Social media has become a vital component of any company’s marketing efforts. There are more than 2.1 billion people with active social media accounts, so it makes perfect sense for you to want to take advantage of this growing community to help increase your sales.
But the problem is, there are countless social media networks out there. Even if you narrow it down to the most popular ones, you still have around a dozen platforms to choose from. Unless you are a large business with a massive marketing budget and a dedicated social media team, you can’t possibly maintain a constant presence on all these channels.
Instead, you need to pick the social media platforms that make the most sense for your audience and business needs. There are several factors that you need to keep in mind in order to make an educated decision regarding which social media networks to choose. Here are some of the most important ones.
Look at the Most Popular Social Networks
Should size be a crucial factor in deciding which social media network to join? Yes and no. There’s no doubt that size matters – after all, the more users a network has, the greater the potential exposure. However, relying solely on size can be tricky. For instance, according to recent data, there is a 215 million user gap between Twitter and Pinterest, but studies have shown that Pinterest is more popular than Twitter.
Also, size might not always play to your advantage. A highly-popular social network could mean that there’s more competition than on a smaller platform and you’ll have to invest massive resources to push content in front of your audience.
So instead of focusing on the size of a social media channel, ask yourself which networks people are most attached to. According to one study about the level of social media dependence, Facebook and Instagram are the two main channels people visit most often.
Consider User Demographics
While the size of a social media platform plays an important role, it’s vital to look at user demographics and ensure that your audience actually uses the network. For instance, Pinterest may be one of the most popular networks, but it would make no sense for you to include it in your strategy if you are a B2B company offering integrated mobile solutions to logistics businesses. Instead, you should focus on promoting your services on Twitter and LinkedIn, where you are more likely to find users that are interested in your content.
What Type of Content Does Your Audience Prefer?
Every social network specializes in a certain type of content. Twitter is all about providing bite-sized information to its users, while Instagram focuses more on visual content. This seemingly-minor detail can have a big impact on how your audience engages with your content.
Here’s an example. If you are a home décor company, then Instagram is a great way to promote your products. But if you’re selling data management software, then Instagram isn’t going to provide the same results as a platform like LinkedIn.
Another thing you need to consider is the type of content you plan to create. If you want to focus on video content, then YouTube, Instagram, and even Snapchat (if your audience uses this platform) are excellent mediums to connect with prospects. However, if you are going to write short pieces of content, they’ll get more attention on Facebook than on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Explore Your Paid Advertising Options
Another thing you’ll want to consider is whether paid advertising is an important element of your social media marketing strategy. If you want to boost certain posts and push them in front of your audience, then it’s a good idea to choose social media networks that offer paid advertising options. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide a comprehensive list of advertising tools that allow you to target your audience based on demographics, type of content, and so on.
If you don’t plan to invest money in social media, then you should focus on networks that support organic marketing. That way, you won’t have to compete with companies that are investing massively in social media marketing campaigns.
Unlike big corporations with dedicated social media departments, small businesses cannot handle more than four networks at a time. Because of this, it’s important to make the right decision to ensure you are getting the most out of your effort. Check your audience, study the numbers, and ask yourself all the important questions before making a decision.