How to Choose the Best Social Media Channels for Your Business
Social media marketing continues to grow and prove to be a vital part of owning and running a business. Your social media presence, though, is only as good as your make it, it only works if you stay involved.
The different social media networks require different strategies, have different audiences, and present different obstacles. They also challenge you to create different goals. This means that it’s possible your brand and your business may not need all of them, you may only need one or two.
When choosing which social media channels to use, here are a few things to think about:
- Your goals
- Your target audience
- The amount of time you’re willing to allocate to social media management
- Your type of content
- Your industry
- Your competitors
Just like with any aspect of running a business, you sometimes check out your competition, and you want to do this with social media, too. If your competitor is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then those are three platforms you want to look into. Take notes on what you like, don’t like, hadn’t thought of, and could do better.
Knowing how to use each social outlet for your business will help you:
- Make your time worthwhile
- Connect with relevant people
- Feel comfortable managing campaigns
- Build your audience
Once you’ve looked into your competitors and have a list of things to think about, it’s time to select your platforms.
To choose the best social profiles and continue to develop captivating content, here is a compilation of the most popular platforms, industries, and content suggestions to help you build that customer relationship.
Facebook is one of the most powerful social platforms in the world. Its size alone is a positive for any business, because you can assume most people are on it.
- Contests or Giveaways
- Industry News
- Relevant Articles or Blogs
- Promote local check-ins or visits
- Press releases
- Case studies
- 80/20 Rule: 80% resources or content and 20% sales or promotional
- Promote key posts through Facebook Ads
HOW OFTEN TO POST: 3-5 TIMES A WEEK
- Facebook Groups
- Find and join relevant Facebook groups that allow connecting and discussions. These are great opportunities to see what other people are struggling with, which allow you to create original solutions that you can share.
- Facebook Live Webinars
- With Facebook Live, many businesses are hosting live webinars. These are a great way to add in your expertise, see what your audience knows or doesn’t know, and find your competitors.
Twitter is a conversation. It’s as simple as that. Twitter is where you can and will see an immediate and direct relation between the amount of effort you put in and the amount of followers and engagement you gain.
- Include a relevant photo as often as possible
- Retweet industry leaders, influencers, and advocates
- Share tips and advice in your field
- It is okay to share the same tweet every several days
- Respond to your followers using their Twitter handle (e.g., @FarmoreInc)
- Use hashtags (#) to join conversations and find followers
- Participate in relevant Twitter chats
- Live tweet when attending industry events or hosting events
- Lunch time and between 5-7pm are when people are most active
- Late night tweets (After 8pm) will perform better than you think
HOW OFTEN TO POST: 1-8 TIMES PER DAY
Instagram is owned by Facebook. It’s a photo and video sharing platform that allows users to share their photos with other users.
- Always try to keep your photos and videos square
- Quote graphics
- Powerful imagery
- Relevant photos
- Behind the scenes photos
- Boomerangs (Short, repetitive video clips – Boomerang is an app you can download)
- Some people say using 1 to 3 hashtags is the best plan, but sometimes it’s okay to experiment with up to 10 hashtags! Just make sure they are relevant, or at least moderately relevant. This will boost your posts reach!
HOW OFTEN TO POST: 1-3 TIMES A WEEK
LinkedIn is dedicated to professionals. The platform connects businesses with potential employees and partners by providing professional networking opportunities.
- Share business strategies and related articles
- Share informative articles or blogs about what you do, offer, or sell
- Encourage your employees to join your company network
- Only form genuine, professional relationships
- Ask employees to share business content
- Endorse and recommend people you’ve worked with
- Comment on news and articles in your industry
- Join LinkedIn groups and participate in them (at least once a week)
HOW OFTEN TO POST: 1-5 TIMES PER WEEK
Pinterest is a visual content sharing social platform, similar to an online corkboard. Each user can create “boards” that are usually related to a specific topic or interest. Visual bookmarks, or images are called “pins.”
Unlike other sharing social media platforms, Pinterest isn’t really about creating content so much as collecting it. A lot of retailers and businesses use it as a type of portfolio or catalogue.
- Use your own photography
- Create your own “Boards” and share your brand/interest with followers
- Engage with other users
- User powerful imagery
- Create boards that include other users’ pins
HOW OFTEN TO POST: WEEKLY
If you’ve seen blogs like this before, you remember that a big factor when planning out your content strategies involved WHEN to post. As social media channels slowly turn away from presenting content to users in chronological order, this is becoming less and less important. No matter which platforms you choose, you’re going to have to do audience research to find out just when they’re online, and when they’re using each of the platforms you choose.
Remember, the point of social media is not to make sales or drive business right away. The point is to build an audience by creating engaging and authentic content, and sharing content from other relevant sources.
Krystal's career background ranges from public relations to SEO strategy to social media management. She believes her journalism concentration from her Mass Communications degree from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg allows her to better understand the marketing industry and how to communicate with people both in person and digitally. Krystal likes puns, hula hooping, comic collecting, and socializing or attending networking events.