Choosing the Right Social Media Channel for Your Business
Social Media Marketing can be one of the best forms of marketing for a small business as it’s cost-effective, can reach your audience directly, and can work well with your other forms of marketing. However, it is important that you choose the right social media channel for your business, and that can be tricky to do.
How can you tell if a social media platform is going to work well for your business, or are you simply going to be wasting your time?
It can be difficult to know for sure, but there are a few questions we can ask ourselves and clues from the answers that point the way toward some social media platforms being better for our businesses than others. In this blog, I want to run through how to figure this out, and hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a better idea of which social media channel to use for your business.
Does this channel work for my core audience?
Any form of marketing you do for your business must focus on your audience, and social media no exception. If your target audience isn’t on the social media channel you’re considering, it’s going to be a waste of time using it. You’re just not going to get a good return on investment.
What are your client demographics?
Even on a very basic level, this information can give you clues about which platform to use. Age, gender, location, professional level, etc all contribute to the kinds of social media platforms people gravitate toward, and you can find this information here.
So, let’s say I work predominantly with female business owners who are aged 30 to 50. That link tells me that more women use Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest than men, and by age, Facebook comes out strongest. If I were to swap gender to male, LinkedIn comes out as the firm favourite followed by Twitter.
This is why doing your market research and having audience personas with demographic information like this is so helpful when you’re mapping out your social media marketing strategy.
Where are your competitors connecting with your audience?
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and you can gain some important clues by looking at what your competitors are up to. Which channels are they using and how is that working for them? Are they getting a good response on one channel over another?
I’d never suggest copying what your competitors are doing and your marketing strategies are going to be different because your unique selling points are different. But you can learn from your competitor’s mistakes and from their posts that are performing well to judge whether a similar approach might work well for you or not.
Does this social media channel work for me?
To get good results on any social media platform you need to be consistent and interact with your audience, and that means you need to consider if you’re a good match personally with the social channels you’re looking at. Your personality type and how you prefer to engage with people can affect how you’re perceived on social media, so here are a few things to bear in mind.
Are you shy or outgoing?
Video works really well on Facebook but if you’re the quiet, shy type who can’t bear the thought of being in front of a camera, can you make it work for you? Are written posts going to work as well for you there and help you stand out, or are you better opting for a more visual platform like Instagram where you can show what you do instead?
What do you actually have time for?
Consistency on social media takes time and effort, but some platforms take more effort than others. Hopping on a weekly live in FaceBook might be less time-consuming for you than creating graphics for Instagram or Pinterest, etc. If you’re not a natural writer, written posts might take up far more time than just saying what you want to say in a video instead, or in a condensed tweet.
Also, consider what you find to be fun. Content creation can be hard work, and you’ll be doing the same thing over and over again. It might work ok for you early on but if you get bored easily or find it difficult to motivate yourself for tasks like this, is there a lower maintenance social media platform that might work better for you instead?
Does this channel work for my business?
Stepping aside from you and your audience for a moment, it’s time to consider your wider marketing strategy and goals for your business. How well can this social media channel work with everything else you’re doing?
Do you understand the platform well enough to get results?
There is a learning curve when it comes to social media marketing. Some posts work better on some platforms than others, some channels hate sales-type posts where others tend to expect them, etc. Do you have a good enough understanding of the platform right now to get started?
This question is often more pertinent with visual and video-based social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest and Tik Tok, which are quite different to what we’re used to (and very different to how we use them as an individual rather than a business).
Can you outsource to a professional?
If you don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to learn a new social media platform, can you outsource to a marketing professional that can either craft you a strategy for your business or do the work for you?
If you’re absolutely certain that a certain social media channel will work wonders for your business, but you don’t have the skills to use it yourself, it probably will be worth the return on investment with outsourcing but do you have the budget for it right now? If not, can you use another platform in the meantime to generate some income to then outsource?
There aren’t any right or wrong answers with social media marketing only what’s right for you and your business, but I hope these considerations have given you some food for thought on finding the right channels to use for your business.