How to Choose the Social Network That Works for Your Business

Want to choose the best social media network for your business?

While setting up and improving your business’s social media channels, you’ve probably created your customer persona, researched your competitors, created your voice/tone and learned the dos and don’ts of being on Twitter and other social networks, and you’re ready to start working hard on choosing the best channels — but wait: which channels will you be most active on?

Facebook has over a billion monthly active users; Twitter has over 300 million monthly active users with a billion unique visits monthly to sites with embedded Tweets; Instagram has a community of 400 million members with an average of 80 million photos shared per day.

In reality, there is a lot of noise out there. Businesses, especially small businesses, need to be strategic when they choose what social media channels they would like to have a presence on.

In the end, you can’t be on everything — especially if you have a limited amount of time, budget and manpower.

It is a common misconception that curated content does not need to be adapted for different channels but can be blasted into the social media ethos. However, this is not the best idea as each channel as a very distinct type of user and social media strategies need to be adapted depending on where you want to be most active.

Instagram, according to the Iconosquare Instagram 2015 study, is ideal for brands and businesses that focus on fashion, decoration and culture. It’s not the best channel for businesses that focus on real-estate, health and/or finance. Furthermore, Instagram is perfect for businesses that target individuals between the age of 15 – 35 as 73% of Instagram users are within that age bracket. So if you are business focusing on, for example, geriatrics, then Instagram probably isn’t the best avenue for you.

Ideally, with your customer research complete you should have a good idea of their demographics, attitudes and emotions — basically you should know your ideal customer inside out. So where do they spend the most time?

  • Are they DIY obsessed? Maybe Pinterest is the way to go.
  • Do they have a lot of question and need on-going support? Then maybe Facebook or Twitter would work.

Most likely your goals will be different on each social platform, which means that the content you develop and share needs to be different as well. Here are some great components that you need to take in consideration provided by Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, in the Social Media Examiner:

  • Which channel? (Facebook? Twitter?)
  • The customer persona (who will you be targeting?)
  • The goal (Is it a sales goal, cost-savings goal or are you trying to create a better customer experience?)
  • Primary content type (textual, video, infographics?)
  • Structure (what does a general post look like?)
  • Tone (playful, sarcastic?)
  • Channel integration (how will this channel work with your other channels for maximum impact?)
  • Desired action (what user behavior d you want to achieve?)
  • Editorial plan (every channel needs its own editorial calendar.)

After you nailed down specifics, it’s time to start setting up or adjusting your social media accounts and begin by posting engaging, authentic and consistent content on all the social media channels that you’ve deemed most appropriate. By growing your following and improving your engagement and reach, you can turn those leads into new life-long customers.

Which social media network works best with your core audience?

You can find more details on how to get the best out of your social media marketing via our new book Profitable Social Media Marketing: How To Grow Your Business

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