Which Social Media Platform Should My Business Be On?

There’s a dizzying array of social media sites out there, from giants like Facebook to small, niche-oriented sites you could hardly find if you didn’t know them. It’s impossible to create and manage a profile on every site on which your target market hangs out. Instead, you need to choose the most effective and most active social media networks for connecting with your customers. So which one is right for your business?

Before you start signing up to any social media platform, you need to first consider:

  • Will social media benefit your business (we’ve also written about this)
  • What are you trying to achieve through social media
  • What are you marketing
  • Who are trying to reach

Now, if you have answered these questions for your business and still want to join the world of social media marketing here is a list of the most popular platforms and depending on what you WANT to be marketing, how they may help your business.

Facebook: Business to consumer products and services

Twitter: Events that generate a lot of discussion

LinkedIn: Professional and B2B services

Pinterest: Visually appealing products that fit with a lifestyle or theme

Instagram: Visually appealing business-to-consumer products

Google+: Products or services with a reliance on SEO value

YouTube: Exciting or easy to explain products or services
(source: platform information from infographic designed by Staples)

Essential Social Media

Among the above list, there are certain sites that are pretty much essential for any business, no matter what field you’re in.

The most important one is Facebook. Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with currently more than 1.39 Billion active monthly users, and because it’s general and caters to everyone, it’s suitable for any kind of business which wants to better understand their customers on a more personal level.

YouTube is another social media site that’s very popular and suitable for all businesses. You can create short videos that demonstrate your products, teach customers how to do things related to your business, or inform viewers about your business or industry.

Finally, I believe a blog can be crucial to your business. Blogs not only give you a way to connect with your customers, but when they’re part of your main website, they provide you with fresh content and offer search engine optimisation benefits.

Before You Sign Up

Other things to consider when choosing which social media sites to use, is to first look at the site’s philosophy. Is it something that your business can use? For example and further to the list above, Facebook is a site where regular people hang out. LinkedIn is where professionals network. Twitter is for real-time news. Does the site’s main use suit your business?

Take a look at the characteristics and features that the site offers. For example, Google Plus offers the Hangouts feature, where you can hold a video teleconference or live event for your fans. Twitter, with its 140-character limit for posts, may be unsuitable for some businesses that need to make longer posts.

One way to choose is to ask your customers. Give them a survey and ask which social media sites they’re most active on. Another way to gather this information is to put social media widgets on your site and see on which networks you get the most sharing, liking, and comments.

Lastly, keep in mind that each social media site you choose will take an additional chunk of time out of your day. The best practice is to start with one site, get it rolling, and then move on to the next. Don’t sign up for too many at once, or you may spread yourself thin.