaged and loyal community that can pick a lazy sales pitch, with no karma and no history, a mile away and you’ll be left asking yourself AITA, when they tear your brand to shreds for not even trying to be one of them.
Twitter is a network where you can post business updates, recent news, advertise, survey your followers and more. The use of relevant hashtags can build your posts’ momentum. While you may think of Twitter in the context of news and media as opposed to being great for business, there are some huge brands doing amazing business on Twitter! Several large B2C companies such as Burger King, Old Spice, Charmin, Wendy’s, Netflix and a host of others regularly pour their creative energy into Twitter and when they interact with each other, it is newsworthy and highly engaging.
Twitter is basically where “going viral” began and is still pretty impressive with its numbers today. With thousands of retweets and likes, many brands have been catapulted into the timelines of thousands of users. By successfully matching the witty tone of the rest of Twitter, your company could bring its own personality into the mix for some great gains.
Twitter is also the big space for all things Web3, if you want to discover the new digital world and where it’s going, it truly is one of only two channels where the tech futurists are hanging out and having really impressive and exploratory conversations around the blockchain, crypto currencies, DeFi, NFTs and oh so much more!
Succeeding on this platform can be time consuming, so you really do have to be there and be timely, which means serious social listening and proactive engagement.
Remember when I said that Twitter was one of only two channels where the tech futurists are hanging out? Well, Discord is the other! More than a group-chatting platform for gamers to hang out, it is fast becoming a highly engaging general use platform for many kinds of amazing communities.
Discord is divided into servers, each of which has its own member, topics, rules, roles, and channels. Unlike the mainstream social platforms, there is no main feed, so when you are on Discord you are on your chosen servers.
Bringing organic transparency back to the forefront of social, this community-based platform is everything you wish your other social channels could be. A great place to direct message, text chat, voice chat, hold live events, play games, or video chat with your highly engaged community. There are thousands of servers dedicated to different topics, so if you have an interest in something, there is a very high probability that you will find a Discord server for it!
There is just way too much to unpack here, suffice to say this is the up-and-coming channel you need to know about. Watch out for a Discord specific post on our blog soon, which will go into way more detail for you.
If you are looking for new ways to interact with customers, work across offline and online channels, and access additional metrics about your customers, then WhatsApp Business might be a good addition to your marketing mix for the discerning B2C and to a lesser degree B2B business.
From customer engagement and brand awareness to commerce opportunities for products and services, there are many reasons to use WhatsApp Business. With messaging tools for engagement, showcase opportunities for your products and services, analytics to help you understand your customers and expanding channel connections, it is a great place to market and sell your products and services for both physical and online offerings.
If you want to remind your customers about promotions, offer accessible customer service options, or increase visibility, WhatsApp is a perfect tool for you. And, with the addition of WhatsApp Business, it’s now easier than ever to build positive customer relationships so long as you put in the time and effort.
While initially conceived to send quick photos and videos between friends, Snapchat has evolved to be a social network that can be leveraged by businesses – mainly B2C. Post to your story, and create filters for events, promotions, or simply everyday brand awareness. Show behind-the-scenes content to give your customers a sense of exclusivity.
As Snapchat’s mostly younger users swipe through their friends’ stories, they’ll also find yours right there with them. Have a partner with a large following? Consider doing a Snapchat takeover and spending a day or two communicating with their audience.
TikTok was the hottest social media platform of 2021 and is still sizzling in 2022. Within a few short years the app managed to surpass Facebook and WhatsApp as the most popular social media platform, plus it was also the first ever app not owned by Meta to surpass 3 billion downloads.
While TikTok’s audience skews young, with most users aged between 13 – 24, there is a growing 25 – 45 age group enjoying the app as it grows in popularity.
The majority of the content on TikTok is short videos embedded with trendy music or trending sounds. Sounds are usually audio clips from popular videos that circulate the app as millions of users attempt to create their own viral clip. So, while all of this may sound thoroughly exciting, hip and on topic, if you cannot keep up with the trends, and deliver entertaining and relevant content to your audience daily, you are going to struggle to get anywhere on this app.
It is a huge investment in time and money, and the audience is ferociously protective of their platform. Brands that try too hard or too little will feel the wrath of this highly engaged group, so choose your approach carefully.
This list is by no means complete, these are just the main players, if you really want to drill down into more platforms outside the main stays that could be right for your business, do some research on Twitch, Telegram, Clubhouse, Weibo, QQ, Qzone, Pinterest, Quora, honestly… I could just keep going!
Remember, regardless of the size of the social media site, consider whether your brand’s target audience is active on those platforms. It’s better to pick two to three sites and do them well rather than create so-so content for five or more different platforms.
If you need a team that can do all this research for you and then compile a great digital strategy to make it all work, get in touch with us here at SIVACOM, we’d love to help you navigate and create your digital ecosystem for sustainable success online.
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