A smartphone displaying the Instagram Reels creation screen. The screen prompts the user to "Create With Reels," allowing them to record and edit short videos to share on the Explore page, where they can be discovered by others. The interface includes a "Get Started" button at the bottom. The phone is placed on a wooden surface.

Short-form videos in Digital Marketing

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How To Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business

Written by: Olagoke Opeyemi

Are you using the right social media platform for your business? Are you a small business owner who is more than a little overwhelmed by the countless numbers of social media platforms out there? 

With the 17 most significant social media platforms having at least 300 million users and an overall social media users estimated at 4.74 billion worldwide as of October 2022, It can be overwhelming and confusing to pick the right one for your business. But it doesn’t have to be. 

So, if you are struggling with choosing the right social media platform(s)for your business, we are here to rescue you from the overwhelm with these simple steps. But first, let’s see why it is essential to choose a suitable social media for a small business owner. 

Why is it essential To Choose The Right Social Media Platform for Your Business?

Imagine a Chemistry Professor walking into a Sociology class to teach. He will be wasting his time because he will deliver a lecture to an audience that does not care or is interested in what he is teaching. 

Now imagine a fashion brand trying to sell to people on a professional platform like LinkedIn. They will find it challenging to get the right result. Not because they don’t see your content or ads, they just don’t find what you are selling valuable to them. 

This is an obvious mistake most small business owners make by believing they must be active on all platforms to remain competitive and successful. Some even go for an all-out “all or nothing strategy,” which lands them in serious trouble. They spend thousands of dollars creating campaigns, spending twice on ads, and even hiring influencers only to be marketing to the wrong people. 

I get that the vast number of social media platforms and users can be a big temptation, and you want to jump on that and start taking advantage of it to ‘cash out’. But slow down a little bit. You might be doing your business more harm than good. Don’t panic. I am here to guide you in selecting the right social media channel for your business.

How Do You Choose The Best Social Media Platform For Your Business?

To choose the best social media platform for your business, follow these 6 simple steps.

Step 1: Define your social media goals

Choosing the right social media platform for your business starts with the type of goals you are trying to achieve using these social platforms 

There are numerous social media goals, which include:

  • Increasing brand awareness 
  • Increase lead generation
  • Increase conversion 
  • Customer support and relationships 
  • Drive traffic to the website 
  • Increase community engagement

While some social media platforms might be better for building awareness and top-of-funnel initiatives like YouTube and Instagram, others, like Facebook, might work well for conversion. 

Whatever goal you are trying to achieve, make sure you choose the platforms that can help you achieve those goals.

Step 2: Identify your target audience

As a small business owner just starting up, your audience is the purpose of your marketing. They are the reason you want to get on social media in the first place. By streamlining your ideal customer, you also narrow your choices for social media platforms. You need to find the right niche to avoid selling to everyone and ending up selling to no one.

To identify your target audience, ask yourself the following questions?

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What goals do they have?
  • What are their motivation and pain points?
  • What are their income and educational level?
  • How do they behave on social media?

The answers you get from the above questions can be used to form a buyer persona that will guide your social media strategy.

Step 3: Look for your target audience

Since you have identified your ideal customer, you need to determine where your target audience would be more active. To do this, look at the users’ demographics on each platform. You can obtain data from websites like Statista and Datareportal

For example, a young Facebook user who has not accessed the platform since 2020, but their last post on Instagram or Tiktok was 2 hours ago. 

You can use tools like Hootsuite to trace specific keywords or hashtags to see the social platform that directs the most traffic to your website. 

Step 4: Consider the content type

Another thing to note is that each social media platform has a specific form of content that resonates with them. Format can include 

  • Text
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Infographics 

For example, Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok will resonate with images and video content, while Linkedin will resonate more with text-based content. Twitter will resonate more with text, images, and videos. 

Therefore, you should focus more on platforms that will resonate more with the type of content you are creating. 

Step 5: Check out what your competitors are doing

Another great way to get on the right platform is to research what platforms your competitors are using and how well your competitors are doing. For example, if your competitors are doing well on Instagram and Tiktok but not so much on Twitter, that should give you an idea. However, this doesn’t mean you should copy all your competitors’ strategies, as algorithms change from time to time. But they are there to guide you. 

When researching competitors, you need to : 

  • Check out how often they post
  • Look at their level of engagement 
  • Check the type of content they post and those that performed best
  • Check out the number of people who follow them
  • How long have they been on the platform 
  • Check if their followers are increasing

Researching your competitors will give you an insight into not only the platform that will fit your audience but also help you work on the best form of post that will resonate with them.

Step 6: Leverage different social media tools

The last step I will discuss is more of a strategy than a step. Since you might be using more than one social media platform,  I suggest you choose an excellent social media tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social to help manage multiple platforms from one page. 

These tools allow you to save time and track performances across platforms in the same place. So that you can keep optimizing your campaigns for better results, you can also use those tools to automate and schedule posts.

Conclusion

Choosing the right social media platform for your business is a combination of knowing where your audience is most active, the content type, and the goals you want to achieve by using social media. However, there is no perfect platform for a business; the algorithm keeps changing, and government policies and other factors keep setting in, making some of these platforms unstable. For example, Twitter, under the leadership of Elon Musk, has seen a lot of decline in its audience base. 

That shouldn’t discourage you; you’ve got to keep testing until you find the right one for your business.

In my next post, I will be analyzing some social media platforms, including their unique characteristics and user demographics, to give you a much clearer picture of which one is right for your business.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts in the comment section on how the post has helped you choose the right platform. You can also share the social media platform that you think your audience is active on so I can include them in my write-up next week.