Social media is one of the most powerful ways to find leads, engage with existing customers, and build your brand. While trends come and go with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, people are spending more and more time on their favorite sites. So if you want to promote your business, it’s important to get your message in front of that audience. 

Picking the right social media platform where you are most active means you are not wasting your time.

The Importance of Social Media 

Statista projects that global mobile data traffic will increase 7x from 2017 to 2022. People take their mobile phones everywhere, whether they’re at work, school, shopping, or commuting. This has led to a huge increase in social media usage. Look over someone’s shoulder in any coffee shop or walking down the street and there’s a good chance he or she is checking Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. 

Choosing the Best Social Media Sites for Your Marketing

The world has changed a great deal since Facebook launched in 2004. Before that, the closest things to social media were sites such as America Online and MySpace, which were popular but never very relevant for marketing. As Facebook began to monetise, businesses suddenly realised that the growing social media audience presented a huge opportunity. Now, there is an ever-increasing number of social media platforms, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram (owned by Facebook)
  • YouTube (owned by Google but a social media site and search engine in itself)
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok

Each of these platforms has its own style, features, and audience. Of course, audiences often overlap as most people log into multiple social sites daily. 

Let’s look at the best ways to determine which social channels are likely to generate the best results for your business.

Audience Demographics

The first question to ask yourself is: which platforms are most popular with your customers? You can use several criteria to determine this. 

  • Age -Younger users such as millennials and Gen-Zers are fond of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, one of the latest social media sites to make an impact. Older users are sticking with Facebook. 
  • Gender -If your audience is primarily female, you shouldn’t overlook Pinterest, which is the only major social site with a primarily (over 70%) female audience. 
  • Professional status – If your customers are business people, LinkedIn is a must as this is the leading B2B platform. LinkedIn also has a user base with higher than average incomes, which is useful to know if you’re selling high-ticket items.

You can narrow down your audience even more by creating a buyer persona, a fictional but data-based composite of your typical customer. This is a way to personalise a customer, as in “Carol is a 35-year-old professional in mid-level management who’s married with two children,  drives a Honda Accord, and lives in the suburbs. Her favorite social media sites are Facebook and Pinterest.” 

Product and Brand Image 

When targeting social media sites, you have to consider which sites are a good match for your products and services. If you’re using multiple social media platforms, remember to customise your message. This includes formatting images in the appropriate way for each site. 

Do you need lots of visual content? Images and videos are extremely popular on social media right now. 

For example, if you’re selling tech products images are important. If you are promoting an app or service an explainer video may be more suitable.

There’s also the question of which platforms are right for your brand’s image and style. 

Facebook: Still the King

Facebook is really a special case when it comes to social media, simply because it’s so much bigger than everyone else. 

Pretty much everybody is on Facebook. Although users are getting older, younger people still use it. They’re just spending more time on newer and hipper sites now. 

The point is, almost everyone should be active on Facebook. Whether your focus is on organic content, paid advertising, or a combination of the two, at the very least you should have a Facebook page. 

The Age of Multichannel Marketing

When choosing social media platforms, keep in mind that the majority of your customers use several sites. You don’t need to be active on every single platform. This can cause you to spread your time too thinly. However, you should make it easy for your audience to find you in more than one place.

Facebook is usually the foundation of most companies’ social media strategy. Facebook marketing easily integrates with Instagram – you can cross-post between the two sites.  You can, for example, publish stories on both sites.

Twitter is the other site that’s great for multichannel posting. Tweets are ideal for posting short messages and links. It’s fairly simple to post to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the same time once you have integrated them with each other.

Keep in mind you don’t want to overload your followers with too many duplicate messages. You don’t always have to post everything everywhere. Whenever possible, edit the content so it’s suitable for another platform. For example, longer posts are better for Facebook and LinkedIn. You can truncate longer messages for Twitter and Instagram.  

Make Social Media Win for your business

There’s no longer any question that your business needs to be active on social media. It’s only a matter of deciding the best way to go about this. 

Here are some final tips on selecting the best social media platforms. 

  • Be active on the sites where your audience spends the most time.
  • Choose a few sites so you can tap into multichannel marketing. At the same time, don’t try to be active everywhere.
  • Take advantage of automation tools. There are many apps that let you schedule your posts, post to multiple sites at the same time, and provide you with analytics for your campaigns. 
  • Test your results. Analytics will inform you which platforms yield the best results.
  • If you don’t have the time or expertise to handle all your social media marketing yourself, find a reputable agency that can help with tasks such as: creating content; automated posting; market research; analytics; and more.