Written by Shivashish Yadav on   -  8 min read

What should consider before choosing the right social media for your business.

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Let's take a look at what you should consider when choosing a social media channel.

1. What are your goals?

Different platforms offer different advantages. Social media goals align with your overall business goals. So when you're getting your social media goals , a few platforms will stand out as the best ones to reach those goals.

Ask yourself: _ What do I want to achieve on social media? _

According to marketers, their top goals in social are to:

  • Increase brand awareness (75%) - then consider using well-established platforms like Facebook, YouTube rather than up-and-coming networks like TikTok.
  • Generate leads (63%) - then consider using LinkedIn, as it's good for B2B marketing.
  • Increase community engagement (52%) - then use Twitter or slack or clubhouse.
  • To sell a product - then consider a visual channel like Instagram or Pinterest that both offer product tags and prices with links to your eCommerce store.

Once you've identified your top goals, write them down to reference as you consider your channel choices.

What social media channels are your target audience using?

The next step is to evaluate what channels your target audience uses.

To build customer relationships that last, you first need to identify where your audience lives online. But knowing which social media platforms your customers frequent are only half the battle. You also need to understand what makes each social media site tick and the rules of engagement.

For instance, if you or your client's audience spends most of their time on LinkedIn, then it would be a waste of time using TikTok.

If you're already using social media, then check your existing data to see what's working. For example, you could check the Facebook Page Insights to see who is viewing and interacting with your content:

Use additional social media analytics tools like Sendible to measure more insights.

On the other hand, if you're starting fresh, or you want to check potential new channels, then the Pew Research Center provides some useful data on the demographics of social media use.

For example, in the US:

  • Pinterest is more popular with women (41%) than with men (15%).
  • 90% of LinkedIn users also use Facebook.

Make time to short-list the best channels for your target audience based on data.

2. What resources are available to you?

Quality is more important than quantity. At this stage, it's essential to consider how many social media channels you need to achieve your goals.

Let's be honest. Social media takes time and effort. Between creating content and scheduling posts, there are strategies to consider and new features to keep up with.

For instance, if you only use one channel, you might not be able to increase brand awareness.

It's also significant to consider your budget and skills. So weigh up what you can and can't do with your resources.

Ask these questions:

  • Do you currently have a social media team? If not, who will be part of this team or have these responsibilities?

  • Do you have enough people to manage all the channels you want to be on?

  • How many channels can I manage within my budget?

  • Do I have the right skill set to create the content for these channels?

  • How much time, can you , dedicate to each channel? Include the learning curve time for a new channel.

  • Who is creating your social content, and who will manage them?

  • If you have a small budget, then you may only be able to target one channel to start with. Trying to cover more channels would probably result in low-quality content and interaction.

  • If you have limited resources, you may not have the skills required to create the right type of content. For example, if you decide to use Pinterest, you'll need a graphic designer to produce stunning images

Resources aren't limited to people or time, either. Within the cost calculation of your social media ROI includes the software that you use to post and analyze. There is a wide range of digital marketing tools available. The question for you to think about is if they will be included in your resources.

3. What content types do you have?

Some companies already have an established media library. That's great. That's visual content for you to repurpose into social media content. You might also have blog posts already written. That's even more content that you can use on social.

Take stock of the existing content you have and if you'll be able to create more content. But consider how and who will be creating that new content? Will the social media manager also be the social media photographer? Are videos being outsourced?

There are five main types of social media content: video, images, text, stories, and live video. The content that you create and curate will directly influence your social media channel decision.

Are you able to upload a lot of video content? Then Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram should be at the top of your list. Yes, it might be very tempting to jump into TikTok, but if you aren't able to create the video content that is necessary for the platform, then this channel is not for you.

It's best to be realistic because content curation and creation take time. When you start on a new network, you want to make sure you have the right type and amount of content to post consistently.

4. Where is your audience now?

Even if you aren't present on a social media channel, chances are that your customers are. Check your website data to see where your referrals are coming from. What are they clicking on, and where are they clicking from? Knowing that you have a customer base already on a channel makes it easier for you when you establish your brand presence.

One exercise you can do is to define your target audience. Once you have that identified, you can match them up with current statistics for the many various social media platforms. Some demographics are more present on certain channels than others. Having this data on hand will help you in deciding on a social media channel.

5. What industry are you in?

While Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the top social platforms for brands and consumers, it doesn't mean that those are your go-to channels. Channel popularity varies between industries. So while these benchmarks for overall brands and consumers are a good place to start, you'll need to do your research for your industry.

To get an idea of your industry's presence on different networks do a competative analysis. After that, review some industry benchmarks to see what has generally worked per channel.

For example, the average sports industry company publishes 42 posts a day across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. With 227 messages received daily, that gives you a rough idea of what to expect for engagement and you can plan your staffing accordingly. Of course, if you're just starting, you won't have these numbers. But that means you now have some specific numbers to input for your social media goals.

6. Where are your competitors?

Another useful step is to check which social media channels your competitors are using. Looking at your competition will also give you an idea of the typical content in your industry or niche. Take a moment and research your competitors' social media profiles. Answers to these questions will inform your understanding of how your competitors are performing.

Questions to ask:

What are they posting about?

Where are they posting?

What types of posts are working for them and delivering the most insights?

What social media are your competitors using?

What type of content on each channel drives the most engagement?

You can use social media monitoring tools to set up alerts and notifications that track your competitor's online activity.

Social media is great for competitor analysis. The top two ways that marketers use social data is that it tells them the strength of a customer's loyalty, and it reveals the strengths and weaknesses of competitors' products or services. When your competitors are on a certain channel and performing well, it's a good sign that you should be, too.

7. How will you manage all the social media channels?

All things considered, you might have a good idea of which social media channels you want to focus on now. And you might even know who on your team or in your business would be managing all of them. The next question to ask yourself is what tools you'll be using.

Scheduling, analytics, previews, and engagement management are all typical features of social media management software. Some companies focus on just a few networks, while others include top social media platforms as well as review management platforms such as Google My Business and TripAdvisor. The more channels you're on, the more time you'll spend managing them.

If you're wondering if an all-in-one solution would help you reclaim your time, the answer is yes. Management becomes easier, especially if you have an inbox that compiles all your engagements into one view. No more jumping between networks. You can respond to a Facebook review and look at the most recently tagged photo on Instagram, all from the Smart Inbox.