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Posted by: Em Rohrer 6 months ago

You’re busy running your business. There’s no way you have time to be active on every social media platform available today. The good news is that you don’t need to be!

Not every social media outlet is the right fit for your business. By narrowing your focus to only a few options designed to help you get the best return on your investment (ROI), you’ll save time and money.

Choosing the right social media platform to use to promote your business depends on:

  • The type of business you own (or manage)
  • Your business growth goals
  • The amount of time you can spend on social media activity
  • Your target audience

4 Key Questions

Before you dive into the world of social media platforms, ask yourself these four key questions.

  1. Do you primarily sell your product or service to businesses for professional use?
  2. Do you primarily sell your product or service to individual consumers for personal use?
  3. Who is your target audience?
  4. What do you hope to accomplish by being active on social media?

Answering the above questions will help you easily narrow your social media choices down to two or three platforms. 

In the interest of saving you valuable time, we’ve broken down the five best social media platforms out there today specifically for marketing your business.

After you’ve answered the four key questions above, simply match your answers with the platforms below to get started.

1. Facebook

Facebook is at the top of our list because it has 2.9 billion active daily users as of April 2023. That makes it the most widely used social media platform worldwide. At 1Eighty Digital we recommend every client at least has a Facebook business page. Facebook Ads aren’t the right choice for every business, but a Facebook business page is a must.

Facebook is a unique social media destination because it has a wide variety of users in nearly every demographic. From teenagers to grandparents and everyone in between, just about everyone you meet has a Facebook profile.

If you decide to use Facebook Ads to help meet your business growth goals, it is still the most developed of all the social media platforms out there (even beating out Twitter/X!).

You can target your ads by employment, age, gender, interests, purchasing history, relationship status, and more. This gives you the power to reach your exact target audience with your ads.

The only time we would recommend not having a Facebook presence is if your business type is prohibited based on Facebook’s advertising policies.

If your business sells tobacco, guns, ammunition, explosives, some supplements, or prescription drugs, being active on Facebook might not be the best choice for you.

2. Instagram

Instagram is owned by Meta (same as Facebook) and has over 2.35 billion users as of August 2023. Facebook’s CEO saw the potential growth of Instagram and bought it 18 months after it launched and it has only continued to grow since that time.

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it has access to the same wide base of users. In addition to that, Instagram offers organic benefits that can often be superior to Facebook. This means that you can post and share content and get the results you want without having to use paid advertising on the platform.

According to Sprout Social, 30% of active users are aged 18-24, which shows a small flip in its age demographics as it previously had a younger active user pool. Gen Z and Millennials are their largest user percentage, so keep that in mind.

Instagram still generally attracts a younger audience than Facebook does, so the content you share should be designed to appeal to that demographic.

If your business doesn’t have a product or service that would appeal to people ages 18-35, Instagram might not be the right choice for you.

3. Pinterest

Have a creative business? Is your target audience mostly female? Pinterest could be the perfect fit for you. 79.5% of Pinterest’s global users are female and 93% of those active users say they use the platform to plan for purchases.

What kind of content is ideal for Pinterest?

  • Recipes
  • How-to lifestyle articles
  • Wedding planning inspiration
  • Outfit concepts
  • Personal style tips
  • Interior design ideas
  • Product reviews and recommendations

Another benefit of this social media platform is that it appeals at almost identical rates to people ages 18-64, which is unlike any other social site. 

If you’re interested in promoting your business using Pinterest, hop on the site and start checking out the content that is commonly displayed there. Are your competitors using the site? If so, what kind of content are they sharing? 

Pro Tip: Pinterest is a very visually-driven social network, so make sure when you share Pins, you use the best image possible.

4. YouTube

Just like social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more, YouTube is a visually-driven social network. Unlike those other platforms, YouTube is owned by Google. Because of this, YouTube can access Google’s advertising platform. This allows businesses to more easily optimize their YouTube content using keywords, the same way they would target Google Ads.

If your business shares a lot of “how to” content, YouTube can be ideal for you. This network spans a huge range of demographics, as it is the second-largest search engine next to Google.

Product reviews, “unboxing” videos, instructional videos, and educational content are examples of content that can get your business positive results on YouTube.

5. LinkedIn

If your company sells products or services to other businesses or wants to target potential customers based on their specific job titles, LinkedIn can be the right choice. Think of LinkedIn as “Facebook for business professionals”. 

People generally are active on LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and search for jobs. Because of this, the audience is typically older than the one you would find on Instagram or Facebook, trending from age 30-49. Y

You’re typically going to be speaking to an educated audience, with 51% of users having a college degree.

If your business relies heavily on networking with other business professionals, is actively recruiting new employees, or you market your services and products directly to businesses instead of individuals, LinkedIn could be the best fit for you.

Social Media Is Ideal For Every Type of Business

Social media has become an ingrained part of how we interact as a society. Beyond that, it can be an excellent way to build brand awareness for your business and conduct research that can help your company create goals and grow.

Take some time to identify your target audience and consider which social networking platforms they choose to be a part of. You want your business to show up where your target audience spends time online. It’s that simple.

Need help handling social media marketing for your business or organization?

1Eighty Digital is here to help!

Originally published in 2021, this blog post has been updated with the latest information, data, and resource links.

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