It seems like there’s a new social media platform making the rounds every month. It can be a tall order if you subscribe to the belief that you need to have a presence on every platform that goes viral. Should you have a TikTok channel? Would Spaces on X (formerly Twitter) be a good option? Will I make a bigger mark on Tumblr? It can be tempting to have a page on every one of the top social media platforms but is that good for business? Can it really make your social media strategy work?
Instead of growing your social media team to be able to work on every social media channel known to man, it’s a lot simpler for you to choose the platforms that work well for your brand. After all, every platform has its unique persona, and the people actively engaged in it have specific interests. If you’re a wedding photographer, for instance, you’d have much better luck with an Instagram page than a LinkedIn page.
Creating a business-specific social media strategy will give you the direction you need to narrow down the best social media channels for your business. But before you start strategising ask yourself an important question:
Does my business need a social media page?
There’s only one true answer to this question: yes. If your goals, KPIs and target audience all align then you may ask yourself, ‘What’s the problem?’ The problem arises when you want to increase your brand’s exposure or cast a wider net and get more clients—in which case you need at least one social media page.
So if you’re new to the social media space or just want to know if you’re using the right channels for your business, then keep on scrolling.
Start with your audience
If you’re planning on debuting your business on social media, considering your audience is the most important first step. Is your core audience not active on the platform? Keep moving. With 3.03 billion active users, Facebook may sound like the go-to platform, but if your audience is hanging out on LinkedIn, then that’s where you need to be.
Think about your business
Aside from your audience, your products/services, business type, and brand personality should all be considered when picking a social media platform. If you’ve got a brand that’s highly visual, social media platforms like Instagram, DeviantArt, and even Dayflash could be great options. If you’ve got a large corporation that offers these services to B2B businesses, LinkedIn is also a viable option.
Choosing a channel isn’t all that cut and dry either. Take Apple for example. Their product is so visual that it has an incredible presence on platforms like Instagram. Similarly, they’re also a large corporation that greatly benefits from platforms like LinkedIn.
You just need to think about the business you’ve got. What makes the most sense to your brand and the image that you’re trying to portray to your core audience?
Look into other companies in your industry
One of the biggest steps of any social media strategy is to perform a competitive analysis. You can get many insights from a thorough analysis, including what platforms they’re using, what’s working for them and what isn’t, and—most importantly—what the engagement is like with their brand.
We’re not proposing that you do something just because a competitor is doing it. It can be helpful to see what others are doing so that you can get a complete picture of how to improve your social media strategy. If you’re running a restaurant, then look at what others in your local area are doing on their social media pages. Are they putting up pictures of their menu items? Customer reviews? Weekly specials? Your competitor’s social media can be a great source of inspiration if you’re running dry.
Align with your social media goals
Think about why you want to enter into the world of social media. If your ultimate social media marketing goal is to engage with your audience by sharing content, platforms like YouTube and Instagram can help you do that.
If customer service is a top priority, consider using Facebook and X before any other social media platform. British Airways, for instance, uses X to answer customer questions 24/7. Some even have dedicated X accounts for customer service.
Know the platforms and their uses
You may think that all social media is the same but each one has its personality and unique way of communicating and engaging with users. LinkedIn is great for professionals who want to network and share industry expertise, X is perfect for trending topics and conversations. Snapchat introduced disappearing posts, but Instagram is just as short with its Instagram Stories.
You may think you know everything you need to know about social media platforms, but it could pay off to do your research about these platforms so that you don’t get stuck with features you don’t want and find it difficult to gain traction if you commit any communication faux pas.
Nurture your social media pages
Social media is a commitment. It needs a bit more than just a profile update and a few posts every week to take off. You need to give it a good amount of attention if you want to get something back in return. Think about your team. If you’ve got just one person who’s working part-time and only has about 6 hours a week to dedicate to social media then maybe one or two channels would do. If you’ve got a full-time person then you can expand the number of channels.
Keep in mind that social media takes up a lot of time and effort. It’s not something you can do on the side when you’ve got a few extra hours. So before you open up social media pages on multiple channels ask yourself if you’ve got everything you need to make it a success.
Social media strategy—the right channel can help your business soar
If you look hard enough, you’ll find hundreds of social media platforms for people with different interests from business to photography and even creative writing. There are even social media platforms dedicated to different countries like KakaoTalk in South Korea.
Social media is everywhere and with 75% of internet users using social media to look up their favourite brands, businesses need to get their social media strategies right—and picking the right platform is a big part of it.
Your social media management team can help you get there with the right research and due diligence. Remember, it’s not all about what you post on social media. If you’re not on the right platform and in front of the right audience, then you’re not going to see the results you want and it could end up costing you—big time.