By David Cumpston, senior director
These days, it’s imperative for every company to be part of the social media landscape. However, with so many platforms to choose from, how can you determine which platforms will work best for your business?
Before deciding, understand three important points:
- Are you a B2C or B2B company?
- Define your target audience.
- Start with your goal and work back from there.
Next, determine how much time you’ll have to maintain each site you set up. In general, consider starting with two or three, then adding other platforms once you’ve mastered your initial selection.
More than likely, your top choices will include at least two of the main four platforms. Here’s a brief look a few key statistics for each and which platform is best for which business:
Facebook: Simply put, Facebook is the 900-pound social media gorilla on the internet. More than 62 percent of men and nearly three-quarters of all women in the U.S. use the platform regularly. Three in four live in urban areas and make more than $75,000 per year.
- Best for B2C, although some B2B companies find the most success with Facebook.
- As the site with generally the broadest appeal, Facebook is best for male and female adults 25 and up.
- Bottom line: every company needs at least some sort of Facebook presence.
Instagram: While some key demographics for this photo-based platform are similar to its parent company (Facebook), there are some marked differences. Fewer Instagram users have a college education (42 percent versus 77 percent for Facebook) and Instagram has fewer users aged 65+ than Facebook (10 percent versus 45 percent of all U.S. adults).
- Best for B2C.
- If you’re seeking to reach females 18-35, this is the social media platform for you.
- Bottom line: companies with visual products should position Instagram at the top of their list. Be careful, however, to only use relevant and the most high-quality images as possible because that’s what users expect. Generic “stock” images won’t pass muster.
Twitter: A majority of Twitter users (58 percent) make more than $50,000 per year and have at least some college education (57 percent).
- Best for B2C, although it may also be appropriate for some B2B brands.
- Most useful as a hub for news and politics, as well as for resolving customer service issues.
- Bottom line: it’s a great place to highlight expertise, products and overall creativity.
LinkedIn: As the platform geared for the professional world, nearly three out of four LinkedIn users have at least some college education and nearly half of them (45 percent) make more than $75,000 annually.
- Best for B2B, B2C employment.
- Among the industries that use LinkedIn the most: legal, manufacturing, education, IT and professional services.
- B2B companies use LinkedIn as their primary social media channel because 80 percent of LinkedIn users drive business decisions.
- Bottom line: Since more and more users are discovering the power of networking through LinkedIn, the site is expected to continue to stay popular among the business crowd.
What social media sites have you found to be the most relevant for your business? Are you considering adding any additional platforms to your repertoire? Feel free to tell us about it through a message in the comments below.
5 thoughts on “Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Business?”
David, good post. I’m beginning to see more and more traction with LinkedIn – not just for recruiting but also for thought leadership – and so I think it’s one of the best platforms for any business. Cheers, David (Landis)
Social media can be cyclical (remember Vine? MySpace?) and you give good advice on staying with the platforms that have longevity…new ones are popping up everyday but businesses need to know their target audience before dipping a toe in new social media waters.
Thanks for this helpful overview, David. The question you ask about “how much time will you have to maintain the channel?” is really crucial – no point launching and then going silent. It’s so important to maintain a cadence, even if you’re just in one channel. Posting at least once a week – and then monitoring to maintain engagement – is a good place to start. Consistency is crucial. I think the old adage very much applies here: be the master of one before trying to become a jack-of-all-channels!
Looking at what competitors are doing and how they are performing with social media can help a business set its strategy and optimize its use of this important customer engagement channel.
And once you’ve mastered these, the world is your oyster!
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