Social media is now one of the best channels for growing a brand. With the average person having at least a few accounts on each of these platforms, it only makes sense for business owners to consider marketing here.
That’s why businesses that want to stay relevant should start investing in social media as one of their main marketing tools. This is especially true since social media has been found tohelp increase exposure for many industry professionals around the world. If you haven’t yet used social media to market your brand, you’re definitely missing out on many opportunities to expand.
However, selecting the right social media platforms for businesses isn’t easy. There are different social networks available and deciding on a channel and creating a specific strategy can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve prepared a guide for you that will discuss the most widely-used social media channels today, what each one is all about, and how you can leverage them for your business. The top social networks we’ll talk about are:
From there, we’ll also discuss how you can choose the right social media platform for your business. Let’s get started!
Social Network #1: Facebook
Number of users: 2.9 billion monthly active users
Average age of users: 18 to 34 years old
Out of all social media websites today, Facebook is the biggest of them all with close to three billion active users each month. If you think about it, more than 30% of the population in the world are Facebook users.
Meanwhile, millions of companies and brands use the tools provided by Facebook to market their offerings. A huge number of advertisers also actively promote on the platform, making it an ideal place to grow your presence in your target market.
What makes Facebook great for those starting out is that almost all types of marketing content can work well here. You can model your campaigns to include text, images, videos, and even stories to promote your offerings. This also means that nearly any kind of business can advertise on the platform.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the algorithm used in Facebook focuses on drawing people towards those that have made meaningful interactions with them. They also prioritize those starting relevant conversations and publishing related content.
The American technology company GoPro, known for manufacturing action cameras, is one example of a business that does well on Facebook. Their page usually consists of images and video content designed to connect with people through the lifestyles that are enabled by their products.
Social Network #2: YouTube
Number of users: 2.2 billion monthly active users
Average age of users: 26 to 45 years old
One of the best social media platforms for businesses that use video content primarily to bring eyes to their brands is YouTube. This video-sharing channel is where countless individuals spend billions of hours daily watching videos.
Aside from being known as a huge social media website, YouTube is also considered to be a relevant search engine, albeit for videos. Businesses and entrepreneurs who are keen to start their video marketing campaigns should consider using the channel for their promotions.
Today, companies from a wide range of industries use YouTube to drive interest in their products and services. The PlayStation brand is one example of a business doing well on the platform, having the most mentions in close to17 thousand channels in 2020.
Social Network #3: Instagram
Number of users: 1.1 billion monthly active users
Average age of users: 18 to 24 years old
With close to 1.2 billion active users on Instagram each month, there’s no doubt the channel is one of the most considered social media platforms for businesses. This is especially true since more than 500 million of its users are viewing Instagram stories on a daily basis — an important marketing aspect of the platform.
Providing live video feeds has also become popular on Instagram, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the release of its Instagram Shops feature has allowed brands to cater to customers by allowing them to make purchases directly on the app.
Before, people had to go to a website or landing page to buy products that they were interested in. This can be a hurdle in the sales funnel especially since many users would lose interest due to having to go through additional steps.
Besides having the ability to open up shop, businesses can also leverage the Shop tab when setting up their digital storefronts. This allows potential customers to browse, save, and purchase items that brands have listed.
Thanks to these features, influencers, coaches, and brands that sell items will do well when advertising their offerings on this channel. Those within the fashion, personal care, cosmetics, package goods, and wellness industries can bring more eyes to their brands with Instagram.
One great example of a business that is using the platform to promote its products is Madewell, a brand that sells clothing for men and women.
Social Network #4: Pinterest
Number of users: 444 million monthly active users
Average age of users: 25 to 34 years old
Pinterest provides businesses with a way to bring their products and services to their customers by letting them discover what’s new about them. On the platform, users can “pin” images that direct others to their sites, landing pages, blogs, and other similar content on the internet.
It provides entrepreneurs with an excellent approach to driving traffic to their websites and web pages. This is particularly crucial since users on Pinterest have ahigh probability of buying the products that they’ve already pinned.
The most popular topics and themes brands promote using the platform are in the areas of beauty, fashion, gardening, home improvement, and DIY. That’s why businesses operating in one of these industries will surely do well here.
IKEA is one example of a brand that’s doing an excellent job of using the social network to promote its products. Their approach is to provide customers with a quick Renovations quiz that unlocks the top IKEA items that would best fit their homes. From there, users will be provided a Pinterest board containing these things so that they can save them for later or buy them directly.
Social Network #5: Twitter
Number of users: 436 million monthly active users
Average age of users: 25 to 34 years old
Twitter may not be the most popular social media platform today since it can be easily overshadowed by the giants like Facebook and Instagram. However, the network has recorded some of thefastest-growing engagement rates. It also has a highly educated audience that you can’t find elsewhere.
People that use Twitter are those who are readily inclined to follow brands to receive news, purchase their latest products, and learn about new trends. These things have made the social network quite an efficient one for converting leads to customers.
You’ll often find Twitter accounts posting about news, entertainment, politics, and more. The social media platform is unique amongst its peers due to how it prioritizes real-time information while only giving users a limited number of characters to work with.
Due to this, many companies use Twitter as an alternative way to service their customers and provide them with the latest information about themselves. Some of the most well-known brands that are doing well on Twitter include Disney, NASA, and Microsoft.
How Can I Know Which Social Network to Use?
To figure out the appropriate social media channel for your brand, it’s important to consider the things that are relevant to you. Are you looking to expand your reach, bring in more leads, or increase brand awareness?
Companies that rely on visual input to sell their offerings might want to give Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube a try. Meanwhile, those depending on real-time events might find Twitter and Facebook an ideal choice.
Once you have answered this question, you should have a fair idea of which network will provide you with the exposure you need to attract the right audience.
Know Your Social Media Goals
Setting specific goals for your social media campaign is important as it allows you to set up an effective strategy for your business. The objectives you put forth not only help in determining which platform to use, but also the type of content and audience you’re aiming for.
These are some things to consider helping you define your goals:
- You can use social networks to improve how you approach customer service. These social channels are great places where customers can reach out with concerns, inquiries, and complaints.
- Social channels are ideal places for identifying new prospects and leads that have similar profiles to your top customers.
- Gain access to new demographics and audiences who might be interested in what you have to offer.
- Grow brand awareness while making your business more visible to others.
Know Which Channels Your Audience Uses
Connecting with the most receptive audience available is the main point of social media marketing. That’s why before choosing a platform, you need to select the one that your target market is using the most.
An important aspect to take into account when beginning this process is to perform research on your audience to create a buyer persona. With this persona, you’ll be able to make a shortlist of the platforms that your potential customers use based on gender, interests, and demographics.
Another way you can know which social media platform your audience prefers is by performing a simple survey. Ask your customers what social networks they prefer using and where they obtain information about relevant products.
Using social media platforms to know more about your audience is another alternative. When using Facebook’s paid advertising, for instance, you can set the platform to estimate the audience size for you based on your ideal customers. Using their analytics will give you a good idea of your target market.
Assess the Type of Content You Put Out
As hinted above, not all types of content will work for all social media platforms — some are more effective in using specific formats. For instance, Instagram is all about providing users with visuals, which isn’t a great place for sharing long-form content such as articles and whitepapers.
Your content type is going to depend on several factors such as your target audience, brand, and industry. Here’s a rundown of the types of content you can use:
Blog posts: Blogs about your brand can be useful in engaging your audience and build credibility.
Testimonials: Using the opinions and experiences of your customers is a great way to promote your company.
User-generated content: This type of content is created by users who have become your brand advocates.
Podcasts: Collaborating with influencers and industry leaders through podcasts can increase a brand’s reach significantly.
Videos: Video content is particularly useful for expanding reach and is especially effective if they go viral.
Images: Photos are a great way of driving traffic and engagement to a brand especially when they showcase how they operate behind the scenes.
Brands looking to grow their digital presence can be successful in doing so by marketing through social media platforms. However, there are many social networks available today that can make it difficult for marketers to choose from.
Some of the best social channels today are:
These five are considered by many as the top social media platforms for businesses. It’s important to choose the right platform based on your brand, industry, and target audience to maximize success. By following the tips provided in this article, you should have a general idea of which social channel best suits your company.