Which social media platform is best suited to your business?

posted on 23/02/2016 09:45:57 by James McAllister

Social media is a great way to keep connected to your target audience, but not every social media platform will suit every business. Take the time to see how your consumers are behaving on each platform, how your competition is using each, and which social media channel could you provide the most benefit for your consumers

Do you already use social media? If so, you can use this as a guide to see if you are using the correct platform for your business’s social goals, and to make sure that you are making the most out of each channel’s features and format. You can also use this guide to help boost interaction, gain followers and increase your traffic and or brand awareness. If you don’t currently use social media for your business, now is a great time to start. Identify your demographic, find which types of content would be most beneficial to use– be that visual, written or video - and correlate your data with this post to find your ideal social media platform. 

Facebook

Best suited to: – ALL

Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the most popular social network out there, with 73% of all adults in the US using this platform.

With 1.19 billion people logging in each day, Facebook has the most diverse demographic of users, so, no matter who your target market is there’s a good chance they’ll be on Facebook.

From the data shown to the right, you can see that all Facebook users prefer seeing images or videos over text. In fact, posts that contain a photo generate 120% more engagement than text alone. But if your post is in text format, it’s often better to keep it short and pose it as a question. On Facebook, posts with roughly 250 characters or less have 60% more engagement than longer posts, and engagement doubles if the post is a question. 

LinkedIn

Best suited to: – Tech 14.3% Finance 12.4% Manufacturing 10.1% 

LinkedIn calls itself the ‘professional social network’ with around 44% of all US adults using it. It’s the second most popular social networking site, after Facebook. Although of the people that use it, only 13% post daily.

38% of LinkedIn users have an income of over $75k with 79% of these being 35years old making LinkedIn have the oldest and most wealthy demographic out there.

LinkedIn has a lot to offer your business such as easy identification of influencers during working hours. LinkedIn allows you to publish your own content and use the groups tag to find the most relevant group to host your content. You should check the groups and add your own content gradually becoming a trusted source of information for other businesses. 

Pinterest

Best suited to: – Ecommerce

Pinterest makes its way to the number three spot in popularity with 21% of adults in the US using it. Interestingly, 80% of all Pinterest users are female and 70% of users are looking for inspiration to buy.  

Rich pins are brand pins with more information than normal pinned images. If your pin has a rich brand it will get an 82% higher re-pin ratio to those without brand rich integration.

If you’re looking to drive sales from your Pinterest channel, linking to your product from a pin – along with additional information about the product – can help you to achieve this. Pinterest users will be most likely to convert a customer if your pin contains a link to the price of said product along with availability and where they can purchase the item. As well as pinning images of your own products, you may want to consider creating additional boards for the purpose of connecting with your audience on a more personal level. For example, you could create a board of ‘behind the scenes’ pictures of your staff and office.  Boards like this can help to make your business more relatable, and your brand more ‘human’.

Twitter

Best suited to: - Marketing companies, sports-related businesses, and all news organizations.

 Twitter only allows you to post small snippets (120 characters to be exact) of information at a time, making it a great place to link back to useful, more detailed content on your website. Twitter is instantaneous and a great way to stay connected to your customers in real time.

Twitter users tend to follow brands that they are loyal to, and you can use this to find who follows you. Make sure to respond to as many tweets as you can. For example, if a customer, let’s call her Jane, tweets at you and you reply, you’re showing that you engage with your customers. All of Jane’s friends will see this and maybe they too branch out into using you.

18% of the US adult population are on Twitter. However of those 18%, less than half log on daily. Keep in mind contests, 2pm is the best time to tweet and include pictures to increase engagement. 

Instagram

Best suited to: – Food based businesses, fashion retail, architecture, technology, design.

Firstly, let’s identify the demographics that use Instagram, 64% of Instagram users (or Instagramers as they’re more commonly known) are women and 36% are men. 17% of all US adults use Instagram, even though this is a close second to Twitter, Instagram is the 5th most popular social media platform even though it has the second most devoted users 57% of which post daily.  Although only 17% of adults use this platform, a full 43% of the mobile owners aged 18-29, are on this site.

This demographic is known as the ‘millennial generation’. This generation is very media savvy and responds well to marketing techniques such as user interactive competitions, and are also most likely to be brand loyal. With this in mind, you could host your own contest on Instagram to increase engagement and spread brand awareness. For example, if you are a restaurant owner, you could run a competition in which entrants can win a meal by submitting photos of their favourite dishes from your restaurant onto your Instagram page.

The time of day that you post is vital in having your posts seen by the right demographic. The peak of interactions on Instagram is between 8pm and 9pm, and from this 30% of pictures are posted at the weekend, meaning that these are the times that you should aim to be active on this platform, too.

YouTube

Best suited to: – Service providers.  

When you think of reaching out to social media, YouTube is not usually the platform that first springs to mind, but using YouTube strategically can be a really good way to utilise your marketing without breaking the bank. The word ‘social’ is key here, and as a social site, you should be using YouTube to interact with your consumers. Make an effort to reply to as many comments as you can, keeping a personal tone when replying, and avoiding the use of a generic type of response.

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, after Google, and it’s the 3rd most visited website providing a reach that’s too broad to ignore. Optimise your video using a target keyword that people will be searching for, and make the titles interesting and descriptive.  

If you have actionable advice to share, you could post webinars or tutorial style videos for your subscribers benefit.

Make sure in your video’s description you are including, not only a link to your website, but a relevant link on your site that continues along the same lines as your video content. If you create a video on a given topic, make sure to link to a post of the same subject on your site.

There is not much need to be on every single platform for social media, you should find your demographic then zero in on 2 or 3 sites which they would use most commonly. Spend time and effort into your online stretedgy you need to post regularly and if relevant keep a line of communication open between you and your demographic and remember, content is king.

James McAllister

James is an online content creator at Make It Cheaper. Having previously created a variety of content for a number of websites and media outlets, James focuses on making it easy for SME owners to find interesting and engaging content - as well as useful guides and online tools.You can email James at james.mcallister@makeitcheaper.com

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