We know that social media can bring us closer to the consumer, meet them, create conversations and, hopefully, achieve their long-term loyalty. However, this process can take months, even years! In addition to a great amount of effort and money. Therefore, choosing which networks to choose and which is neither easy nor the same for everyone.
In this article I will guide you to choose the ones that fit best with your type of business and the goals you want to achieve.
Ask yourself the right questions to know which social media to choose
The first thing you should do is answer three basic questions:
- Is my business part of the B2C, B2B sector, or both?
- What is my target audience?
- What is my overall goal?
If you know the answers to these three questions, it will be much easier to know which social media platform to choose as the most appropriate for your business.
As you will see, most likely you should only be in two or three at a time. And no, you don’t have to be in all of the platforms unless you have an enormous team that allows you to do so with a consistent and constant presence.
To help you save time and prioritize, we will focus on the most important platforms, those that are already strongly consolidated and have huge audiences that you can address immediately:
Question # 1: Is my business part of the B2C, B2B sector, or both?
It’s an important question because as a general rule, users come to social media to entertain or inform themselves. This means that consumers do not go to the networks to buy. And unless it’s an impulse purchase or a unique opportunity, it’s likely that your ads and commercial updates will have no or little effect. Therefore, if your business belongs to the B2B sector, your network strategy should focus on getting potential customers, leads or visibility.
Then you can work with the business contacts gathered, if that is the objective you are pursuing, as we will see later.
Question # 2: What is my target audience?
We know that the algorithms that feed social media are so powerful because they process millions of data and variables. These algorithms are on the service of advertising platforms and they are the reason why social media is a very profitable business, since it allows advertisers to address the profiles that interest them.
But these algorithms do not always work or do not work as well as the social media owners would like. So we shouldn’t waste time and money, and we must define in advance all the variables that could determine our target audience.
With paper and pencil, you should answer the following questions:
- Where is my audience located?
- What is the age and gender of my ideal buyer?
- What are their hobbies?
- In what industry do they work?
- Do they have children?
- What challenges do they encounter in their day to day, and what problems do they want to solve?
- What is the level of general technological literacy of my audience?
- Out of all of my customers, which segment buys the most products and has the highest average purchases?
You must ask yourself all these questions to be able to use all the data that social media provides us with intelligence.
Obviously, when you open a profile on Twitter, for example, you do not segment the audience you are addressing. Your profile is public and most likely it will cost you effort to reach a wide community.
This brings up another reason why it is necessary to answer the questions above as each social network has its own subtle ways of reaching your target audience. For example, in the case of Twitter, when you answer all these questions you discover that your ideal audience are women between 30 and 38 years old, pregnant and interested in organic products with high purchasing power, you will use hashtags accordingly.
If you also consider advertising actions with Twitter Ads, all the answers to the questions you have asked yourself will be even more useful. What happens to other social networks, like Facebook, where it’s not possible to segment the organic reach? In this case, if you do not perform any advertising action, you can use the ideal client profile you have just created to lead your messages.
Question # 3: What is my overall goal?
As I mentioned before, social networks are places to have fun, connect with friends, family and get informed. This makes it very difficult to sell directly because your audience is not willing to make complex purchase decisions when they are gossiping the photos of their cousin’s last trip.
Especially for those businesses in the B2B sector, where purchase decisions often involve large amounts of money and queries that are not taken on social media. That is why it is important that you never have the general goal of “selling”. Social media is a good platform to showcase your values, entertain, inform and become visible on the consumer’s radar.
The five most appropriate social networks according to your type of business
Now that I have (hopefully) clarified the most important concepts, it’s time to review one of the five most important social networks, specifying what type of business they are suitable as well as some tips to keep in mind.
Facebook, good for B2C and some B2B cases
Mark Zuckerberg’s social media is ideal for almost every business sector but especially for the retail, sports, news, entertainment, health, real estate, and fashion area. When it comes to Facebook’s user profile, you can find both men and women aged between 25 and 55 years.
Towards the end of last year, this social network had more than 2.007 million users accessing the platform daily.
Why do you need to have a presence on Facebook? It is considered that this network is an indicator of local SEO. That means search engines consider important that our company has a Facebook profile and they take it into account when offering local results to users.
Twitter, and a younger audience
Of course, it depends a lot on the country , but as a rule, the profiles you find on Twitter are younger than the ones on Facebook. When it comes to the sectors, it is also ideal for B2C and in some cases for B2B. Twitter is also a social network with an important feature that you must take into account: it is the fastest of all .
Even though the visual aspect is important when it comes to sharing content on this network, its speed (it only takes a few seconds to type a tweet) makes it ideal for customer service.
If your business needs a customer service channel, you need a Twitter profile. In addition, it is important to take into account the bluebird network for corporate communications that replace the classic press releases . For some time now, it has been the official network of many governments, institutions and public figures. It should be taken into account if your company or organization makes official communications regularly , or if it’s a feature you hope to use one day.
Instagram, life is good
If your product is visual, don’t think twice, Instagram is your ideal network. Depending on the location, you will find more or less young users but, of course, it’s a network where the presence of millennial and Z generations predominates strongly. Although until recently it was fundamentally feminine, things have changed with great speed. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook you can access many of the segmentation options that we have discussed if you decide to carry out advertising actions on this social network.
One last tip: Instagram users expect to see quality images , not improvised photos as you might expect from Twitter. If you do not have access to high quality images or you do not have the required resources, it is better that you look for another network.
LinkedIn, only business
Does your business belong to the B2B sector? If so, your social network is LinkedIn. Within this platform, you will find both men and women between the ages of 25 and 45.
In addition, you must consider that four out of five users use this social network to make business decisions, and that the audience has more purchasing power than the average Internet.
Pinterest, minority but a survivor
The last of the social networks that I want you to consider has a minority but powerful audience. The years pass, yet Pinterest maintains its small but relevant position among social media.
Its most outstanding features? It’s visual, like Instagram, but it’s based primarily on interests, not people. That’s why you could find Pinterest ideal if your sector is B2C. It’s also perfect for a female audience, which is a majority in this social network.
The ages of its users are between 18 and 45 years of age. The visual aspect is decisive, so you have to take great care of the images that your business is going to share. It is especially indicated for products destined for the final consumer, but also to give visibility to other types of businesses that know how to visually approach the audience, for example, through infographics.
Did this article answer you questions about which social networks to choose for your company? Let me know your impressions!