What is the Best Social Media for My Business?
Time is money, and with a busy schedule trying to run your business, focusing your efforts in the right places will save you time and money in the long run. Social media is a large part of those efforts, so knowing which platforms to allocate your time will get you the optimal return on your investment.
Why do I need social media? The overall benefit of social media is to develop a community of loyal followers who believe, endorse and/or buy your products or services.
There are 2.8 billion active users on social media
It’s all about quality not quantity. With all the social media choices, how do you determine which is right for your business, and which actually trigger the most offline actions? It’s not as complicated as you think.
Before you dive into the demographics of each social media platform, you need to define your business audience and goals first.
4 steps in choosing the best social media for your business:
1. Know your own business
- Do you sell to businesses or consumers?
- Clearly define your target audience – what do they look like? (i.e. men, women, ages, income, geography, etc.)
- Define your resources – are you going to dedicate time and/or money to creating, launching and managing social media? (i.e. budget, who’s going to manage, etc.)
- What are your business goals? (i.e. keep existing customers, capture prospects/leads, etc.)
2. Profile your target audience
Identify who your target audience is. You want to be as specific as possible, since it will make your decision easier. Write down the answers to the following questions:
- Who is your typical customer?
- How old are they?
- Are they male or female?
- What is their income and education level?
- What are they interested in outside of your product and services?
Use the answers to these questions (and any other pertinent questions that may relate to the business or industry you’re in) in order to help build out a profile of your audience.
3. Define your business goals
Once you know your audience, you need to define goals for that audience. As a business owner, your primary goal will likely be to drive sales by attracting customers—yet, there are other creative goals for social media. While some brands use social media to drive brand recognition and to develop friendly relationships with potential buyers, others use social media for customer support.
For example, on-demand media company Netflix uses the Twitter handle @Netflixhelps to address customer service issues. Not only does it free up their phone lines, but it gives satisfied customers an opportunity to promote their brand.
When it comes to creating your social media goals, brainstorm a list of both typical and unusual ways social media could work for your brand.
4. Find your audience
Now that you have your audience profiled and your goals defined, it’s time to find your audience. To do this, you’re going to determine which platform your audience uses by looking at the demographics of the users on each platform. You’ll also want to consider how active your audience is on that platform. For example, while young Facebook users may have profiles, they’re more active on Instagram. Besides demographics and engagement, you’ll also want to look at how individuals use the platform.
Now for some numbers…
Here’s your social media demographic guide to help you find your audience:
Facebook reports over 1.9 billion users making it the most popular social media platform. The main demographic is 18-49 year olds and it skews slightly higher with woman. 75% of users spend 20 minutes or more a day on Facebook.
That being said, it’s important to remember how individuals use Facebook: to build relationships and keep contact with old friends. This makes Facebook a good platform for building the loyalty of your existing customer base.
The downside to Facebook is that it may be hard to reach a new audience; due to its large population, your posts have a limited reach—even within your own networks.
As you assess Facebook as a potential platform, carefully consider your business goals. If you’re trying to acquire new business, Facebook might not be your best option, but if you’re building a dedicated following of clients and you need a way to keep in touch with them, this is a great option for your business.
Although YouTube boasts 1 billion users, its reach extends far past that. You don’t have to sign up to be a user to view content on YouTube.
The age demographic for YouTube is 18-49 with slightly more male users. This platform reaches more 18-34 and 35-49 year olds than any cable network in the U.S., with 2 million video views per minute.
As a result, YouTube has become one of the biggest search engine platforms. Many of these searches are for “How To” videos. Service industry businesses who can offer this type of content work well on this platform.
At 600 million users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing platforms, especially among young females under 35 years old. 53% of Instagram users follow brands.
Like Pinterest, Instagram relies on photos for conversation. As a result, this platform works really well for visual based businesses, like art, food, retail, and beauty.
Because it’s a growing platform, there’s less noise than Facebook. This means the platform is useful for generating leads because your reach is wider.
Twitter reports 317 million unique monthly users. 22% of males use Twitter, vs. 15% of females. The age demographic is younger than Facebook with an age range of 18-29 year olds. Users spend 2.7 minutes per day on Twitter’s mobile app.
Twitter is an excellent platform to build awareness for your brand. Twitter utilizes the hashtag, which organizes conversations around a word or phrase. By searching hashtags, you can learn what people are talking about so you can craft your tweets to take part in popular conversations. Why would you do this? Because Twitter can offer insight into what topics are trending, Twitter is often used by news outlets to find stories.
Since Twitter is often used to provide real time updates to an audience, many brands combine Twitter with offline engagement, such as events.
Pinterest reports 317 million users and is evenly distributed between 18-64 year olds who are predominantly female. People referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase on ecommerce than other users of other networks.
Pinterest is used for “scrapbooking” or, in other words, saving content by “pinning” photos to a virtual bulletin board. Some of the most common pins are recipes, style ideas, striking photographs, and DIY crafts.
Since Pinterest is a visual-based platform, you’ll need strong graphics to engage users. Successful business use of Pinterest has been linked to strong retail sales.
LinkedIn reports 106 million unique monthly users, with 31% of males over 27% of females. It also has the distinction of being the most utilized platform for older audiences, boasting the largest users among ages 30-49. 45% of LinkedIn users make $75K per year or more.
LinkedIn is also unique because it has a narrow focus. People use LinkedIn to search for jobs and to network professionally. As a result, the platform is useful for B2B lead generation, general networking, as well as recruiting employees.
Google+ has approximately 375 million active members with 27 million unique monthly visits and is known for a predominantly male demographic in the 15-34 age range. 70% of brands have a presence on Google+.
This platform works well for businesses in the software, engineering, and design spaces. And because the platform is linked to Google Search, it carries more weight in driving traffic to your website. Thus, you should consider the use of Google+ if your goal is SEO (search engine optimization).
59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved. This is just another reason why social media is so important for your business. However, as stated before, you don’t need to be on every social media platform. You just need to find the ones that connect to your target audience, benefit your business needs and that you can regularly manage.
We, at Exceller Marketing, understand the time that’s involved for a Westchester County small business to devote to having a consistent presence on social media, so that’s why we’re here to help. We can identify, create, launch and even manage the social media that’s just right for your business and marketing communications needs. Please feel free to contact us today for a FREE social media consultation.
For more information on social media and other important digital marketing tactics visit our blog “Top 4 Digital Marketing Requirements.”
Best regards, until next time!
Founder and Chief Consultant
Exceller Marketing, Inc.
Exceller Marketing is a full-service marketing firm and website design agency servicing small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurs in Westchester County, NY and the tri-state area. With powerful traditional and digital marketing communications, coupled with business development, we keep our clients ahead of their competition.
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