Selecting Social Platforms
With the rise and fall of various social media platforms over the years, it can be difficult to decide which channels make the most sense for your business. Should you be on TikTok? Is Twitter still a thing? What do you mean Instagram is pushing video? I thought it was a photo app. Don’t panic, we can help! Let’s explore some key points to consider when making this decision.
First and foremost, you want to identify your target audience. Consider general demographics, like their average age, but also other areas of interest that may pull them to one platform or another. TikTok, for example, has now reached 150 million active users in the U.S., but is your audience in that group? 150 million is a considerable number, but it’s still only around 45% of the population. Of the 1 billion TikTok users worldwide, 42% are 18-24 years old. If your target demo skews older than 45, TikTok may not be the best place to reach them. Cross-reference your business’s audience with the numbers available on the types of audiences on different platforms.
What are your intentions? Do you want to raise brand awareness, increase sales, or find new talent? Different platforms can be more suited to different goals. If you are focused on talent acquisition, for example, LinkedIn would be a great place to start. Consider your service area as well. Do you have a hyper-local store with no online sales? Then TikTok may be great for brand awareness since it can reach a lot of people all over the world, but not necessarily helpful in terms of sales since those people will not be able to purchase your product. Furthermore, make sure your goals are realistic—telling your team you want to “go viral” is not productive. Think in terms of smaller steps, attainable benchmarks, and percentages of improvement. Keep your overall goals and specific objectives in mind when considering the other factors to ensure the platforms you choose help you reach them.
What industry are you in and what does your business do? A lot of the larger platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok don’t necessarily favor one industry over the other, but depending on your niche, there could be other platforms (or specific areas of the platform) where you could thrive. Think outside of the box here! For instance, if your business is related to home decor/design, crafts, or event/party planning, you should consider creating a Pinterest for your business since those are very popular niches on the platform. Is your business related to the music industry? Consider getting on Spotify and curating playlists. The possibilities are endless but your time isn’t so find your niche and stick to it!
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors. Research what platforms they are on and what they are doing on them. Consider the topics they post about, the types of content (video, photos, text posts, etc.), and the frequency with which they post. Take a look at your local, regional, and even national competition. If the majority of your competitors are finding success on certain platforms, it would be wise to consider being on those platforms as well. On the flip side, just because your competition isn’t on a platform, doesn’t mean it can’t be an option for you. Sometimes that can be a positive thing; you could be a pioneer in the industry on that platform. All in all, be sure to consider all the factors and keep in mind that your competition may have more resources, so it is always best to think about what makes the most sense for you and your brand.
Social media is all about visual content. Think about what you have already and what you are realistically able to produce. Most social media platforms were designed with a specific type of content in mind, and the ones that have been around for a while continue to evolve. Platforms like YouTube and TikTok are designed for video sharing, but almost all platforms report that video outperforms other types of content. Do you have the resources or knowledge to produce video content? Does your brand have content that makes sense to be captured with video? Short-form or long-form? Vertical or horizontal? If you haven’t already, spend some time on the platforms you are interested in for your brand and familiarize yourself with the type of content you and others find engaging.
What does your social media team look like? Often small businesses have a team of one or even less than that if social media management becomes part of an existing job. One of the great things about social media is that it is free to use (for now — looking at you Elon Musk), but that does not mean it won’t cost you. Managing socials and managing them well is very time-consuming. Small teams (aka those “teams” of one [been there!]) should prioritize the areas in which you can make the most significant impact for your business. An important piece of curating an online presence is consistency. Can you post regularly? Can you keep up with the trends of each separate platform to stay relevant? Does your team have the time/energy to dedicate to this? If the answers to some of these questions are no, then scale back to the platforms that make the most sense for you based on the other areas of consideration.
Which social platform is best for your business?
Overall, like most things, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but considering these factors should help you make a more informed decision on what social media platforms are right for your business. You want your social media presence to elevate your brand. It’s not about the quantity of platforms, but the quality of content you produce for them. A poorly executed strategy could prove more detrimental to your brand perception than foregoing the platform altogether. It can be easy to get swept up in the hype of exciting apps like TikTok, but not every platform makes sense for every business.
Does all of this feel a little daunting or overwhelming? T/G can help! We have a team of experts in organic and paid social media ready to help your business reach its maximum potential. Let’s talk!