There isn’t a business out there today that won’t benefit from having a social media presence. If you plan to use social media for advertising, choosing the right platform — the one with a concentration of your target audience — is critical. Aside from that, though, being present on social media means having profiles that support and lead to your website, expanding your SEO reach, and creating a community of people who support your business. In this article, we’re going to explain how to find the right social media platform for your brand.
Get to Know Your Brand
Before you can choose the best social media platform, you have to dig into your brand. This is a lengthy process, but here are the basics that you need to consider:
- What are your business goals? What does your business do and more importantly, why do you do it?
- What sets your company apart from the competition? What do you offer that competitors don’t?
- How would you like your company to be perceived? Select a handful of words that best describe this.
- Check out where your competitors are present. Which social media platforms are they on, and how are they performing there?
When you can hone in on what makes your brand special, you’ll have a better sense of how and where to market it. From there, you’ll find it easier to choose a social media platform. For example, if you discover that your brand is traditional and aimed at an older audience, you may want to pay for advertising on LinkedIn. If it’s fun, fresh and youthful, though, you may want to head to Instagram instead.
Figure Out How Social Media Will Work for You
Now that you know more about your brand, it’s time to really dive into what you need from social media. Answer these questions to narrow down your platform options:
- What are the demographics of your target audience? Which social media platform does your target audience use most often, and why do they use those platforms? For example, if your target audience is most present on Facebook, are they interacting with brands, or are they mostly chatting with friends? If they tend to chat with people they know more than anything, consider the next-most-popular platform they use. If it’s something like Pinterest, maybe they do their shopping there, which would make it a better place for you to create a profile.
- What is the story you’re trying to tell about your brand, product, or service? If you’re communicating that your service makes the workday easier, LinkedIn may be your best bet. However, if you want your satisfied customers to help tell the story, a platform with a bigger video presence may be better, so you’d want to consider Facebook or YouTube.
- What type of content do you want to produce on a regular basis? If you’re going to write long-form articles to showcase that you’re an expert in your field, publishing on LinkedIn may be a good idea (if your audience is there). If you want to link to your website, something like Facebook or Twitter may be better. If your content is heavily image-focused, Instagram or Pinterest are the best places to reach your audience.
Figuring out how you want to use social media will help you hone in on the best platform to suit your needs and goals while connecting with your target audience.
A Few More Considerations When Choosing the Best Social Media Platform
Facebook ads have a ton of options and can suit practically any business type and budget. Plus, you can also run Instagram ads through the Facebook Ad manager. If you’re reaching different demographics on Facebook versus Instagram, but both platforms have a concentration of your target audience, you can handle all advertising from one location.
Twitter ads may cost a bit more than Facebook ads, but they also tend to get a higher engagement rate. It’s especially useful for news or bite-sized, news-like information.
LinkedIn is an excellent consideration for B2B companies. The platform’s ads allow you to target users based on things like education, job title or job experience — that sort of business-focused, intricate targeting is difficult to find elsewhere.
YouTube is hugely popular as a search engine, coming in second to Google (which is pretty stiff competition). Plus, users are likely to make a purchase after watching a video about it — and that video can be created by a YouTube user, not a known personality, and still be highly effective. Organic content does well on YouTube, but there are ads that you can pay for, too — though you may never need to.
Pinterest has a heavily female demographic, but there’s also a strong presence of dads on there searching for home DIY help, recipes, and products. A majority of Pinterest users are on the platform as a preliminary shopping step. You can advertise on Pinterest, and it’s not overly pricey, but since people are mostly there to shop anyway, there could be worthwhile ways to encourage purchases without paying for ads.
Right vs. Wrong Social Media Platforms
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a social media platform for your business. First, having no presence at all is worse than selecting the less-than-best platform and creating a presence there. Second, even if your brand doesn’t seem to fit with a specific platform, if you feel it’s the right place for you and that a high number of your audience members are there, go for it — there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules with this; a lot of it is trial and error.
Ultimately, selecting the best social media platform for your specific brand comes down to knowing your target audience. By figuring out the personality traits and habits of your core customer or client, you can determine where they’ll be spending time online. From there, you can create and maintain a presence in that same space.
Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, a Hollywood based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping successful companies advertise on Facebook. Advertisemint has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spends in entertainment, fashion, finance, and software industries. Brian is also the author of the best selling, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, and the innovative The Complete Guide to Digital Advertising Policies infographic. He is a 15-year digital advertising executive and a member of the Forbes Agency Council. Prior to founding Advertisemint, Brian built and sold Gofobo.com, an online ticketing system that revolutionized the entertainment industry and is now utilized by Warner Bros. and Disney.