Social media is more than just Facebook today; there’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Not only are they markedly different from a visitor standpoint, but they offer a distinctive set of benefits to businesses too. With so many options available, it’s natural to be confused about what platforms are best suited for a particular business. In fact, many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed wondering if they need to be present on all social media platforms; as a result of this, they either take no step at all or jump in head-first. If you, too, are perplexed about what social media platforms can help you best connect with your target audience and help achieve your business goal, this article will offer you guidance.
To begin with, let’s first understand the specifics of each social media platform.
Though the average number of visitors frequenting the social media giant is on a decline, with over 2 billion monthly active users, one cannot deny the fact that Facebook is still the most preferred go-to for people to learn about a business’ offerings, second only to an official website. Think of it as another Google that people use to gather information. That’s why it is essential that you do not overlook the possibilities on Facebook.
Unlike Twitter and Instagram respectively, Facebook is quite liberal on its character/word limit and permits insertion of links as required. This is one major advantage of having a Facebook page for your business. Also, since it’s the age of instant content, capitalizing on Facebook’s live streaming feature is a great idea for businesses to reach their target audience. However, a word of caution here — live streaming is all about unedited content, that’s why it is all the more essential to make sure that the content has a proper plan of action; you don’t want to bore or annoy your audience with what seems like guff.
Instagram has always been visual — be it as images, videos, stories, or even direct messaging. That’s why it is a social media haven for businesses that thrive on the visual aspect of creating an impression on its target audience.
Instagram best caters to youngsters aged between 18 and 29, and then to people aged between 30 and 49. If your target audience falls in these age brackets, and your business is more about storytelling through a visual medium, Instagram could be a good option for you. In fact, to know whether Instagram is ideal for your business, check out our previous blog.
Twitter is best for businesses that are fast-paced and changing perpetually — for example: important updates, announcements, breaking news, etc. It is also a good platform to share short-form content like quotes, links to article or website, etc. Joining a trending topic on Twitter is also a good way to increase your visibility, however, staying relevant is equally important.
According to Alexa, YouTube is the most visited site in the world, second only to Google. No wonder it is one of the most popular platforms for businesses today. However, not every business needs to have a YouTube channel. If your business is visual or educational, having a YouTube channel can help scale up your business. Beauty experts, gadget gurus, DIY guides, etc. can find an active audience on this platform. As a matter of fact, nowadays, small business owners have started using the platform to showcase their product to prospective customers without the latter having to visit their brick and mortar store. In such a case, it’s imperative that the video is shot aesthetically so that the product features are enhanced, thereby helping increase sales.
How To Choose Social Media Platforms That Complement Your Business
Choosing the right social media platforms for your business is like choosing the right furniture and upholstery for your home — you need to factor in several elements before investing in them. Here’s how you go about deciding which social media platform is ideal for your business.
Where is your target audience
Not every social media platform sees the same set of active audience, that’s why you need to make sure that the platforms you choose for your business are popular among your target audience. You need to first find out what platform your target audience is most active on, what do they do when they are on it, what do they seek when they are online, will you be able to serve them with what they are looking for on the platform. Once you know the answer to these questions you will be able to tell if that particular platform is meant for your business or not. You don’t need to be present on all popular social media platforms; for instance, if your target audience is active on Instagram, why invest in Facebook and Snapchat too?
What is your objective
Every business has a different goal on social media — to exhibit its offerings, to grow audience base, keep existing audience updated, showcase/improve customer service, increase website visitors, conduct informal market research, run polls, etc. You need to be clear about what your social media goals are for your business. When trying to analyze your objective, answering the following questions can give you a direction:
Are you getting your business onboard the social media bandwagon just because everybody else is?
Is building brand awareness your main goal?
Do you want to boost your sales through your social media page/s?
Are you open to advertising on the social media platform?
Is your target audience active on your preferred social media platform?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of the platforms you should consider for your business’ social media presence.
If your business entails visual elements — like decor, apparel, makeup, food, DIY, etc. — then platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube could be good options, but it isn’t necessary that your business has a presence on each of them.
A common misconception is that the higher the number of fans/followers is, more successful is the business; however, the fact is that higher the number of people engaging with your page/post, the more beneficial it is for your business. So no matter what your eventual social media goal is, getting more engagement should be your first goal.
Do you have enough resources
Since each platform is different from the others in more ways than one, each of them needs different sets of skills and expertise to produce the required kind of content and engage the audience effectively. Also, producing separate content for each platform means more resources, more investment of time and effort, and possibly more cost too. So, when you are deciding on the social media platforms you want your business to be active on, also factor in the resources you will need and whether you have the bandwidth for it or not.
It may take some trial and error, but once you understand what platforms complement your business’ social media goals without exhausting your resources, you can go ahead with creating a social media plan for each platform. We will talk in detail about social media planning in our next blog. As of now, shortlist the social media platforms that you think would work for your business. All the best!
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