With so many social media options out there – and new platforms emerging all the time – determining the best platforms for your business can be overwhelming. While it might feel like you need to have a presence across all platforms, your social media strategy will be more effective if you focus on the right platforms.
Before we get started, we do recommend creating accounts for your business on all social media platforms – even the ones you don’t plan to use. This ensures that your business is protected, and prevents someone else from claiming your business name and posting as your business.
Once you’ve claimed your business accounts, consider these questions to help you determine where you should focus your efforts:
#1 What type of business do you run?
Finding your place in the social media landscape starts with identifying the nature of your business. Is it a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer) organization?
For B2B businesses, a presence on LinkedIn is a must. You’ll also want to be posting on some of the other major platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, but this will largely depend on the type of content you’ll be posting. (See Question #2.)
For B2C businesses, you’ll want to target the platforms your customers (and potential customers) are spending their time. The big platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ideal for B2C communication for a couple of reasons: 1) these platforms have A LOT of users, and chances are your customers are among them; and 2) these platforms make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you by replying to posts or through DMs.
#2 What type of content do you plan to share?
Is local marketing important to you? Make sure you’re posting regularly to Google My Business.
Will you mainly be sharing images of your products? Get yourself on Instagram and Pinterest.
Do you want the ability to post longer form articles? LinkedIn and Facebook both allow for this.
Will you be primarily sharing video content? You’ll probably want to set up a YouTube channel, and depending on the nature of your content, it may be worthwhile to post on TikTok.
#3 Who is your target audience and what platforms are they using?
This is key. Just like Ariel in The Little Mermaid, you want to be where the people are. More specifically, you want to be where your people are.
You could come up with a brilliant LinkedIn strategy, but it won’t be of use to you if your target audience is mainly on Instagram.
One way to figure out where your people are is to search relevant hashtags. If a lot of users are posting about topics related to your business, there’s a good chance that you’ll find an audience for your posts.
#4 What are your competitors doing?
It’s definitely worthwhile to know where your direct competitors are focusing their social media efforts. This gives you an idea of where the existing audience for your industry is.
But it’s also useful to know where your competitors aren’t.
For example, if there are platforms not being used by any of your competitors, this could be an opportunity to target a previously untapped market.
#5 How much time and money do you have to invest in building your social media presence?
Are you a solopreneur doing it all yourself? Do you have a dedicated marketing and communications team or team member? Will you be outsourcing social media to an agency?
Time and money are finite resources, and it’s important to consider how much of each you’re able to invest in your social media strategy.
If you have minimal time and a limited budget, you probably won’t want to focus on platforms that depend on post frequency and interaction with other users, like Twitter or Threads. It doesn’t mean you need to stay away from those platforms entirely; just make sure you manage your expectations.
If you have unlimited resources, great! But if, like most businesses, you don’t, invest in the social media platforms where you’ll make the biggest impact with the resources you have.