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How to Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

How can you tell which social media channels are best for your particular brand? Here's a quick guide to choosing your ideal social media platforms.

Social media marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing today. Most consumers tend to hang out online and even do their research on brands by browsing their social media accounts. 

As a business, establishing a social media presence is crucial to attracting and retaining customers. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re investing in the right channels.

Below, we explore some of today’s most popular social media platforms and some key facts than can help you determine which ones are best for your brand.

Instagram

Instagram is a hotspot for young consumers, with its biggest demographic group being males between 18 to 24 years old. Additionally, 75% of all users are aged between 18 and 24.

Businesses of all sorts are leveraging Instagram for marketing purposes, but the platform is best suited for trendy, urban brands like fashion companies or tech business. To engage your audience, you’ll want to post creative photos and short videos, and try to maintain a theme. Stick to a specific color scheme, build your brand’s voice, and interact with other users on a regular basis. 

Also, be sure to keep up with trends and best engagement practices, from IGTV to Instagram stories. Get creative and remain active!

Facebook

Most Americans use Facebook, the demographics being

  • 51% of those ages 13 to 17
  • 81% of those ages 18 to 29
  • 78% of those ages 30 to 49
  • 65% of those ages 50 to 64
  • 41% of those ages 65 and older

The sweet spot for age of users is between 25 and 34. If your target consumers fall into this range, you’ll want to prioritize Facebook above all else. Share regular updates, statuses, photos of products, behind-the-scenes shots, event info and more. Also, remember these points: videos earn the highest rate of engagement, as well as posts published on Thursday and Friday.

Unlike on Snapchat, even if your target audience doesn’t use Facebook, you’ll still want to at least exist on the platform. At a minimum, you should create a page with important information (e.g. business address and contact info) to establish your presence and credibility.

Twitter

Hootsuite reported that 22% of adults and 44% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Twitter. The median age of US users, however, is 40.

Twitter is a great way to spread brand awareness, especially since tweets can be retweeted, thus shared with larger audiences. It’s also the perfect platform for business owners and those in the media/arts, like writers and PR reps, to connect with others in the industry. Use Twitter to network and share your thoughts or links to articles/websites/etc.

LinkedIn

Majority of LinkedIn users are between ages 25 and 34, and exist across various industries. The platform helps professionals connect with other professionals. However, while it’s more of an online resume for workers, it can also be used as a marketing tactic for businesses.

Every business should have a LinkedIn account to establish their credibility and digital presence. You can also use LinkedIn to share business updates, event information/coverage, job openings and more.

Pinterest

According to Hootsuite, Pinterest reaches 83% of women aged 25 to 54. However, more than half of this exposure is from Google image search. If you’re using Pinterest for your business, you’ll be able to reach both users and non-users. 

Pinterest is also unique because it’s less a social site and more of a self-discovery platform. When users log into their profiles, they’re not looking to interact with others; instead, they’re looking for information, inspiration and products. However, most companies overlook the channel and its potential.

Any company can benefit from having a Pinterest account, as the platform offers various types of content in the form of “pins.” These pins can range from photos of outfits to quotes from articles, linking to external sources. For instance, if you own a PR agency and run a blog on your site, you can link to certain posts in your pins; or, if you’re a clothing boutique, you can share photos of your hottest items with links to your shop.

Snapchat

At the end of 2018, Snapchat had approximately 186 million daily active users. The number dropped slightly from the beginning of 2018 and previous years. 

According to the Pew Research Center, the most active Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24. While this platform isn’t as commonly used for marketing as others (like Instagram and Facebook), If your audience mostly consists of millennials or Gen Z, you might consider using Snapchat to engage them even further.

You can create unique behind-the-scenes videos, share photos of your products and link to relevant articles your customers would appreciate. However, keep in mind: Snapchat typically performs better for well-known, large businesses.

YouTube

According to Oberlo, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform. In fact, 79% of Internet users have an account on the website/application.

YouTube is a great place to share video content with consumers. And since video is becoming a more popular and engaging form of content, businesses of all sorts can find success on the platform. Write articles for your company blog? Translate it into a short informative video. Run a local bakery? Record a how-to baking video while plugging your favorite treats. The options are endless!

TikTok

This up-and-coming social media platform isn’t on many businesses’ radars yet, but experts predict it’s the “next big thing” in social media. This platform allows users to share short, music-focused video clips (9 to 15 seconds long), and the community values authentic, creative content over highly polished, professional-looking videos.

Business News Daily reports that more than 40% of the app’s 500 million monthly users are between the ages of 10 and 19, so if your brand is marketing to pre-teens and teenagers, TikTok is the place to be. At present, businesses have four primary options for using TikTok: in-feed native content, brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, and branded lenses.

Like any new social media platform, it may be best to wait and see what bigger brands are doing on TikTok before diving in and potentially harming your brand image. 

Which social media platforms are right for your brand?

Social media is a great way to connect with and engage consumers, but many business owners fail to invest in these platforms due to time restraint. Since you’re likely swamped with other business development tasks, it might make more sense to outsource your social media marketing efforts to experts. 

Check out our social media management packages or contact us to learn more about how Lightning Media Partners can help you.

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Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela is our Content Manager whose love for words has propelled her into a career of freelance writing. When she isn’t working for her various clients, she’s writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. Check out her blog at sammisays.org.