The Best Social Media Platforms for Business
What are the Best Social Media Platforms for Business?
The internet has inevitably become a vital aspect of our everyday lives. More specifically, social media. Whether you’re in the office, walking down the street, or out to dinner, odds are you’d see someone scrolling on their phone. Everyone is using social media, constantly. In fact, roughly 4.7 billion people are active social media users.
So if you don’t already know where your target audience is, there’s a huge chance you’ll find a large percentage of them on social. The key is knowing how to get in front of them. So before diving into the different platforms, ask yourself, “Who is my target audience”? From there, we’ll be able to help you figure out which platform you should be using, and how to use it correctly.
Who is Your Target Audience?
As a business owner, one of the most important pieces of data you can obtain is about your target audience. Otherwise, you’re fishing in a sea full of fish without knowing which bait to use. Make sense?
But how do you find data about your audience in a world where privacy laws are so prominent? Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy. Here are a few ideas.
First of all, Google Analytics tells you A LOT (see how to set it up here). In Google Analytics, you have the ability to tap into all the demographic data about your website’s visitors. Including, but not limited to, age, location, interests, etc. It is EXTREMELY powerful.
Another lucrative way to learn about your audience is by split-testing your ads. On Google and Facebook, you can test a variety of demographics and interests. By testing different keywords and target audiences in your ad sets, you can learn very quickly who’s attracted to your business and who is not.
You can also pop into your social media insights to get a general idea of who is engaging with your profiles. However, this will require a business account. You can learn how to set up a Facebook Business page here, and Instagram Business Profile here.
I encourage you to take some time to analyze all of the resources mentioned above, learn more about your audience, and then begin thinking about how this information can help you accomplish your goals.
What Are You Looking to Get Out of Social Media?
Now that you have a better idea of how to establish your target audience, it’s time to set goals for your social media endeavors. What are you trying to accomplish? While the obvious goal of a business owner is to generate leads and sales by attracting new consumers, there are many other benefits of social media that are often overlooked. Some businesses aim to monetize social media independently, while others are more interested in thought leadership, customer service, and less direct forms of lead generation. Social Media can even be used for testing the viability of a business idea or product.
While those are only some use cases, the opportunities and are far and wide.
So what are you going to use social media for? I would suggest using each platform for something different, all contributing to the ultimate goal of generating more revenue. This may sound like a lot of work, but I’ll make sense of it below!
Understanding Each Social Media Platform
While it’s reasonable to assume you’re familiar with all of the platforms I am about to review. It’s not unreasonable to assume that they are not being used correctly, or at least, to their fullest potential. Hopefully, after reading the rest of this article, you’ll be able to build a dominant social media presence reflective of your business’s message. The first one we will take a look at is Instagram.
Simply put, Instagram is a platform for creators. It’s dominated by videographers, photographers, and the creatively-inclined population. While this can be intimidating, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for your business. It’s also one of the most consumer-heavy platforms. However, be mindful of the fact that the overwhelming majority of users are under the age of 34. This makes it the perfect platform for product promotion i.e. clothing, accessories, technology, etc. So, if you’re business is product-oriented, Instagram is a great option. But how do you “win” on Instagram?
Just like any business, Instagram is focused on making money. How do they make money? By retaining their users and keeping them engaged. The more actively engaged you are on Instagram, the better your profile will perform. That means posting consistently throughout the week across stories, posts, and reels, as well as commenting and responding to comments, stories, etc. With that said, it’s no easy task by any sense of the imagination. It takes a lot of creativity and time. As a business owner, it may be worth hiring a social media manager or agency to take care of this for you.
Now, if you’re business is not product oriented, our next platform may be a better option.
With +2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is definitely the father of all social media platforms! It’s crucial to remember why people use Facebook: to build relationships and stay in touch with friends.
Consequently, Facebook is a great medium to increase loyalty among your existing customer base, especially for service-based businesses. You can take advantage of the many community groups, events, and even build your own Facebook Group.
The downside of Facebook is that it can be difficult to attract a new audience; because of its enormous population, your posts have a limited reach – even within your own networks. While you can run boosted posts to combat this, spending ad dollars on Facebook may not be within your budget.
If you’re looking to attract new customers, Facebook may not be the ideal solution, but if you’re building a loyal fan base, or have an existing one, and need a tool to stay in touch, it could be the perfect platform.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google. While it has over 2.4 billion subscribers worldwide, its influence extends far beyond that, thanks to the user’s ability to rabbit-hole on YouTube without creating an account.
YouTube has thus become one of the largest social media platforms. In some cases, you could even argue that it is THE biggest social media platform if we’re looking at ALL of the users and not just the subscribers.
But who is YouTube for? First, let’s take a look at who uses YouTube the most. For one, there are 30% more male users than female users. Of those males and females, a whopping 68% of them are between the ages of 18-34. Of all these users, one of the most common types of searches are for “How to” videos. People go to YouTube 1) for entertainment and 2) to answer their questions.
Now ask yourself, do your followers, customers, or clients ask a lot of questions? If the answer is yes, then you should be consistently answering those questions on YouTube, and even including those videos on your website. YouTube can also be used for Brand Awareness and promotional videos. Essentially, YouTube can be used for anything. Whether you’re looking to show off the nifty features of your product, the preciseness of your service, or your authority in your industry, YouTube is the place to do it.
With 70% of users over the age of 25, LinkedIn is a platform to share wisdom, and insight, and to connect on a professional level. It’s the “maturest” of all the social media platforms. Consider it the “networking platform”. But don’t overdo it. When you create a LinkedIn account, you’ll soon find that it’s also very heavily used for spamming your inbox! Do NOT make this mistake. Instead, use it genuinely.
To have success on LinkedIn, it’s important to establish a voice for yourself or your business. On LinkedIn, the best way to do so is by sharing valuable information about your industry and your business. Of course, you can never go wrong when providing free value. On this platform specifically, you can feel free to post written content. Share blogs, articles, guides, reports, and other resources. These are all capabilities that are unique to LinkedIn, so take advantage of them.
This is a great place to share accomplishments and showcase your business’s growth directly. Whereas, sharing reports and articles on Instagram, and even Facebook, is often frowned upon.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, TikTok. TikTok has been all the hype since launching in 2016. Even in its youth, it’s still seeing 1.8 Billion monthly users, and it’s growing rapidly. With ~62% of users between the ages of 10-29, it’s a platform geared towards a younger demographic.
Unfortunately for most business owners, this means that the hype isn’t directly for you. I say directly because as a business owner, you can still take advantage of TikTok. Similar to YouTube, TikTok is commonly used to learn new things and answer questions. So, as a business owner, you inevitably have lots of industry expertise to share! While you may not be able to generate direct leads for your business if you’re not a product-oriented business, you can definitely become an “influencer” in your own regard.
The way you can accomplish that is very similar to Instagram. It requires consistency, however, it does not require as much creativity. TikTok is meant for quick content, and short attention spans. People want to consume A LOT of information, very quickly. That means if you have an idea while walking in the park per say, you can pull out your phone, start recording a TikTok, add some captions, and if there’s enough value, you’ll probably see some decent engagement!
Find Your Voice
Now that you’ve learned all you need to know about social media, you need to start experimenting on all of the platforms. Unless of course, one or two platforms are screaming out to you. For instance, if you’re a photographer, you can probably get by only using Instagram. But in most cases, you’ll benefit most if you use a combination of all of the platforms. So again, get to it! Create your accounts if you haven’t already, and begin testing your luck with different types of content. You need to find your voice, and you’ll only know for sure that you found it if you’ve left no stones unturned. However, keep in mind, you’ll need to become familiar with each platform’s insights so you can have a true evaluation of your performance.
Monitor Your Social Media Performance
Just like any aspect of your business, it’s important to keep an eye on your KPIs. You want to avoid pouring time into a black hole at all costs. Across most social media platforms, that’s going to include reactions, meaning Likes, Loves, Claps, and whatever other various reactions the social media platforms permit. But keep in mind, social media success is very rarely an overnight occurrence. In some cases, you could have one or two videos that go viral, but that’s not likely to happen when you’re just getting started. So put your head down, begin posting, analyzing, reacting, and posting more!
Get Professional Help
Of course, after reading this article, you may feel overwhelmed. But if you’ve made it this far, you’re serious about achieving success on social media. Regardless of your determination, everyone knows you can’t scale time. So if you just don’t have the time and resources, you can always hire an agency to help.