Have you ever asked yourself what the best social media platforms are for marketing your business?
Whether you are starting a new business venture, or have an established business, you have probably dipped your toes in the social media marketing pond. And like many other business owners, you realise that there is more to this social media game than a Facebook profile and snapping some pics for Instagram. So, how do you play this game well? What are the best social media platforms for business marketing?
Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – there is no single answer to this question. The best social media platforms are those that suit your industry, your personal business style, and how much time you have available.
You see, when it comes to your digital marketing choices, more is not always better!
There are so many platforms around now that there is no way a single person, or possibly even a small in-house marketing team, could cover them all well.
It really comes down to looking at your business, resources and target audience, and selecting a few of the best matches.
But where do you start? If you Google best social media platforms, you’d be mistaken for feeling as if you’ve stumbled on a full-blown marketing course. So let’s have a look at the main players, their strengths, and why you would invest time and money into them. We also take a look at a newbie that we should keep an eye on in the coming months!
Depending on your business and your age, Facebook has been the big league in digital marketing for years, and will continue to be for some time. As a business owner, Facebook is your great all-rounder and a familiar go-to space for millions of people. While younger generations aren’t as Facebook-centric as those in the 30+ demographic, they still keep their profiles active, update and share regularly, and keep a finger on the Facebook pulse.
But what is Facebook great for? Why would you choose it for your marketing? As mentioned, Facebook is still one of the best social media platforms if you want to cover a wide demographic. It is also good for information sharing, as unlike some other popular digital media players, it isn’t limited to a niche target market or a single medium such as photos, videos or business to business communication. Facebook does all of this and has proven itself a highly effective marketing tool for years.
If you only have time to focus on one or two social media options, Facebook should probably be on the shortlist.
Another mainstream platform, and increasing in popularity in recent years, Instagram is fantastic if your business can be promoted in a primarily visual format.
Instagram’s strength is that it uses visual impact to attract people, and while it might take time and effort to create your posts, there is less ongoing post management than with Facebook.
If your business can be marketed visually without needing to share a lot of information at the same time, then Instagram is a strong contender for your marketing time.
“But what about Twitter?” I hear you ask…
Though it does have its limitations and has dropped in popularity in recent years, Twitter is still used by many organisations and individuals as a way of sharing information. It delivers news and information quickly to followers.
There are some industries and groups that use Twitter as a go-to social media platform, purely for simplicity and speed of communication. Media outlets, schools and popular personalities are still “tweeting” regularly to keep their followers up to date with news.
If you have a business that has a lot of small newsworthy marketing updates, it might be worth considering Twitter, but you may also find its limitations outweigh any advantages.
Yes, Snapchat – one of the best social media platforms for unsettling parents of teens and creating a digital divide between generations. Well, it used to be…
It is now becoming a mainstay in the social media repertoire for many entrepreneurs!
Released in 2011, it wasn’t long before Snapchat was embraced in the mainstream social media pool. The focus of Snapchat is short-term, quick pictorial fun – it’s not about your long term online presence, but more about making connections in the moment.
One of the most popular aspects of Snapchat is the use of face detection technology to overlay real-time effects onto “snaps” (ie. Snapchat photos).
So, if Snapchat doesn’t have a lasting effect on your social media footprint, what would you use it for in business?
It is perfect for the time-tested marketing strategy known as “call to action”. While general marketing gives people a reason to use your business, call to action marketing tells people why they should contact your business or buy your product NOW.
The short term, transient nature of Snapchat lends itself to this style of marketing, and is a clever tool for those with a younger, impulse-driven audience.
YouTube has become the dark horse of digital marketing. It is very popular with modern-day entrepreneurs, giving them a format that blends the best of all worlds. Combining the visual and informative, YouTube adds a personal touch that reaches a multitude of demographics.
Video allows you to present yourself, as well as your products and services, in a way that not long ago could only be achieved by having a physical store or spending thousands of dollars on infomercials!
YouTube is great for product marketing, service industries, and those in the information-sharing business. It is also one of the best social media platforms for creating how-to-guides or promoting product reviews.
If you are considering starting a YouTube channel for your business, however, you need to ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to it. It is probably one of, if not the most time-hungry of the social media choices, due mostly to its focus on video production.
Once you have uploaded your videos, they can be shared to Facebook to take advantage of your existing digital audience.
Pinterest is the quiet achiever of the social media game! While it isn’t for everyone, the visual information-sharing aspect of Pinterest has made it popular with crafty types, bloggers and “Mumpreneurs”.
One of the strengths of Pinterest is that the user can quickly and easily save “Pins” they like in categories, for future reference. These Pins get re-shared with others, creating a viral effect.
It is a strong contender for anyone who is in the business of sharing information and wants to monetise their work.
Vero – the next big thing?
In the coming years, when people are looking for the best social media platforms, there is a very real possibility that Vero will be on the list.
The creators of this new social connection tool are taking digital marketing to the next level. They understand that people, and businesses, are looking for a platform that isn’t “one-size-fits-all”. Their aim is an advertisement-free app that delivers a premium social experience without trying to sell out their users to the highest bidders.
How will they do this? In a big shift against the grain, they are making Vero subscription-only. They want their users to be customers instead of advertisers.
There is a greater level of control promised in Vero, which might find it popular with parents who want to give their kids a social media experience in a safer environment.
Vero’s first million subscribers will have free access for life, and due to an influx of registrations, the developers have extended this promotion. It will end soon though, and information regarding annual subscription fees is yet to be released.
If there is no advertising, then how do you promote your business? Well, it seems that it is time to shed old-school marketing and advertising techniques. Instead, Vero will be great for lateral thinkers who understand that creating meaningful connections and openly sharing information are the keys to succeeding in business in the 21st century.
How Do You Choose the best social media platforms for your business?
Coming back to the initial question, how do you choose?
Firstly, how many should you choose? Depending on your available time, it is likely that the fewer you choose, the better. You are better off being precise and focused in your social media marketing, than spreading yourself across too many platforms. Taking on too much makes it harder to manage your profiles effectively, and can do more harm for your business than good!
Take into consideration your target audience, your product and the marketing style you enjoy. If you’re camera shy, committing to a YouTube or Facebook Live marketing strategy will see you dragging your feet or losing passion in your work, and this will come across in your videos.
If you are passionate about sharing helpful information to a wide audience, then Facebook might be your main player and will be an experience that you are more likely to enjoy and spend time doing.
Alternatively, the photographer in you might love figuring out new ways to present your business in pictures, and sharing regularly to Instagram.
If you are still unsure about the best social media platforms for your business, or would like to take on more social media marketing but don’t have the time, then it is worth chatting with a company that specialises in digital marketing management. Outsourcing your social media can significantly boost your business while saving you time and money in the long term.
The team at Web Marketing Angels has been at the forefront of digital marketing in Australia for many years. We know how to make the most of the digital arena and create marketing strategies that work for any industry.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and see how we can help you find your best social media fit!