There are more social media platforms than you realize. And even some of those that you will never have heard of have millions of monthly active users (MAUs). But the best advice for marketing a business is to limit the number of platforms on which you have a presence.
So, you want to choose social media platforms on which you can reach your target audience. And you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. So, how do you choose the best social media platform for your business?
Millions of active users are of no use whatsoever if those users are not interested in what you sell. TikTok, for example, has a predominantly young user base. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is mainly used by business professionals. So, the first thing to consider is the user demographics of a social media platform.
Think About Content Format
The type of marketing content you want to produce will also influence your choice of social media platform. YouTube, for example, is, of course, a video-sharing site. Instagram is for sharing short visual content, including photos and short videos. And Twitter is used for messages of 280 characters or less. All these formats may be used for marketing your business. However, some types of content will be better suited to your brand personality than others.
Check Out Your Competition
Another way to decide which platforms will be best for your business is to check out your competitors’ social media accounts. And, while you are there, look at what type of content your competitors are posting on social media, too.
You could argue that you want a presence on a platform that your competitors don’t use. However, competing companies will likely have done their research, so there will be good reasons why they selected a particular platform.
Choose Only Two or Three Platforms
Posting new content regularly and engaging with the community is essential for effective social media marketing. And maintaining an active presence on social media can be time-consuming.
So, consider what resources you have available before selecting too many platforms. And, if resources are limited, you would be better off choosing only two or three platforms on which to market your business.
Six of the Best-Known Social Media Platforms Explained
As mentioned above, there are plenty of social media platforms from which to choose. And, you will probably know the names of the most popular social media sites. However, if you are not a regular social media, you may not be familiar with the ins and outs of each one. So, here are some facts and stats about some of the best social media platforms to help you choose the best one for your business.
The mighty Facebook is the largest social media site in the world. And Facebook is probably the most versatile of social media sites in terms of the type of content you can post.
Facebook has 2.8 billion monthly active users. Most Facebook users are aged 18-34, and the gender split is 56% male and 44% female. It is also worth noting that 96% of Facebook users use the site on their mobile devices.
Facebook is versatile because you can share almost any type of content. You could publish product details on the site, or promote special offers, for example. Or you can post videos, share blog posts from your website, and post company news and updates.
Facebook is probably the number one choice for most businesses. It has a wide each, is easy to use, and many people use Facebook to find and check out brands.
Twitter is a site for posting short marketing messages and generating brand awareness. The maximum length of a post on Twitter, known as a tweet, is only 280 characters. However, you can also share links to blog posts on Twitter, add images, and embed videos.
The demographics of Twitter users lean more towards the older generations. Indeed, 59% of Twitter users are aged 25-49. Twitter users are also predominately male. The gender breakdown is 68% male, 32% female.
Twitter is a site for breaking news and topical discussion. Tweets have a limited life, but they can reach many people. The use of trending hashtags can also significantly increase the reach of a tweet.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing site. The site is very much focused on visuals. So, Instagram suits lifestyle-orientated and visual brands. However, almost any business can benefit from sharing images of their products or work.
Instagram has one billion monthly active users, and the largest age group is 25-34. Instagram users are 57% female and 43% male.
Instagram is an excellent platform for generating brand awareness. And it’s not only makeup brands and celebrities that use the platform. It has been estimated that 71% of US businesses have an Instagram account. What’s more, Instagram users are not averse to following brands. Indeed, 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing site. The site attracts 1.9 billion monthly active users. It has been estimated that 74% of US adults use YouTube, so there is no doubting the potential reach of this platform.
You can post virtually any type of video on YouTube. And there is no restriction on the length of a video. So, you could post product review videos, company overviews, and behind-the-scenes content, too.
The demographics of YouTube users are broad. However, the largest age group of YouTube users is 15-25. Still, don’t let that put off YouTube marketing. The platform’s user base is so massive that even a tiny percentage of users represent many people.
LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking site. Businesses that actively market their products and services on LinkedIn are generally professional services and B2B (business to business) companies. However, the site is excellent for networking and attracting talent as well. So, most businesses will benefit from LinkedIn presence, even if they don’t post much content on the site.
The largest age group of users of LinkedIn is 56-55. The gender split is approximately 50-50. The site would best suit professional services and B2B (business to business) companies for marketing purposes. LinkedIn is also excellent for international marketing as 70% of LinkedIn users live outside the US.
TikTok is a video-sharing site on which users share short video clips. The maximum length of a video on TikTok is three minutes. However, most of the videos you will see on the platform are significantly shorter. TikTok videos tend to be amusing and entertaining rather than promotional. So, the platform is excellent for creating brand awareness but less so for pure advertising.
TikTok is still a relatively new platform. Even so, it has a user base of 100 million active monthly users. The largest age group using TikTok is 18-24. So, this is the ideal social media platform for reaching younger people. However, the number of older people using the site is growing.
Only six of the most prevalent social media platforms are listed above. You might also like to consider others, including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Each of the platforms focuses on different media formats and has a user base with varying demographics.
So, the crucial takeaway from the above is to do your research before choosing a platform for your social media marketing campaign. And don’t spread yourself too thin. It is far better to have a solid presence on two or three social media sites than having a poor presence on them all.