How to choose the right social media platform for your business

If you’re in business, you need to be on social media. It’s a widely accepted fact, but it can bring as many questions as answers.

The first question a client asks me when they are about to take the plunge into social media is always, “which is the best social media platform for my business?”

My answer?

Trethowans
Trethowans

Just as there are different businesses, so there are different consumers. When I work on a client’s social media strategy, the most important thing I establish is their customer profile. 

Who do you need to talk to on social media?

When choosing the best social media channel for your business, you need to identify your audience. If you’re a business to consumer (B2C) organisation, you’re likely to need to focus on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. If you’re reaching out to other businesses (B2B), Twitter or LinkedIn are the best channels to build your social media presence.

The first step in social media is to define your ideal customers. Who are they? What are their demographics? What are they interested in? Once you know your target audience, you’ll be able to match them with the user profile of each platform. 

What does your business offer?

Next, think about what your business does. Do you have a product to sell, or do you offer a service? Do you work locally, nationally, globally, or remotely?

The profile of your business will have an impact on the platform that is right for your business.

What have you got to share?

Finally, think about the content you have to offer potential followers. Are you trying to attract target customers? Or make connections with like-minded associates?

Let’s take a look at what each social media platform can offer your business.

Instagram

If you produce high quality, shareworthy images, Instagram should be one of your primary areas of interest. Instagram is most popular with the under 35s, so if this is your target audience Instagram is where you need to be. 

Instagram can enable your audience to shop straight from a post. If you grow to more than 10K followers, Instagram will unlock features such as ‘swipe up to shop’ on Instastories, great for increasing your conversion rate. 

Pinterest

Another platform for high quality image content, Pinterest is most popular for 18 to 24s, and a strong millennial following. It’s a place for inspiration, aspiration and planning, where users intentionally seek branded content.

It’s a channel for discovering products, and has the highest conversion rate of all social media platforms, particularly for products marketed at a national or global level. 

Many users treat Pinterest as a visual shopping list. If you have a product to sell, Pinterest is for you.

Facebook

Does your business specialism lend itself to building conversation in forums? If so, Facebook Groups are where people love to be part of a community.

If your business can lead a forum for guidance on interior design, recommendations for a vegan lifestyle, or help with parenting dilemmas, create a Group where your audience comes to get advice and share ideas.

If professional-looking photography isn’t your strength, use Facebook Stories for authentic images and behind-the-scenes snaps. 

Facebook is also the channel for customer relationship activity. It’s ideal for running competitions, selling event tickets and launching products. Features such as messenger bots can help to grow your email database.

Twitter

Twitter is the best platform for newsworthy content. It’s fast-paced and chatty, and can be opinionated. Tweets have a lifespan of around 20 minutes, so it’s ideal for updating your followers on live events, instantly. If you’ve got plenty to say, Twitter is the platform to say it.

LinkedIn

If you’re an authority in your industry, LinkedIn is where you establish your standing as an expert and reveal the person behind the brand. Use LinkedIn to widen your network, discovering professional connections and generating leads.

Time to get social

Whichever platform suits your business best, always remember my top tip for successful social media: 

It’s better to do one channel really well, than to attempt three badly.

Need more help with social media?

You can read more advice from Kerry Coleman in these articles:

Kerry Coleman is an experienced digital marketing consultant and social media expert for luxury, premium brands.

Photo by NeONBRAND