How to choose the correct social media channels for your business

28 June 2023
Illustrations of a hand holding a phone with social media icons

What’s on your mind? For almost 20 years now, Facebook has been asking users the same question every time they log on. Even today, as its popularity among younger demographics has declined slightly, 400 people sign up to the platform every minute.

This is just one of the key forms of social media that 2023 presents us with. YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest are still just as important in other instances. Here we have listed these social media channels in descending order of their number of users. Although none of them matches Facebook’s 2.9 billion, Pinterest still sits with 445 million in last place.

Dubbed: ‘The World’s Largest Database on Individuals.’ Social media offers a user-made and managed portfolio of their most intimate data, including real-time or regularly frequented locations. Governing bodies aren’t the only ones to benefit from this. Businesses all over the world now place great emphasis on their social media marketing campaigns.

Where do we begin?

There are a number of areas to cover, but first and foremost, you need to set your social media goals. These will help you to identify which platform, and form of content is right for your business.

What exactly do you want to achieve? If you want to increase brand awareness, then short-form vertical videos through the likes of TikTok or Instagram are a good place to start. However, when it comes to generating leads, LinkedIn is probably your best answer. Maybe you’re hoping to sell your products directly to customers, in which case, Instagram and Pinterest both offer product tags and prices with links to your e-commerce store.

But you’ll only be able to achieve these goals if your message is falling on the right ears. So, next it’s time to consider which social media channels your target audience uses most prolifically. It’s not only your buyers’ activity that you need to scope out, but also that of your competitors. If you’re new to this, search for your rivals online and see how well your potential clients are engaging with their posts and material.

In obtaining all of this information, you will be well on the way to establishing the basis of your social media campaign. However, it’s no good jumping headfirst into it and spreading the same content across every platform. Quality, not quantity, is the general rule to follow, and some social media channels are more suited to different forms of content and audiences than others.

Illustrations of social media message icons on blue background

Which platforms are going to be right for me?

As we’ve established, your choice of social media channel is pretty individualistic, and works on a case-by-case basis, so here’s a quick rundown of some of the bigger names.

Facebook is obviously the largest net to cast, and, from a social media marketing perspective, is still the most important for both B2C and B2B marketers. As previously mentioned, this platform has lost the interest of some teenage demographics, and plays to a slightly older audience now. General content includes written posts, photos, and short-form videos, with the added bonus of an endless collection of topic-based Facebook groups that you can join.

Instagram, in recent years, has rocketed past the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, and now offers over 1.3 billion users a more visual experience. You can deliver posts as photos, stories, or vertical videos (also known as reels). It provides the perfect backdrop to sell experiences, products, and services, especially those aimed at millennials. You won’t be the first, however, so if your brand is still relatively unknown, you’ll be relying on impulse purchases to begin with.

LinkedIn is an excellent outlet for B2B marketing, typically written or video-based, in a more corporate environment. The social media channel has not forgotten its industrial roots, since growing from a CV and job search platform. As a result, it provides an audience comprised of business professionals in a range of different positions. This is the space in which you are most likely to reach decision-makers.

On account of Twitter limiting each post to 280 characters, this social media platform is better suited for promoting your content from elsewhere. It’s also the perfect space to interact with customers by answering questions, offering advice, and even hosting polls. There’s a fine line to watch when it comes to sharing your thoughts on social media. Be wary of what you say on behalf of your business.

According to research in early 2023, YouTube is operating with over 2.5 billion users across the globe. This figure suggests that 36.9 percent of all people aged 18 and above use the platform. So, arguably, there’s a large chance that your target audience will be on there. With the introduction of YouTube Shorts, the platform now hosts both long and short-form video content.

How to create a cross-platform campaign strategy

Now that you understand the different platforms and their typical content, you can build a social media marketing strategy that works across a number of them.

For example:

Firstly, establish an Instagram account as a flagship to give users a general taste of what you have to offer. This provides an immediate overview of your prices and product details. Then, link across to your YouTube page where customers will find your longer-form video content. These posts describe the pros of your goods in greater detail, and convert potential leads into paying customers. Meanwhile, you can set up a Twitter account to add a bit more personality to your online presence. Here you can answer any questions in a public forum-style setting, and promote content from your other social media channels.

There’s a lot to wrap your head around, but you’re by no means alone. If you fancy a chat to discuss strategy a little further, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Written by Steven Dobinson.

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