I recently wrote a blog covering the general steps needed to get your business started on social media. One of the first things I always recommend is choosing the right social media platform for your business.
This information should help you avoid the social media time-suck and choose the social sites that best align with your target audience:
Facebook is a good site for you if:
- you want to build a community presence
- you want to reach as broad a network as possible
*Keep in mind that most of the people who are using Facebook are on there to see updates from their friends and family so it may not be the most effective site for you if you want good engagement*
Instagram is a good site for you if:
- you have a visual aspect to what you do that your customers would find interesting
- you want to reach certain target markets
*Keep in mind that most Instagram users are also on Twitter and tends to attract a more specific group of individuals so would provide a good opportunity to reach your target audience.*
Twitter is a good site for you if:
- you want to reach younger men and women
- your business will be providing topic-based news and timely insights
*Twitter is a great platform for short updates, but if your updates will require a lengthy explanation that is visually oriented Twitter might not be a good fit for your businesses' needs.*
LinkedIn is a good site for you if:
- you are in a B2B industry
- you want to provide guidelines and insights into the business world
*LinkedIn is a much more professionally oriented social media site so you're messages should be tailored accordingly*
Pinterest is a good site for you if:
- your posts will be heavily visual
- your target audience is women
*Most Pinterest users are going there to learn or look for something specific so your content needs to be extremely informative and displayed visually.*
These are just some of the more popular sites, that you might consider using for your business. Obviously data will help you narrow down your choices so here's some more information to consider before making your choie:
User Data for Popular Social Networks
Digital Insights, has a great infographic that gives a breakdown of the active users on popular social media sites. So if you want to go where the most people are, this data should be helpful:
Should size determine which social media site you use for your business?
Size does matter! Whether we like it or not. This data can help show you where your time will be well spent, however you shouldn't just rely on the size of the social media network. The more popular social sites will have more competition and therefore your posts may not get as much attention as they would on more of a niche site. Here are a few questions to consider:
- How many other businesses are using this social media site?
- Is your target audience on this social media site regularly?
Maybe a better question is which social media sites attract what types of people?
Pew Research has been collecting social media data and demographics for several years. Their latest survey shows who makes up the user bases for the top social media sites.
You should have a general idea about the age, gender, income level etc. of your target audience. So you can line this data up with your target audience demographics and use the social network that will best fit your needs.
The final step in choosing the right social media site for your business is to as yourself a couple of questions:
- Does it make sense for your business content?
- Does your target audience spend time on that site?
- Does it make sense for you?
- Do you have time to do it?
- Do you get how the social media site works?
So do you feel ready to choose a social site?
Consistently posting to multiple social media sites can be a lot for small businesses to take on. It's helpful to start small by choosing the best site for your business and hopefully this article has helped you to narrow your focus.
I'd love to hear your experience in the comments below. Do you try to use as many social sites as you can or have you chosen a select few? Let me know!