The dilemma of choice is upon business owners these days. Are Facebook ads really effective? Will Instagram stories improve brand visibility and reach? Is Snapchat’s augmented reality worth it? Which, among all the social media channels for business, are worth spending your time, effort, and money on?
If you own a business, crafting social media presence is a step in the right direction.
But to get the best returns out of your efforts, you also need to know which social media channels to prioritize and which ones to set aside for the time being (or, in some cases, completely ignore).
Understanding Your Objectives
The first step is to identify your objectives. With your business finally visible and accessible through social media, what do you plan to accomplish with your campaigns?
Would you like to create a free Facebook page and garner as many follows and likes as possible? Do you wish to create posts that link back to your website and, thus, improve website traffic?
A few other objectives are enumerated below:
- improve brand awareness
- manage reputation
- increase sales
- generate new leads
- obtain customer/market insights
- improve customer engagement
- attract job candidates
- create social media community
- increase newsletter subscriptions
Which Social Media Channels for Whom?
Pew Research reports that as much as 69% of adults use Facebook. In a more recent Statista report, moreover, there are already 2.6 billion active users per month on the social network as of the first quarter of 2020.
It isn’t surprising, thus, that more than 80 million startups or micro-to-small businesses are already on Facebook.
If your business specifically targets professionals or company decision makers, advertising on LinkedIn will make sense. This social channel brings together professionals, employers, and job-seekers in one convenient platform.
And according to Statista 2019, LinkedIn takes the second spot — with Facebook being the first — as the most popular social media channel for B2B or business-to-business companies.
But what if you wish to target certain age groups such as millennials, or even predominantly female customers? Which social media networks should your advertising campaigns be visible on?
Instagram offers better opportunities at reaching 34 year olds or younger, as more than 67% of audiences on the network belong to the aforementioned age group.
If your products are tailored for teens, you may want to try advertising at Snapchat, considered to be the primary social network of 44% of teens in the United States.
Twitter has two primary age groups as its main audiences. Thus, advertising on this social network will allow you to reach out more effectively to the following age brackets: 25-34 year olds and 55-64 year olds.
As for Pinterest in 2019, 43% of US audiences were female, while only 16% were male.
Which Advertising Types are Best?
Choosing the right social media channels for business is just one part of the equation, however.
Just as important as knowing which social networks to be visible on is choosing the right advertising types for each social network.
Some social networks offer more or less the same advertising types, such as Facebook and Instagram using photo and video ads, stories, and carousel advertisements.
Twitter offers this Twitter Promote advertising tool wherein your tweets will be organically promoted to your selected audience or market.
LinkedIn ads could be in the form of sponsored content or via email marketing format. Snapchat and other social channels are offering AR (augmented reality) shopping which allows users to make purchases right where they are.
Whether you plan to make use of free tools or take a step forward into actually paying for ads, you need at least a basic understanding of your marketing goals, the presence and preferences of your audience, and your existing budget.
The Lowdown on Social Media Channels for Business
A few helpful tips in getting the best out of social media marketing is always go back to your objectives and to understand your target audience. This will significantly inform which social media channels to focus on and which advertising types work best over the long-term.
Also, it pays to be constantly monitoring, measuring, and reporting on your marketing efforts.
Your objectives could shift or evolve. Your business may diversify and offer products and services more relevant to other social channels.
Alignment of efforts and relevancy of campaigns will help you get the most out of social media visibility and marketing, whether paid or for free.