It’s a question that’s on the tip of every business owner’s tongue during my Power Hours!
Sadly, it’s not one I can answer straightaway. (Sorry!). But by discussing the pros and cons of the main social media platforms, and introducing you to the typical audience profile of each network, I can help you decide which platforms are worth your time and energy and which ones probably won’t be a great fit for your marketing strategy right now.
How do you work out which social media platform is best for your business?
Before you can even begin to consider which network is likely to bring you the best results, you need to work out:
- Whether you are offering your products or services to other businesses (B2B) or to direct customers (B2C)
- What your target audience looks like
- What you want to achieve from your social media marketing strategy
Seriously, spend some time thinking about this stuff. The insights you come up with will help with the elimination process.
A quick introduction to the Big Four
I’m going to talk you through the merits of the four major networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
But remember, there are loads of other great platforms out there, all of which have different features and attract different communities. TikTok, for example, is one of the fastest-growing social apps in existence, and it’s presenting businesses with amazing new opportunities for targeting a young, hyperactive demographic!
What is it? It’s an oldie, but a goodie! Facebook has been around in some form or another since 2004, and it now has over 2.6 billion active users worldwide. Over half of its account holders log in to check their feeds every single day.
Who hangs out here? Facebook’s users vary in age. Its demographic is typically men and women between the ages of 25 and 55, but, as many millennials with tech-savvy grandparents will testify, it does boast a growing audience of silver surfers.
It’s great for: B2C marketing; keeping your brand visible; interacting with followers; and sending juicy SEO signals back to your website or blog.
It’s not so good for: Organic reach. To get the most out of Facebook these days, you’ll need to dip your toe into paid ads, which comes with new costs. Also, Facebook isn’t considered the platform of choice for teens and young adults these days.
What is it? At its core, Instagram is a photo sharing app. Users tag images for their grid and share Stories as temporary insights into their world. They also use Instagram’s sister app, IGTV, to publish longer-form video capers.
Who hangs out here? Instagram’s target age range is 18 to 35, and it’s mainly women who use it on a regular basis (although recent stats do show that more men have joined the platform in recent months).
It’s great for: B2C marketing, particularly for businesses with a visual output, like photographers, bakers, shops and artisan craftmakers!); B2B companies that are keen to tell their story through lovely imagery;
It’s not so good for: Brands that aren’t particularly visual. Stock images won’t cut it here!
What is it? Experts predicted that Twitter would die a death around 2015, as it was struggling to keep up with the features offered by other emerging platforms – but it rose from the ashes as the go-to place for real-time news and uncensored opinions.
Who hangs out here? Users are generally men and women between 18 and 29. But, as with Facebook, Twitter is attracting an increasing number of older users. President Trump, anyone?
It’s great for: Reaching a large B2C audience; posting bite-sized chunks of information (tweets are restricted to 280 characters or less); delivering fast responses to questions and queries as part of a wider customer service strategy; and researching which topics are trending.
It’s not so good for: Businesses that are strapped for time, and business owners who have a lot to say! Because Twitter moves so quickly, companies need to be posting several times a day at precisely the right time to maintain any sort of presence. And while it does keep conversations focused, squeezing otherwise lengthy content into 280 characters or less can be tricky.
What is it? It’s not the sexiest of platforms – but LinkedIn is a valuable networking and job hunting platform with a huge user base that’s packed full of legitimate professionals.
Who hangs out here? Anybody who’s anybody, really. LinkedIn attracts men and women aged between 25 and 45, and interestingly, 45% of its owners earn more than £70,000 per year.
It’s great for: B2B marketing; connecting with colleagues, partners and prospects; sharing and promoting unique content via LinkedIn’s own publishing platform as part of your own personal branding strategy.
It’s not so good for: Traditional B2C marketing. Although by posting content that promotes people’s out-of-work interests, B2B business owners’ posts will certainly stand out!
Still not sure which social media network you should be using?
I know, I know – it’s so hard to decide where you should place your resources. Drop me a message and I can talk you through your options!
Better still, sign up for my VIBeans subscription-based service, which will teach you how to use each social media platform to your advantage.