As of Jan 2017, there were 2.8 billion active users on social media from a total of 3.8 billion internet users. That’s a whopping 73% of the total online population. Whether your business should be on social media is no longer the question. Instead, the question is which social media platforms should you focus on?
Right now, there are 15 noteworthy social media platforms out there. For social media marketing to work, you need to engage your users, which is only going to happen if you focus on the platforms that will work best for your type of business, and then publish interesting content regularly. That’s why Liked Lab recommends focusing on just those platforms that will have the most return on investment for your type of business.
Here’s our guide to picking the best social media platform for your business.
1.Instagram As of 2016, the photo-sharing app had 500 million users, with almost 60% of them checking the app at least once daily. Instagram is a great branding tool, and a powerful selling tool as well. With the right hashtags and great visual content, it’s possible to build a huge following for your business.
And it’s the preferred social media platform for influencers. Businesses big and small have learned partnering with influencers can reach an even wider audience and build even more brand loyalty.
Who should use Instagram? Brands that market to consumers are the focus here. From fashion to travel, Instagram is one of the best places to engage with your potential customers. Fitness, health and lifestyle brands should focus on Instagram too as dieters are a huge demographic. And of course it’s also a good fit for individuals and one person shops, either established or still finding their market.
Who should stay away from Instagram? B2B companies will probably be best advised to spend their resources elsewhere. In addition, businesses that are targeting the 50+ demographic can give Instagram a miss.
2. Facebook Facebook is unarguably the biggest social media platform out there. The fact that it could influence 2016 US elections speaks volumes of its reach. While the 25-54 age group is the most sizeable demographic, almost everyone is on Facebook.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B or B2C business, an artist, or individual, Facebook matters… a lot.
Who should use Facebook? Everyone.
Who should stay away from Facebook? Nobody. Even if your primary demographic is more active on Instagram, having a Facebook page helps. You might not invest too much time maintaining your Facebook presence, but avoiding it altogether can be a foolhardy move.
3. Pinterest Pinterest has substantially more female users than male. It also performs better in terms of product discovery than any other social media platform. Almost 90% of users who actively look for products on Pinterest end up buying them.
Who should use Pinterest? Companies selling physical products, especially home decor, DIY furniture, and clothes. Pinterest is also a good marketing platform for visual artists, including photographers, graphic designers, art directors, tattoo artists and designers.
Who should stay away from Pinterest? Companies selling services probably won’t find much traction here. In fact, B2B companies targeting VP (Sales) and high-profile executives should definitely stay away.
Unlike Pinterest and Instagram, YouTube is a truly mass-market platform. A look at the most popular YouTube stars reveals that any kind of content can work, as long as it’s engaging.
Who should use YouTube? Companies selling physical products can engage audiences with product demonstrations. Service providers can use YouTube to extend their branding message or publish webinars. YouTube is also a goldmine for musicians and more engaging than audio-only platforms, such as Soundcloud.
Who should stay away from YouTube? If you can’t put your message into visuals, YouTube isn’t the place for you. Â But at Liked Lab, we think every business can find a way to take advantage of YouTube’s massive audience.
5. Twitter While Instagram maybe the preferred platform for influencers, Twitter can be a viable tool for social influencing. It’s also great for building brand loyalty.
Unlike Instagram, Twitter can also be leveraged for B2B marketing, since some of the top CEOs are regular Twitter users. Donald Trump is famous (infamous?) for using Twitter, and so are several other leaders around the world. That speaks of the social media platform’s political and social influence.
Twitter has also become a popular platform for customer support for businesses, and most of the popular customer support apps now integrate directly with Twitter.
Who should use Twitter? Budding influencers, B2B companies, and new brands looking to get discovered online. Any business that offers customer support online.
Who should not use Twitter? Businesses that want to drive leads through social media marketing should probably not invest in Twitter. Facebook performs much better here.
6. Tumblr Tumblr often gets lost in the social media noise. And that’s probably its biggest USP. The micro-blogging platform attracts a very niche audience, which makes it much less crowded than other social media platforms. Yet, it has a sizeable readership to be of value in the social media landscape. As of 2017, it had in excess of 300 million users, with almost 25% in the 18-25 age bracket.
A look at top Tumblr influencers reveals that visual blogs attract a lot of attention, in addition to themes of anime, gaming, and poetry.
Who should use Tumblr? Brands that are vying for a young audience, writers, anime experts, and online gamers.
Who should stay away from Tumblr? Given the platform’s niche reach, brands and individuals looking for quick growth should shy away from it. Same goes for any entity with a target audience of 30+.
7. LinkedIn LinkedIn has a narrow B2B oriented focus and is one of the most utilized platform for older audiences. People use LinkedIn to search for jobs and to network professionally. Businesses use it to recruit employees, generate leads and market to business leaders.
Who should use LinkedIn? And brand that is all about B2B, or wants to get their message in front of business leaders. It’s also a great platform for finding potential employees and marketing to job seekers.
Who should stay away from LinkedIn? Any consumer oriented business will find their resources best used elsewhere.
How to make the most of social media platforms? In order to get the maximum out of social media, it’s important to restrict your focus to two or three platforms, while maintaining a presence on one or two more. It also helps if you can engage a social media management service provider such as Liked Lab for Business to increase your reach. Turning to a third-party for the growth, analytics and marketing frees you up to focus on content creation, which is the most important part of social media.
What other social media platforms do you find work best for your business? If it works for you, then we would like to add it to our list of services too!
We are always looking for new team members to join Liked Lab! Check out our job listings here.
Check out some of our other business oriented blog posts here: Social Media Marketing Basics