Choosing Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Lesya Liu
Lesya Liu
May 6, 2015 · 5 min read

Social media landscape is changing quite rapidly and continues to evolve. New platforms keep emerging and disappearing as fast as they appeared. Just recall the hype with Ello and Tsu. Not only those, there are lots of other even more obscure social media platforms. Not that they are bad or have no future but as a marketer or a business owner, how do you choose social media platforms for small business? Can’t you just choose one platform and really work on your presence there?

Here is the answer to the latter question: no, you cannot. You can’t choose one social media platform and be closed off in your little bubble. The reason being for it is not that it looks fancy to be present on every little platform. The reasons are these: 1. You have to be where your customers are. Chances are they are more than on one platform. Give them the choice of where to connect with you. 2. There is no perfect network. They all have their pros and cons. It’s generally recommended to start with 3–4 platforms at a time. Pick 3 platforms that make the most sense for your business and drive them home before starting your presence on any more platforms.

Facebook

Suggested frequency of posts: at least 2x a week

Facebook is the giant of the social media landscape. Unfortunately, you can’t not to be on Facebook. This just looks weird. A majority of people check out companies on Facebook first, because Facebook has the freedom of lengthy posts, mentions, multimedia posts, reviews, etc. Not that you cannot do a majority of those things on other platforms, but Facebook is a go-to platform. With all the recent changes, including decrease in organic reach, some experts envision Facebook’s fall as a marketers’ go-to platform. Yet, it won’t happen any time soon, so you cannot afford to skip out on it now. You might not want to pay for promotion, yet make sure that people who visit your Facebook page see a professional, well-designed representation of your company.

Google Plus

Suggested frequency of posts: 1x a month or more

It is still a question whether Google’s social platform will survive, but as of right now it’s a great addition to all your SEO efforts. Besides, when people search for your company or read reviews, Google Plus page along with the latest post, appears in search results. Make sure your page is optimized and consistent with other platforms, then you can post just once a month or more if you see return on your efforts.

LinkedIn

Suggested frequency of posts: 1x a month or more

LinkedIn is traditionally associated with B2B businesses, but it might be helpful for B2C businesses to have it, because the platform might be helpful for finding sales leads, future employees, networking opportunities, etc. Again, make sure it looks professional and consistent with your overall image and don’t forget to post informational updates once a month. This will be enough for people who would want to check out your page there.

Twitter

Suggested frequency of posts: 3x a week or more

Twitter is another major platform that you might need to take a look at. Yet, Twitter is tricky in that it moves along really fast. If you started a Twitter account and post there once a month, better delete it right now. There are over 350,000 tweets sent per minute. You can imagine that your occasional message will be lost in millions of new tweets. The shelf life of a tweet is about an hour, so the more you tweet the better. Twitter also encourages timely messages and speedy responses. Some companies use Twitter as their customer service platform, so they employ people whose only job is to monitor and reply to Twitter questions. Now, as a small business owner or a marketer in a medium-sized company you just don’t have the resources to do it. So, unless you commit to checking Twitter at least once a day, don’t use it. Yet, once you develop a habit of tweeting every day, it becomes almost effortless. You might have no idea for a whole blog post or Facebook post every day, but you should have something to say in 140 characters.

Instagram

Suggested frequency of posts: 3x a week or more

Instagram is one of the latest additions to marketers’ arsenal. Not a lot of marketers still understand how to promote their businesses on this Facebook-owned platform. Yet, Instagram can be very engaging if done correctly. First of all, it’s very visual and drives higher levels of engagement. Instagram also has this young, casual feel to it. Feel free to share behind-the-scenes moments, showcase your products, announce new additions, create contests and encourage your customers to share their photos using your product. If your business is service-based, you still can take advantage of Instagram by showing “before and after” photos or office scenes. Instagram can be easily connected to Facebook and Twitter, relieving the need to create so much content for other networks.

IKEA uses Instagram as a catalog!

Pinterest

Suggested frequency of posts: 2x a week or more

Pinterest is another highly-visual network, ideal for showcasing your business. Pinterest is great in that you can create multiple boards, collections of images, that demonstrate multiple related interests of your audience. Say, you have a sportswear company, you can create boards about exercising, outdoor fun, healthy eating, etc. It’s perfectly fine to pin other people’s pins, so you can populate your profile relatively fast. Once you create Pinterest account, create at least 5 boards. This way your Pinterest account won’t look empty until you create lots of your unique content. If you have lots of products — say you own a furniture business — you can organize boards by type of furniture or collections.

BCBG Max Azria uses their own and user-generated content to create inspirational boards

Again, choose only 3 platforms at first and create a great user experience there. Once you feel ready to add more platforms and efforts, add one platform at a time.

I would not recommend having more than 6 platforms and would suggest focusing on the once outlined here. After all, these platforms are already established in the industry. Time will show if any of other platforms will stay and prove useful for marketers.


Originally published at thesocialmediacurrent.com on January 22, 2015.

Lesya Liu

Written by

Lesya Liu

Digital marketing blogger writing about industry news, sound strategies, and actionable tips. #inspired http://thesocialmediacurrent.com

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