So, you’re ready to take the leap into this decade and create a social media account for your business. Good for you! But which platform do you choose? There are so many!
The good news is that your business doesn’t need to be on every one. Each social media platform serves different purposes and attracts different demographics of people. The questions in the inflowgraphic below will help you determine a best-fit platform based on your content strategy, audience and marketing goals.
Keep in mind that the recommended platform is an “ideal” space for your business, not the only one available for you. Almost every platform can serve similar functions as the others, if utilized properly. So, think of this as your starting point.
Follow the flow chart below to determine which social media platform mixes well with your marketing formula.
(1) What type of content does your business create the most?
Visuals are important content to share on every social media platform; however, some platforms cater more specifically to visual marketing. On the other hand, some platforms work better for sharing and even publishing written content.
So which is your business producing the most of?
- Visual Content – Proceed to question (5)
- Written Content – Proceed to question (2)
(2) Who are your customers?
Let’s start by identifying two basic categories of client.
Does your business service or sell to other businesses or to consumers?
- B2B – Your social media platform is LinkedIn. See the description below for more details.
- B2C – Proceed to question (3)
(3) What type of audience are you speaking to?
Few people have six separate social media accounts. It’s just those crazy content marketers who work on social media a quarter of the day. Therefore, there are different demographics of people on each platform and some are broader than others.
Do you have a product or service that is relevant to a wide variety of people? Or does your business speak to a more specific group?
- Niche Audience – Your social media platform is Google+. See the description below for more details.
- Broad Audience – Proceed to question (4)
(4) How do you want to serve your audience?
As the demographics vary from platform to platform, so does the subject matter of content. People choose social media platforms based on what type of information they are seeking. Your content must align with your audience’s desires for them to pay attention.
Do you consider yourself an expert in your field? Are you interested in sharing your expertise and advising others?
Or do your goals align more with entertaining your audience and keeping them up to date with your business?
- Share Expert Advice – Your social media platform is Twitter. See the description below for more details.
- Update and Entertain – Your social media platform is Facebook. See the description below for more details.
(5) What main goal do you want to achieve with social media?
With any marketing effort, it’s important to firmly establish your goals before you start. Think about what type of exposure you want for your business and what actions you want your audience to take.
Do you want more people to visit your website? Or are you more interesting in promoting your brand’s visibility?
- Drive Web Traffic – Your social media platform is Pinterest. See the description below for more details.
- Brand Awareness – Your social media platform is Instagram. See the description below for more details.
This is the best social media platform for connecting with other professionals.
LinkedIn is a useful tool for collaborating with others in your field, reaching potential B2B clients, and honing your professional reputation Profiles alone enable users to share detailed information about their work experience.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s native publishing platform to boost your visibility and status. Any person on LinkedIn can view your published content, not just your connections.
Google+ is the optimal social media platform for sharing your content with niche audiences.
Do you communicate with your coworkers the same way you communicate with your family? Not likely.
Well, Google+ allows you to add new connections to a Circle. Circles are key feature used to organize your contacts. Instead of family and coworkers, a business may choose categories such as clients and vendors. This way you have the ability to customize your communications and shared content for each Circle.
Another feature of Google+ that makes it great for niche audiences is the Communities. These are groups within the platform created by users and focused around a specific topic. The best ones are heavily moderated to keep posts relevant and the community a spam-free zone.
To learn about all the features Google+ offers, watch these in depth videos by Martin Shervington.
Twitter has features that make it an ideal platform for businesses looking to share their expertise with a wide variety of people.
Content shared on Twitter is searchable by any user on the platform. Many people come to Twitter looking for specific information by searching hashtags.
Twitter lists are also useful tools for organizing other users into meaningful groups. Doing this helps businesses create and maintain connections with specific users in their area(s) of expertise.
Facebook is an oldie but a goodie. Since it was established over ten years ago, the platform has gained billions of users. Yes, billions, with a “B.” A business presence on Facebook can expose you to a large demographic of users.
But, keep in mind that people on Facebook are typically there to keep up with friends and family members from “the real world.”
While there is a place for businesses on Facebook, sometimes even to market themselves, the main focus should be on providing entertaining and casually informative content about your business.
All work and no play makes Facebook a dull platform.
This platform is ideal for businesses looking to share their visual content that will drive consumers to their website. Visuals can range from photographs of products to before and after renovations to fitness tutorials.
Pinterest users curate boards for planning, inspiration and self-improvement, among many other topics.
The mentality of a pinner goes through many stages as they are curating their various boards. They start with browsing for ideas and eventually carry out a decisive action.
And since each pin is a link to a website, businesses can easily create calls to action that have the potential of ending in a sale.
Discover all the benefits of Pinterest for business from another one of my posts.
Instagram is all about the pictures. It’s how you use these pictures that is key to your marketing strategy.
This platform is a great place to humanize your business and highlight unique experiences consumers can have with your product. Share behind the scenes photos of your team and show how your product can be used, then link back to your website in your bio.
Take note that, according to Pew Research Center, the largest demographic of users on Instagram are millennials and younger generations. Establish a following by showing how your product or service can provide a unique experience for each consumer.
So, having followed the inflowgraphic, you should have an idea of where to start your social media marketing.
Again, remember that this is an exercise to help you find the best platform for your business, but, of course, that doesn’t preclude any of the others.
So, what do you think about your result? Do you think you landed on the appropriate social media platform for your business? Contact SEO experts if not sure otherwise evaluate your success by the number of new clients!
Are the wheels starting to turn, giving you some ideas on how best to utilize one or more of the platforms? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!