We all know the importance of using social media to support and promote your product or service – we wrote recently about how we can help you use it to scale your business – but how do you know which is the best site for you?

Each social media platform has a different audience and finding out which is a good place to bang your drum can be a case of trial and error – which not every entrepreneur has the time to do.

So, in this blog we’ll take a look at how to narrow down your social media options and how this will help you identify the right marketing platform for your small business.

What’s your business?

Posting inconsistently across as many platforms as possible not only runs the risk of spreading your presence too thinly, there’s also a chance the quality of your content will dip in the wrong direction.

So, the first port of call is to identify the nature of your business: what you do will determine which social media platform is best for you.

A business-to-business (B2B) outfit has a different social media audience to a business-to-consumer (B2C) company. Linkedin is THE place to be for B2B, while Facebook and Instagram are great for increasing visibility for B2C firms.

As for YouTube? It’s ideal for both, so start shooting those videos today!

Who is your core audience?

Businesses that put in the legwork to identify their core audience will find it much easier to figure out which is their best social media platform.

Knowing your client demographics: from their age and gender to what times of the day they use or visit their social media and for how long, should all be a fundamental part of your brand marketing strategy.

All the major social media platforms have analytics dashboards where you can crunch this data. It’s worth putting in the hard work before you start creating and posting content, so when you engage on your chosen social media platform, you know it will reap rewards.

Maximising your social media strategy

Just because a social media platform exists, doesn’t mean your business should automatically be posting content there (though new ones are always worth exploring and seeing whether they’ll work for you).

Your social media platform should always align with your company’s goals, both short and mid-term, and that will determine which ones you use the most, but there are particular traits associated with the major platforms that are worth bearing in mind.

Twitter is a great way to provide fast and direct customer feedback, while Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for businesses that use images to make a visual impact.

If you’re looking to start a conversation, then head to Facebook and Linkedin, where you can use tools like polls and surveys, while Twitter is great for seeking out new trends.

Don’t forget the power of email

There is enormous value, both in terms of customer contact and revenues, to be gained from engaging and posting on social media, but it’s also a springboard to other marketing tools, most notably email.

We all know businesses run on data, and the more a company knows about its customers, the easier it is to tempt them with products and services they may want to buy.

Every interaction, from your website to your social media, is a chance to collect a bit more data, and among the most important nuggets you can get your entrepreneurial hands on is an email address.

It’s an elegantly direct method of communicating with consumers. You can keep them in the loop about special offers, upcoming new products or sales, and at the same time use your email newsletter as another form of quality social media content.

Which social media platform is best for me?

So, you’ve established who you’re selling to and what your message is. Now let’s take a very quick look at the major platforms, who they cater to and what they can offer your business.

Facebook

Love it or loathe it, Facebook – not to be confused with parent company Meta – is the granddaddy of all the social media platforms with a mind-boggling 2.7 billion users.

It’s format encourages discussion and debate among an audience with a large age range, while the vast number of groups and communities can be hugely beneficial for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

It’s great for building up a dedicated following, a little harder if you’re just starting out and want to stand out from the crowd.

Instagram

Instagram (also owned by Meta) is one of the most popular and fastest-growing social media platforms. It serves up predominantly images and video, and its audience tends to be younger and more tech savvy.

It offers a wide reach, is not as crowded as Facebook, and some of the influencers on the platform can really pack a punch.

Twitter

The power of the hashtag really comes into its own on this social media platform. Whether you’re looking to spot trending topics or create your own buzz, Twitter can be brilliant for building brand awareness and boost engagement.

Linkedin

Regarded as ‘the’ platform for business owners, it’s got a bit of a stuffy reputation but Linkedin is brilliant for connecting with other companies and influencers and building your network.

It’s also adopting other popular social media features, particularly video, to try and open up its user base. It’s a place to be but also one to watch.

Pinterest

The evolution of Pinterest has been one of the most interesting in the social media space. It’s gone from a scrapbooker’s paradise to a fully fledged, hugely shoppable ecommerce market.

It has fast become one of the essential social media platforms for a wide range of businesses and well worth checking out if you have a product to sell.

YouTube

Not every business owner relishes the idea of posting videos of themselves, but with 2.3 billion users, it’s worth getting over the camera shyness (or being creative) and posting content on YouTube.

From simple ‘how to’ videos to unboxing your products, the audience appetite for YouTube is vast, hungry and growing.

TikTok

Proof of how fast social media can evolve is TikTok, which has gone from being a place for teenagers to post short videos to a solid platform for businesses in the blink of an eye.

Cross-post between YouTube and TikTok, or keep an eye on the metrics and develop bespoke content for both – the world’s your oyster!

No matter which platform you plump for, we can help craft and maintain your social media presence – like a boss.

Right by your side, virtually.

Stay smart, stay open, stay successful