Social Media 101 - Which Platform is Best for My Business?
The advent and subsequent rise of social media websites have made it easier for companies to reach out to their respective target audiences. However, this comes as a double-edged sword. This is because not all social media platforms and websites are worth investing in. Otherwise, a business might find that it has either spread itself too thin or spent too much.
The best way to use social media to the benefit of your business is to key in on a few platforms. Preferably these platforms should be the ones frequented by the company’s core audiences the most.
How Do I Know If It’s the Best Platform for my Business?
It’s both simple and not.
It’s simple because the numbers will tell you. It’s not because the numbers don’t always tell everything. Choosing a social media platform isn’t exactly rocket science, but you do need to be willing to do your research. At the same time, you should also be open to experimentation. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in trying to figure out the ever-changing tastes of users on social media.
Of course, this should already be a given, but you’ll need to move fast. This is because trends die as quickly as they rise in this social media age. It is the businesses that can more or less predict when a trend is going to die out are the ones more likely to succeed.
What Platforms are Best for Consumer-Oriented Businesses?
For consumer-oriented businesses, it’s simple - you literally just have to follow the numbers.
With at least a billion Monthly Active Users (MAU), Facebook (as well as its tie-in app, Messenger), YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram, are well worth the investment. From there, you can track your frequent users and visitors to see which other social media platforms they frequent the most and divest your investments there.
What Platforms are Best for B2B Companies?
While Business-to-Consumer companies have it easier as far as choosing social networking platforms go, the same can’t be said for Business-to-Business companies. However, that doesn’t mean B2B companies shouldn’t bother to utilize social media. This is because B2B companies can use social media to their advantage too. In particular, in helping them understand their potential customers (other businesses) better.
Each social media platform is different though, so it’s important to understand which networks can help your B2B company grow best.
Here are the social media platforms to look into for your B2B company:
According to a fairly recent CMI report, roughly around 95% of B2B companies used LinkedIn as part of their content marketing campaign. Why? It’s simple. Most companies and other professionals are on the platform. This makes it perfect for the ideal social media platform for reaching out to other potential customers and business partners, either by sharing content, engaging with them directly, as well as by voicing out your views and opinions on relevant topics.
The same CMI report we linked to earlier puts Twitter as the social media platform of choice for 87% of B2B companies. But unlike LinkedIn, Twitter is a mix of both professional and casual audiences. This means that you’ll have to know how to navigate your way around the social media platform to make sure that your content reaches its intended audience.
Regular activity, as well as using relevant hashtags can both help your brand avoid being drowned by the constant stream of information, while at the same time increasing brand awareness.
Medium is less of a social networking platform and more of an online publishing platform. But it has a social network element. This makes it worth investing in, especially for B2B businesses who want to extend their reach by publishing both original content and republishing blog posts from company blogs.
Of course, investing in other social media platforms and/or networks also make sense for B2B companies. However, it’s also important to take note that it makes more sense to invest in establishing a strong presence in one or two networks first before spreading out to others.
Which Platforms Is Your Brand On?
The user base of the social media network matters less than how much of it is made up of your target audience. Even so, larger social media networks are almost always worth investing in. This means that Facebook (for B2C businesses) and LinkedIn (for B2B businesses) are almost always a safe bet if only to get a feel for social media and how your target audience will react before trying out other networks and/or platforms.