Your Guide To Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Your Business

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Business owners have this impression that they have to be everywhere — trend on Twitter, shared on Facebook, liked on Instagram.  There is really nothing wrong with that if you have the resources, if you can manage, and if it is necessary.  However, in business, there is such a thing as focus.  You can’t be everything to everyone every single time.

Using social media in business is more than just a fad or buzz.  Social media marketing is powerful as it is influential and if your business has not yet joined in, you could be missing a ton of opportunities. Data by Hubspot shows that 92% of marketers agree that social media efforts have generated exposure for their business with a majority reporting increased traffic, search engine rankings and sales. More than half of marketers also admitted using social networking sites to develop a loyal following while reducing (traditional) marketing expenses.

social-media

Everyone has some sort of a social media account or profile and businesses want to know just how to reach them.  According to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are marketing across social media platforms.  However, 85% are not sure which social media site and tools are best for their business.  This could spell disaster for a business — not only are opportunities lost, resources are also mismanaged and messed up.

Before you can choose the right social media platform for your business, you have to set your objectives and know who your market is. This way, your pick will be consistent with what your business or brand stands for.

Set goals and objectives

Before joining a social media platform, know what your objectives are. What do you hope to achieve in social media? Most companies joining the digital marketing revolution are working to increase traffic to their website, promote events, improve overall awareness, perk up engagement, and develop loyalty among consumers.  Some are short term and some are long-term so it is important that you know which is which so that your efforts will be more focused.

Identify your crowd

Whatever they say about Facebook being old and tired, you just can’t ignore the over 1.3 billion active users of this site. Imagine this as your potential market.  With its population, chances are a majority of your market is already on Facebook because really, who isn’t?  In choosing the best social media platform, ask where the crowd might be.

However, Facebook is a crowded marketplace. 2012 data from the State of Inbound Marketing found that 42% of marketers view Facebook as a critical part of their business.  This means you should find ways to stand out.  Learn how to increase engagement with the numerous Facebook tools that will enable you to do several things like run a contest, quiz, start a campaign or discussion, and analyze your own traffic and engagement data.

Aside from knowing where your crowd is, you should also know who they are.  Review your market’s profile — age, gender, status, hobbies. Only by identifying your demographic will you know what types of social media content your audience is consuming and consequently which social media platform they are probably on. From there, work on creating industry-competitive content for social media.

Target the women

If your demographic is skewed towards the female market, Pinterest is your digital gem.  According to Nielsen data, 84% of Pinterest users in the U.S. are women who are into tips, how-to’s, household hacks, colorful images and designs.  If your business is into home designs, accessories, fashion, food, travel and even parenting advice, marketing on Pinterest will work for you.

Women also dominate Instagram.  A research by Business Insider (BI) shows 68% of IG users are women.  Recipes, travel, fitness, and inspiring quotes are among the most common content of Instagram.

Macho” networks

On the other hand, if your market is dominantly male, you can try Google+.  According to the BI, Google+ is the most male-oriented of the major social networks with a following of 70% male.

Brands currently on other social networks can also maintain an account on Google+ because it looks more formal and professional than Facebook. Hashtags have more value and SEO is its main appeal.

Socializing with the young

If your brand caters to the young like fashion, gadgets, and trends, make sure you have a branded account on Instagram.  Released demographics by BI also reveal that 90% of over 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35.  Although it is primarily a photo uploader, IG accounts for only 7% of daily photo uploads among the photo-sharing platforms. This means IG is about quality not quantity.  One compelling photo about your brand will do.

Tumblr is also strong among teens interested in self-expression.

Build connections

Businesses especially B2B service providers, recruitment agencies and brands hoping to build a community of clients and partners must manage an account on the professional-looking LinkedIn. It’s like old-fashioned networking but online. It is best for companies working on connections.

Never underestimate LinkedIn because a recent Hubspot study found that it generates three times more leads than Facebook or Twitter.

Best for interaction

When choosing a social media site for your business, pick the one that values interaction with your followers. That is the charm of Twitter — it has the knack of making every reply look personal and special.  You can start and lead a conversation with the use of hashtags — an emerging marketing strategy.  For example, #bestdayofmylife will encourage followers to share their stories and experiences. People love to get personal. Re-tweet the best ones or reply accordingly with a link to your Events Company.

Twitter can work well with just about any company.  However, it is best for promotional and advertising companies, events, news, and personalities.

Providing location

If your business has a physical set-up like a restaurant or a shop, Yelp and Foursquare should be part of your social media marketing strategies. Aside from your company’s portfolio, you must include customer reviews and allow them to post pictures. Treat this as a free promotion or advertising.

Go for visuals

For businesses heavy on images, videos, and instructionals, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and Flickr are best for you.

You don’t need to be in every social media platform.  Just focus your energy and resources on what works for you.  This also reflects how well you know your brand and enable you to give your market the best of what you can offer.


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Author: Kimberly Grimms

Kimberly is a futurist and a writer. She writes about business, marketing and technology. Circle her on Google+ and follow her @kimberlygrimms

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