How to Find the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

For most businesses, effective online marketing requires more than a website; it requires genuine social media engagement with your existing and prospective customers and clients.

Although, creating an account for your business on just about any social media platform is free, maintaining an engaging presence isn’t. To make the best use of your time and resources, you need to identify the platforms that best reach your target market.

Think about Product Presentation

Social media is all about engaging your audience. But before you dive into analyzing your target market demographics, pause to think about what it is you are selling because that will likely determine what types of posts you have to publish.


 

Analyze Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve limited your options down to those that best suit the types of posts you are most likely going to create—images or text-based posts—you need to identify the platform(s) your target market is using most.

Here’s a quick demographic breakdown:

Platform Volume Age Gender
Facebook Over 1 billion daily active users Largest demographic: 25-34 years old More women than men, although gap is small
Twitter 100 million daily active users

330 million monthly active users

Largest demographic:

18-29 years old, followed closely by users 30-49 years old

More men than women, although gap is small
LinkedIn 500 million users Largest demographic:

30-49 years old

More women than men, although gap is small
Pinterest 175 million monthly active users Largest demographic: 25-34 years old Significantly more women users, although more men are starting to sign up
Snapchat 187 million daily active users

300 million monthly active users

Largest demographic: 18-29 years old

71% of users are under the age of 34

Significantly higher use among females
Instagram 500 million daily active users

800 million monthly active users

Largest demographic: 18-29 years old Significantly higher use among females

Highlights:

  • Facebook has the largest reach across all age brackets. More than half of all seniors (aged 56 and older) are active Facebook users.
  • “Selfie sites” like Instagram and Snapchat are used significantly more by Millennials and Generation Z (the post-Millennial generation)
  • Twitter boasts the user demographic with the highest levels of education and annual income
  • Most of Instagram’s users are outside the US

So, what does this mean for your business?

If your target audience is:
Use this social medial platform
Mature adults (age 40 or older)
Facebook / Twitter
Professionals (B2B market)
LinkedIn
Millennials and/or young adults
Instagram / Snapchat
Mostly men
Twitter / Linked In
Mostly women
Pinterest

    Please note: We do not mean to suggest that you should only use the recommended social media platform… just consider it as:

    • As an addition to your existing social media accounts
    • A good place to start a social media marketing strategy

You may also use these demographic data and post considerations to craft messages on any social media platform that better resonates with your target market.

A Note about Instagram and Snapchat:
Instagram and Snapchat have similar user demographics and offer many of the same capabilities for individual users. However, for marketers, Instagram may offer a better choice for engagement with your target market because it is designed to be more public and provides native user analytics to help you track your posts’ performance.

Consider Practical Capabilities and Constraints

When it comes to finding the right social media platform to market your business, it’s not all about where your target audience is spending their time online; you matter, too. If your organization has the resources to support a full-time social media manager who can take, edit and upload photos all day, every day, then any social media platform can work for you.

However, a full-time, in-house social media manager is not the reality for the majority of local businesses. So, platforms with users who expect real-time engagement and new content added continuously—as in, several times per day—may not be the best fit. But you do not have to give up on social media completely. It can work for you; you just need a platform that:

  • Allows you to schedule postsThe pace of business is not constant. So, when you have some downtime, you may be able to create a number of posts, tweets, pins, etc. And if the platform allows you to schedule them (or integrates with a scheduling app), then you can spread your content out over the course of a week, a month or beyond so that your content always appears fresh even if it has been “on the shelves” for months.
    One note about this strategy: be mindful of what’s going on around the time you schedule the post. If you wrote a lot of holiday-themed posts because you had some extra time in December, it’s likely not the best fit for spring posts.
  • Enhance posts with stock images
    Users on any platform are not likely to engage with text-only posts, but if you’re too busy for impromptu photos or your work is not conducive to photo sharing (because who really wants to see live images of plumbing repair?), you can dress up your posts with stock images. (Just be careful to use images with open licenses or purchase a license.)

Because social media engagement on any platform will require a significant investment of time, any size business can benefit from a little help. SonicSEO.com offers social media and online brand reputation management services. Contact us to explore your options for social media marketing.