With all the social media platform options, it’s hard to know where to start. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram boast the greatest volume of users per month, but which of these popular networks is right for your business?
To develop a strategy that builds your following and allows you to communicate with consumers, you should have an understanding of the best social media for business, each platform’s unique purposes and which platform your target audience uses. Let’s take a look at what differentiates the big five networks, so you can feel confident starting your path toward social media success.
To begin, frame your evaluation of each platform with the following questions:
Answering these questions will help you decide which platforms to use, and which you can skip.
There’s no shortage of social-driven platforms, so spend time exploring. You’ll find that the big five, or some combination of them, are most likely the places with the highest concentration of your key demographics. In examining the purpose and unique attributes of each, you’ll notice that though they are all “social,” they have different strengths and selling points.
Primary purpose: Builds brand loyalty and reputation. Establishes your business as an authority through interesting content and informational posts.
Primary purpose: Shares breaking news and quick updates. Promotes new products, content or brand contests. Collects instant feedback from your audience.
Primary purpose: Acts as an online scrapbook. Showcases products. Displays brand essence through inspiration boards.
Primary purpose: Fosters a professional community, one that’s especially beneficial for B2B companies, to build meaningful relationships.
Primary purpose: A place to share videos and images that evoke feelings about your brand through the use of visual.
Defining your target audience and knowing where to find them is the foundation of navigating the nonstop maze of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram each have significantly different mixes in regards to average age and gender:
Average age range of users: 25-45 years old
Gender of users: 60% female, 40% male
Average age range of users: 18-29 years old
Gender of users: 50% female, 50% male
Average age range of users: 18-35 years old
Gender of users: 80% female, 20% male
Average age range of users: 22-54 years old
Gender of users: 46% female, 52% male
Average age range of users: 18-40 years old
Gender of users: 58% female, 42% male
If you’re looking for ways to define the particular needs of your audience, consider developing personas for your target social media audience. This will create a precise vision of exactly who they are, what content or information they’re craving, and where you should focus to communicate with them.
The key aspect of social media is “social” — probably the most understated and forgotten portion of the equation. Not unlike good public relations, businesses should use social media as a source of two-way communication with their audience, regardless of the platform. This means that in addition to posting articles, videos, and other relevant posts you want your audience to “like” and “share,” you need to interact with them.
Facebook: 1-2 times per day
Twitter: 3-4 times a day
Pinterest: 2-3 times per day
LinkedIn: 2-4 times per day
Instagram: Once a day
The average amount of time spent by small businesses on social media per week? Six hours and counting.
Don’t feel pressured to be on every platform. Start with the one that connects you with the right audience, aligns with your business’s needs and can regularly be managed depending on your resources. Then, expand from there.
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