How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

Which Social Media Network is Right for YouChoosing the right social media platform for your business can be a tough thing to do. I mean, there are so many options out there, how do you know which to choose? Or better yet, why choose at all? Why not just join all of them?

To answer the second question first, think about it like this, do you spread your business thinly and aim to conquer every industry you can think of, or do you focus your business on a few specific goals in order to excel in those? I hope that you fall into the second category.

It is simply impossible to be dominant in every field. In order to be recognized as a power you need to focus your attention on specific goals. The same holds true for your social media marketing strategy.

You have to choose the right social network for your business in order to focus your attention in the most efficient way possible.

This post will explore a few of the major social networks, and discuss which social network is right for your business.

Facebook

Facebook logo

By the Numbers

  • Facebook is the largest social network with 1.28 billion active users (Statista)
  • 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month (Marketing Pilgrim)
  • There are 30 million small business pages that are updated at least once a month which receive an average of 645 million views per week (DMR)
  • 47% of Americans say that Facebook is there number one influencer for purchases (Jeff Bullas)
  • The average order value of users who were referred from Facebook is $55 (Shopify)

Key Demographic

As can be seen from the statistics, really everyone is on Facebook. Despite its dominance, Facebook has seen a declining popularity with teens (ages 14-18). People ages 35-54 are actually the largest age bracket on Facebook, accounting for 41.4% of all users. (iStrategy Labs)

There are slightly more women than men on Facebook, but overall it is pretty equal.

Unique Value

Since it is the largest social network with the most evenly distributed demographics amongst its users, Facebook gives all businesses the opportunity to reach their target customers. The extremely effective targeted advertising options that Facebook provides, combined with the information provided in the Facebook Insights, makes this point even stronger.

How it Should Be Used

Facebook should be used by every single business. I can’t really think of a type of business that would not benefit from the vast sea of potential customers that Facebook can provide.

How you can use Facebook for your business:

Basically, Facebook can be used for anything. Facebook should be the backbone of most businesses’ social presence.

Bonus: For more help with Facebook marketing check out 6 Steps to Successful Facebook Ads and 6 Tips to Take Your Local Business to the Next Level With Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter Logo

By the Numbers

  • Twitter has 255 million active users (Statista)
  • 18% of adults visit Twitter at least once a month (Marketing Profs)
  • 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads (Jeff Bullas)
  • 74% of people follow SMBs on Twitter in order to get updates, 85% of these feel more personally connected to brands that they follow, resulting in 72% of them being more likely to make a purchase from that brand (DMR)
  • The average order value of users who were referred from Twitter is $46.29 (Shopify)

Key Demographics

Twitter is very popular among younger users, the majority of users being between 18 and 29. Additionally, many of the younger users that have abandoned Facebook have moved to Twitter.

This chart gives a nice break down of Twitters demographics:

Twitter Demographics

Unique Value

Unlike posts on Facebook, all Tweets are seen by your followers. Meaning you can get 100% exposure. This is amplified by the wide use of hashtags on Twitter which gives Tweets a free boost across the network. Twitter also provides a more “in the moment feel” than other networks.

How it Should be Used

Twitter is a great compliment to Facebook. While Facebook posts may be a bit more detailed or involved, a Tweet can be much more “spur of the moment,” and can show a company’s personality in a different way. It is probably for this reason that Twitter is so popular with younger users.

Additionally, because of the character limitations, Twitter often feels more like an “instant messenger” than a standard social platform, giving it a more intimate feel.

How you can use Twitter for your business:

  • Create a community
  • Provide in the moment updates (this is not necessarily important for all companies)
  • Host competitions
  • Customer service, which is probably Twitter’s strongest point, can be done by setting up a separate customer service handle, or simply by monitoring Twitter (with a tool like Mention) for complaints which you can respond to.

Bonus: For more help with Twitter marketing check out 4 Steps and 20 Tips for Successful Twitter Marketing and Answer All Your Hashtag Questions With These 7 Incredible Tools.

Google+

Google+ Logo

By the Numbers

  • G+, although just 3 years old, is the second largest social network, boasting 540 million active users (TNW)
  • 22% of online adults visit Google+ at least once a month (Marketing Pilgrims)
  • 53% of Google plus users have positive interactions with brands (Forrester)
  • Average order value of users who were referred from Google Plus is $40 (Shopify)

Key Demographics

Google + is a male dominated social network, as 67% of its users are men. It is also predominantly used by professionals, making it a good place for B2B companies to set up. The average age of Google+ users is 28 (Agile Impact).

Unique Value

Google+ actually has many unique advantages over the other social networks. For starters, since it is Google’s social network, it is intrinsically given a higher value by Google than other social networks.

This is manifested in a few different ways. First of all, content sharing and +1’s are greater SEO boosters than the equivalent social share or like on other networks.

Secondly, when people search for your business on Google, if your company’s business page is set up correctly, then your page will show up on the side of the results in Google.

Google plus business profile in search results

This same concept holds true for content that you publish. By connecting your personal profile to your blog, you can have a Google Authorship by-line appear in the search results.

Google Authroship

Another cool thing about Google+ is that it can act as a more relaxed version of LinkedIn where professionals can connect and businesses can research their competitors.

How it Should Be Used

Google+ is a great tool for any B2B company due to the number of professionals using it. It can actually be a great place for B2C companies to set up as well, since not so many B2C’s use G+, so there may be more opportunity than in other, overcrowded networks.

Because Google+’s users are a bit more professional than other networks, you should use Google+ accordingly by:

  • Generally posting slightly more serious content
  • Posting quality, informative, and actionable content that can lead to purchases

Instagram

Instagram logo

By the Numbers

  • Instagram has 200 million active users, and saw a 25% increase in mobile app user growth from the end of 2013 to mid 2014 (Media Bistro)
  • 20% of online adult women and 15% of online adult men in the US use Instagram (Media Bistro)
  • Over 50% of retailers use Instagram to connect with their customers (Marketing Pilgrim)
  • The average order value of users who were referred from Instagram is $66.75 (Shopify)

Key Demographics

Instagram is pretty evenly distributed between men and women, although there are slightly more women than men. The key to Instagram though is that the majority of its users are young – 34% of all people between 14 and 34 use Instagram, and 67% of all Instagram users are between 18 and 34 (Yahoo).

Unique Value

Instagram is an especially powerful platform for businesses because not only is it a visual only platform, which is the most engaging type of content, but it also has a very high percentage of daily users (around half of the active monthly users go on Instagram at least once a day), meaning it has a very highly engaged audience.

How it Should Be Used

Any business targeting younger people should definitely be on Instagram. It is also, obviously, a great platform for any company that relies on visuals to promote its product – so it’s a perfect place for most eCommerce stores.

How you can use Instagram for your business:

  • Take advantage of the very engaged community in order to encourage user generated content. A great way of using your user generated content is with an Instagram Tab for your Facebook Page.
  • Use Instagram images on product pages to promote trust
  • Create eye-catching visuals in order to promote products or your brand
  • Connect with the younger generation

Bonus: For more help with Instagram marketing check out 5 Tips on How to Build Your Instagram Community.

Pinterest

Pinterest Logo

By the Numbers

  • Pinterest has over 70 million users (TNW)
  • 20% of adult women and 5% of adult men in the US use Pinterest (Huffington Post)
  • 83% of Pinterest users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity (Mobile Marketer)
  • 47% of US shoppers have bought something as a result of a recommendation from Pinterest (Marketing Pilgrim)
  • The average order value from a Pinterest referral is $58.95 (Shopify)

Key Demographic

Pinterest has by far the most obvious key demographic of all the social networks – 80% of all Pinterest users are female! In addition, Pinterest users are generally pretty well off, with an average household income of $100,000.

Unique Value

Pinterest users are mostly women interested in food, fashion, and crafts that are all ready to buy, and have the means available to be frequent shoppers. Since Pinterest users have shown a propensity to buy and to interact with brands, it is an amazing platform for eCommerce stores to use.

Additionally, Pinterest comes with built in analytic tools for businesses which can be used in order to optimize Pinterest marketing.

How it Should Be Used

Pinterest is great for any company that deals with fashion, food, housewares, gardening, or just about anything else that can be displayed through pictures.

How you can use Pinterest for your business:

  • Promote products with bright and creative images
  • Show how products can be used
  • Create a community based around your brand and its products
  • Connect with a more affluent and ready to purchase demographic

Bonus: For more help with Pinterest marketing check out 9 Marketing Tips for Pinterest.

Choose Your Social Networks and Get Marketing!

There is no clear science to choosing which social network is the best for you. Many different factors need to be taken into account. This post outlined the advantages of different social platforms in order to get you started, but the final decision is something which will require more focused attention.

In order to make your decision you should:

  1. Review this list in order to get an idea of what each social network is good for.
  2. Check where your customers are most active.
  3. See where your competitors have the most success and either try to break into their success by setting up in the same place, or try to claim their customers on a different platform where they have a weaker presence.
  4. Test it out for yourself and see where you personally get the best results.

Your job is to now follow these steps so you can get active on social media and start marketing efficiently!

Zack Fagan

Zack is a social media enthusiast who loves all things digital. He is the inbound marketing manager at StoreYa where he spends his days searching for the newest social marketing scoop. If you’d like to chat with him, feel free to connect with him on any social platform.

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2 Responses to How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

  1. Great post Zach, some really useful statistics in there. Facebook really blows the others out of the water in terms of active users!

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