Finding time to actively post on every social media platform is already hard enough, but with so many options to choose from now, it’s easy to waste your efforts in the wrong places.
Of course, there is no one size fits all scenario in social media – what works for one brand may not work for another. That’s why when trying to figure out which best social media platform is right for you, it’s wise to take a step back and consider your business, it’s goals, and most importantly, the audience you are trying to reach.
Using the following steps will enable you to narrow down your options and identify the key areas you should be focusing your social media efforts on.
Knowing your audience
Building a profile of your audience makes your decision much easier. If you struggle to focus your time on social media, it is essential to identify which platforms your audience regularly uses. By doing this, you’ll stand a much better chance of capturing their attention. A few questions to aid building your businesses audience profile are:
Who is your typical customer?
How old are they?
Are they male or female?
What are their interests?
What type of content would they typically share
Once identified who your target customer is, you can match them up with the most appropriate platform(s), i.e the ones they use most frequently.
Social Media Platforms: The Breakdown
In order to determine which platform your audience is likely to use the most, you'll need to analyse the demographics of the users of each platform, how they use it, and how engage with content. Let’s narrow down each platform to help find the best fitting platforms for your business:
Facebook: The largest social platform in the world with over 2.2 billion users – that’s larger than the population of China! Facebook can just about post anything from images to videos and heavy textual content. It is great for building relationships with customers, especially if you have an existing customer base, but due to its large population you may have limited reach. Plus, Facebook is great for paid advertising that allows you to reach your exact target audience through their micro-targeting features.
Facebook have a higher percentage of female users compared to males, with 84% of all UK females actively using the network.
Facebook is most popular with 23-37 year olds - it's estimated that 80% of people within this age bracket use Facebook - compared to 75% of 16-22 year olds.
Twitter: With a projected 275m active users, Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks with huge social reach potential. Known for the infamous hashtag, Twitter is great for following trends and joining in on global conversation – allowing your voice to be heard by many audiences, not just your followers. If your business is fast-paced and likes to keep with the ever-changing trends, Twitter is great for seeing news instantly whether it be textual content like articles and quotes or imagery.
Twitter typically has more male users than females.
Twitter is most popular with 16-22 year olds - it's estimated that 44% of all 16-22 year olds living in the UK use Twitter.
Instagram: Boasting an impressive 800m users, Instagram is a unique social network that is completely visual - relying on pictures and videos to spark conversation and enhance brand appeal. This platform works especially well for art, food, retail and beauty industries and is rapidly growing. Instagram’s audience consists mainly of younger users and has emerged as the most effective platform for Influencer Marketing. Instagram's 'story' feature is hugely popular with today's audiences as it enables small snippets of media to be posted and shared instantly. This is also a great way for brands to promote themselves to their followers in a more interactive way.
Instagram is very popular with 18-34 year olds, making of 61% of their total user base.
Pinterest: With 200m users, Pinterest is the virtual scrapbook of the social media world, it is extremely visual so your business will require distinct and engaging graphics to engage users. Pinterest sees users “pin” photos to a virtual board to organise their favourite images such as recipes, style ideas, interior inspiration, DIY crafts and many more. According to Shopify, 90% of users plan their purchases using Pinterest – therefore being a popular link to strong retail sales.
Pinterest is much more popular with females than males (45% vs 27%).
20% of all 23-37 year olds use Pinterest, which is the highest usage of all the age categories.
YouTube: Boasting 1 billion users, YouTube extends much further as you don’t have to sign up to view content on the platform. Video marketing is one of the fastest growing digital marketing trends in 2019, and with its potential to attract, engage and connect with large audiences, it presents fantastic opportunities for online brand growth. As the biggest online video sharing platform, Youtube is likely to be at the heart of this. For businesses that can offer tutorials and informative videos, YouTube is an ideal platform, especially for those in the services industry.
Youtube is the most gender-balanced platform.
A whopping 97% of all 18-24 year olds use Youtube regularly.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the youngest in our list of social media platforms, yet it still claims 500m global users. A network with a narrow focus, LinkedIn allows users to network professionally and can also be used to search for job opportunities and share brand stories. A great platform for B2B lead generation, networking and recruitment, Linkedin acts as a facilitator for business growth, and is perhaps more suited to corporate brands.
LinkedIn is used more by males (37% vs 29%), and is most popular with 25-44 year olds.
Interestingly, over 50% of LinkedIn users earn over £45k, and only 22% of people earning up to £14k use the site.
Knowing the goals of your business
As a business owner, your primary goal is most likely to drive sales by attracting customers, however social media requires creative goals. While some brands use social media to drive brand recognition others use it for customer support or even just to be present in the social media world.
Narrowing your options down may work better through looking at the sector that your business fits into. It's important to remember that just because a social network is popular, doesn't mean necessary mean it'll be an effective channel for your business.
If your business operates in the retail industry, for example, you are most likely to benefit from being active on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook as they are visually-based platforms; whereas industries that require sharing useful and potentially valuable information to potential customers where text-strong platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter.
Whilst you need to be conscious not to waste your time and effort on ineffective platforms, it's all about striking the balance between prioritising the best ones for you, and maintaining a presence across them all. The key is to simply be more active on the ones that enable you to reach your target audience and offer the biggest window of opportunity for brand exposure.
If you would like to learn more about social media or are interested our social media marketing services, please get in touch with the Champions Digital team at [email protected], or give us a call on 08453313031.