Are you a brand new business owner looking to kick start your online presence? Maybe you’ve owned a business for a while now but are just coming around to the idea of social media. Either way, when you’re just starting out, it can be challenging to know which platforms your business should be present on.
A strong social media presence can help you reach the goals you have for your business. Most often, social media is used to create brand awareness, but it can also be beneficial for lead generation, driving web traffic, and creating community involvement.
But not all social media outlets are created equally when it comes to your goals and target audience. So today we’re breaking it down for you.
Know Your Target Audience
Before you can determine which outlets to join, it’s important that you have a complete and thorough understanding of your target audience, or the type of people who are most interested in your business that you’d like to reach.
Your target audience is broken down into a variety of factors including age and stage of life, gender, income and spending habits, location, lifestyle, interests, and much more. Are they parents? Homeowners? Seniors?
Depending on your product or service, you may be targeting other businesses. In that instance, it’s important to also consider industry, buying power, and the size of the businesses you are selling to. If you haven’t taken the time to sit down and determine what this looks like for your business yet, we suggest following this helpful guide from Hootsuite.
Know Your Options
In the world of social media, there are 9 core outlets that many businesses choose to be present on. Each is useful for sharing different types of content. Before deciding, determine what type of content you plan on sharing – blog posts, articles, videos, photos and graphics, stories, company insights, etc.
Facebook: Great for sharing photos, articles, events, and videos, and running ads for both local and online businesses
Instagram: The top photo-sharing app. Also great for sharing videos and staying connected through stories, and running ads for both local and online businesses
Twitter: News, blog posts, and relevant articles are all great to share here
LinkedIn: Popular for professional content like company updates, available jobs, or industry news and insights
TikTok: Perfect for quick funny or educational videos
Nextdoor: Helps local businesses connect with their community and offers geotargeted promotions
Pinterest: Best used by e-commerce businesses, bloggers, and for driving traffic to other places like blogs and videos
YouTube: The top video sharing site
Snapchat: Great for creating filters for your local business or an event, or driving traffic to your e-commerce site through ads
Look at the Research
By now, you probably have an idea of the platforms that would work best for your business. But as we know, digital trends shift frequently. It can be valuable to look at the current research to solidify your choice.
The Pew Research Center recently completed a study on the usage of social media in the U.S. This study looked at a wide range of demographics and broke down each platform’s usage by these parameters.
What they found –
Facebook: Facebook remains one of the most widely used social platforms across all ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels, and locations.
Instagram: Instagram remains popular for younger generations (18-49) and leans more towards women.
Twitter: Twitter’s primary users are between 18 and 49 years old (with the majority of users falling between 18 and 29) across all races and genders. Twitter users also generally fall into the $30,000+ annual income bracket and have attended at least some college.
LinkedIn: Users on LinkedIn are more likely to have higher levels of education. Approximately 51% of adults who have a bachelor’s or advanced degree use LinkedIn, compared to those with some college experience (28%) and those with a high school diploma or less (10%).
TikTok: 21% of U.S. adults report having a TikTok account. Of those users, the majority are under the age of 30, and most of those users are women.
Nextdoor: Nextdoor is a much less widely used app, but it is most popularly used by middle-aged individuals (30-64) who have completed college or a higher-level degree, make $75,000+ per year, and live in urban or suburban areas.
Pinterest: Women are more likely than men to use Pinterest, particularly those who have an annual income of $75,000+ and who fall between the ages of 18 and 64.
YouTube: YouTube is the most widely used social platform, with 81% of U.S. adults saying they’ve used the platform at least once before. YouTube is popular among all ages, genders, races, education levels, income levels, and areas across the U.S.
Other Things to Consider
Look at Your Competitors | When choosing the platforms your business will be on, consider your competitors. What platforms are they on? Are they performing better on one platform over another? Doing research into companies within your industry can give you insight on what works best.
Determine Your Resources and Bandwidth | Spreading yourself too thin can be easy to do when you have big goals for your online presence. Don’t overcommit yourself to multiple platforms if you don’t have the time or dedicated staff to assist. Find what works and stick to it.
Overwhelmed? Don’t worry. We do this stuff every. single. day. And we’d be happy to sit down with you to map out a plan of action to get your business’s social media started off on the right foot. You can schedule a consultation call with us any time here.
You do your thing, we’ll do the marketing.