February 8, 2021
Social Media for Business: Which Platform is Right for You?
Here's a hint: You don't need to be on all of them.

Man takes social media selfie with dog for business website

We’re living in the golden age of social media — There have never been so many ways to communicate and connect with your friends, family, or clients.

The downside? There’s often an overwhelming amount of decision-making that comes with having all of those options available:

Do I need to be on all social media platforms? How often should I be posting? Which platforms are right for my business?

The simplest answer to all of these questions is also a complicated one: It depends.

But one piece of good news is that you don’t have to be on all of them! So, how do you go about deciding what platforms to spend your time and energy on? Here are some steps to help you figure it out.

Determine Who Your Audience Is

First step to take in figuring out which social media is right for your business? Identify who your clients are.

This is important marketing information you should be doing regardless of whether you choose to use social media or not. Knowing who you’re selling to helps you determine how to brand your business, what kind of language you should be using, and where to put your marketing efforts.

In marketing terms, figuring out who your typical customers are can help you build buyer personas, which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research. If you’re a dog trainer, the obvious fictional customers are new dog parents — but you want to go a couple of steps further into their demographics:

  • How old are they?
  • What’s their typical income range and level of education?
  • Do they live in cities/suburbs/rural areas?
  • Why are they interested in hiring you?

Identify Your Goals

To better understand which platform will work for you, you’ll want to know what you’re looking to gain from it. Off the top of your head, you may be thinking that your goal is to get more clients — And that’s totally fine!

But consider other ways social media can help your business. Here are some examples:

  • Twitter can be a way for you to address client issues that don’t need in-depth email or phone back-and-forth
  • Instagram stories might be helpful for sharing quick how-to videos or giving a sneak peek into new services
  • Some companies have used Snapchat’s disappearing videos as a way to create exclusivity around content launches
  • Facebook business pages now let you set up customer chat bots that can automatically answer FAQs

Make a list of the kinds of client interactions you’re hoping to make, then research how you can achieve these through different social media platforms.

Use Your Business Model as a Guide

What kind of business are you building? This can be a crucial part of your strategy in picking a social media platform.

Are you customer-facing or e-commerce based? Your platforms will probably be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Are you selling digital content and trying to generate leads? LinkedIn is a great option for sharing materials like ebooks that can draw clients in.

Are you mostly producing or selling videos? Consider a video-based platform such as TikTok or YouTube.

Go Where Your Clients Are

Because every social media platform has a specific audience that tends to use it, figuring out everything I mentioned in the sections above can help you figure out which platform you should head over to.

There’s plenty of information to dig into on this topic, but in general note that TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter tend to skew a little younger, while Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn draw in slightly older crowds. Instagram skews young overall but also has a significant amount of users between 25 and 49!

Once you’ve written down your buyer personas, goals, and an overview of your business model, use these to be strategic in your decision about what platforms to use. If you decide on multiple platforms, start off with one. Build on that and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t forget to analyze your data regularly!

Take some time building your brand there. Once you feel comfortable with it, then you can try branching out to other platforms if you still think they’re necessary. Be smart about how you allocate your time, and you’re sure to see it make a difference in your client conversion.

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