Social media has become an increasingly relevant tool to use in marketing campaigns. Since the pandemic, people are spending more time online than ever before with over 3.6 billion people using social media. According to a recent survey, 57% of consumers follow a brand to learn about new products and 47% follow a brand to stay up to date with company news.
When starting your social media marketing campaign, it can be difficult to choose which platforms to use. Narrowing down which platforms your business should use will allow you to maximize your efforts. So, how do you choose which social media platforms are the best fit for your business?
Step 1: Identify your target audience
To determine which platform to use, the first thing you need to do is identify your target audience as specifically as possible. Your target audience is the group of people most likely to be interested in your business and the members of this group will often share common traits. Answer the following questions:
● Who is your typical customer?
● How old are they?
● What gender do they identify with?
● What are they interested in outside your product or service?
● What type of information do they want from your brand?
● What social media platforms do they use most?
Step 2: Define your goals
After you have identified your target audience, you should identify what your goals are for your social media campaigns. Possible goals include:
● Increasing brand awareness
● Sales/lead generation
● Increase community engagement
● Grow brand’s audience
● Increase web traffic
Step 3: Evaluate your content type
Look at the existing content you have and the content you plan to create in the future. Consider how this content works with each social media platform – do you have a lot of visuals or is your content mostly text-based?
There are 5 main types of social media content: video, images, text, stories, and live video. If you tend to create a lot of video content, Instagram and TikTok may be a great fit for your business.
As reported by marketers, video and images are the most valuable form of social media content. These are followed by text-based posts, stories, and live videos, respectively.
Step 4: Find your audience
Once you have defined your audience and your goals, it is time to determine which platform your audience will respond best to. You need to consider the demographics of users on each platform, how active your audience is on that platform, and how most consumers use that platform.
Facebook has the largest user base with over 2.7 billion users on the platform. More than 65% of Facebook users are older than 35, and the average user is 40 years old. Most individuals primarily use Facebook to build relationships and remain in contact with friends. Because of this, Facebook is a great platform for building loyalty within your existing consumer base. It can also be beneficial for targeting ads, announcing product launches, sharing viral campaigns, and promoting videos or photos. Facebook is a great platform for paid ads with 9 million active advertisers which accounted for 92% of its total revenue in 2020. Links are the most commonly used content type for brands, totaling 44.2% of all brand posts.
Instagram is a photo and video-based platform, great for visual-based businesses and products. Instagram is a fast-growing platform that is beneficial for lead generation, building relationships, and growing your audience. Instagram is great for promoting products through its Instagram Shopping feature, which allows consumers to be linked directly to your website when they see a product on your page. Instagram has a younger demographic, with half of its users falling in the 18-35 age range. Women between the ages 18-24 are the largest demographic on the platform. 90% of US marketers stated that Instagram is the most important social media platform for influencer marketing, and the two most effective content types are posts and stories.
If your goal is to build awareness for your brand, Twitter is a great option. It is one of the top news sources on the internet, with 22% of Americans using the platform. One of the main features of Twitter is hashtags, which groups conversations around a word or phrase. Trending hashtags show what users are talking about, which allows you to direct your tweets towards popular topics. Twitter is also a great location to post links to articles in order to increase awareness of your brand.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that is the most utilized platform for older audiences. LinkedIn has over 722 million users, with 96% of B2B marketers using this platform for organic content distribution and 83% for paid social. This platform works well for business development and brand awareness through sharing articles and starting conversations. Long posts work best on this platform; posts with 1900-2000 performed best with regards to views and engagement.
TikTok is a rapidly growing video-based platform that works well for building brand loyalty and brand awareness as well as fostering a brand community. It has a young demographic which makes it beneficial for targeting the 18-24 age range. This platform is known for its viral videos and trends which can help brands connect with their target audience in a light-hearted way.
It is also important to consider how consumers use each social media platform. Just because your target audience fits with the demographics of a platform does not mean that they use that platform to follow brands. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are popular platforms where consumers keep up with their favorite brands.