There’s no question social media is a necessary marketing tool for every business. But getting started can be difficult, and even deciding which social media platforms you should use can be more complicated than you think. So how do you choose? Here are three steps to determining which social media platforms are best for your business.

People sitting next to each other on their smart phones.

There are billions of social media users, so be specific when identifying your audience. 

Identify Your Audience

Figuring out your target audience is the first step to deciding which social media platforms you should use. Every platform caters to a different type of audience, so get specific with identifying yours. Being as specific as possible will make your decision easier.  Here are some questions you should be able to answer:

  • Who is your typical consumer?
  • Where are they located?
  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their education level and income?
  • What are their interests beyond your product or service?

Use the answers to those questions to help build the profile of your audience.

Define Your Goals

Social media has a plethora of benefits, but going in without a strategy will have you seeing little to no results. It’s important to set specific goals before you move forward.

As a business owner, your primary goal will most likely be to attract customers and drive sales. But there are other creative goals you can have as well. These goals can be things like brand recognition and developing a friendly relationship with your potential clients. When it comes to creating your goals, come up with a list of typical and unusual ways social media could work for your brand.

Blue neon thumbs up sign on a cement wall.

To find the right platforms, determine where your audience is most active and where your goals will most likely be met. 

Pair Your Goals & Audience with the Right Platforms

Now that you have your audience and goals in check, it’s time to find your audience! To do this, determine where your audience is most active and where your goals will most likely be met. Here is a guide to some of the major social media platforms to help you find the right ones:

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide and boasts 2.8 billion monthly active users, 61% of whom are Americans between 25 and 54. It’s a great platform for building relationships, humanizing your brand, and turning leads into loyal customers. Its advertising platform can also be highly customized to target your specific audience, but if you are not well versed on Facebook’s advertising platform, it will be confusing. While Facebook is excellent for reaching large numbers of people, keep in mind there’s also a great deal of competition.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popularly used social media platforms with roughly one billion monthly active users. This app is especially popular in the U.S., with roughly 140 million users. Over 55% of the U.S. audience is between 18 and 34, and more than 56% of the U.S. audience is female. This is a visual-heavy platform that allows users to publish photos and short video clips that stick with their audience. If your business thrives with the use of storytelling, good images, and hashtags, Instagram will be for you.

Twitter

Twitter is best known for providing real-time updates and is designed for quick, concise thoughts. This platform has an average of 330 million monthly active users. While its user base mostly uses it for news updates, Twitter is great for people to connect with businesses on a personal level and customer service and timely calendar updates can be quick. One of the biggest challenges with Twitter is unless you tweet at the right time when your audience is online, your tweets could be easily missed.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the number one social media platform for professionals and has over 690 million members. It isn’t weighed down by silly cat videos or personal family updates. Content on LinkedIn is meant to raise a company’s profile and connect with other businesses. If your audience is mostly business professionals, then this will be the platform for you.

YouTube

YouTube has over 2 billion active users and is the world’s second most popular search engine (after Google). It reaches people between the ages of 18 and 49 and is a video-based platform. Since people turn to YouTube to consume content on just about everything, there’s no need to try and fit into a specific content box. However, if you don’t have the time or budget to consistently create and put out good videos, it’ll be best to pick a different platform.

Here for the Next Step

If you think you want to try marketing your business on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram but have no idea how you want to begin, we got you. At BPetersonDesign, we can help get your business on social media and get you on your way to seeing results. We’ll help walk you through all the steps above and deliver you a strategy for your social media that will achieve your goals. We’re located in Cave Creek, Arizona, and Montrose, Colorado, but serve nationwide!

Let’s Get You growing on social media!