How To Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

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Let's Kickoff With Some Summary Stats.

Almost 5 billion people in the world today have at least one social media account.

98% of all internet users have at least one social media account.

92.6% access the web using mobile devices.

TikTok continues it’s rapid growth, having reached over 1.3 billion users and over 1 billion Monthly Active users in 2023. (MAU)

Instagram also boasts around 1 billion monthly active users. (MAU)

Facebook, while not being so popular with Gen Z and Gen Alpha still tops out at a staggering 3 billion MAU.

Realistically, if your business isn’t using social media as part of its growth strategy, you’re missing out on sales opportunities, brand awareness, organic lead generation and much more. 

How Do You Go About Choose The Right Social Media Platform for your business?

Each business is unique, which means that one social platform may be right for one business but not right for another.

Smart business leaders understand the importance of choosing the right social platform for their audience and mission as opposed to spreading themselves to thin across several platforms.

 Essentially, quality beats quantity and authoritative, informative and relevant content is gold.

There are predominantly two factors that determine if one social media platform will perform better for your business over another.

Social media channel demographics - who's your target audience?

Why do some social media accounts have 10’s of millions of followers on one channel and far less on another channel?

TikTok is notoriously popular with Gen Z and now with Gen Alpha. Facebook and Pinterest on the other hand are far more popular with the older demographic like Gen X and Gen Y.

You have to match your business products and services with the specific target audience and the social media platform demographic.

Resource and capability - What can your business practically achieve?

One of the significant downsides to managing individual and multiple social media channels is time and resource. Driving effective social media can suck the life out of the most committed and in business, time is money. 

Therefore, it is critical to choose your social weapons carefully and do battle on a platform that you know your product and services will relate and resonate with your target demographic. 

I’m an amazing business management consultant (I AM!) and my platform of choice is linkedIn and only Linkedin for now. This is because my ideal target audience is business decision makers, owners, C-Suite and senior management. Linkedin is where these professionals live and so do I.

My second choice will be youtube and when I produce video content, I will use Youtube and LinkedIn but LinkedIN will still remain my primary social media platform for my business.

Assess what you can do and what you like to do.

You also have to consider what creative format you and or your team are comfortable and hopefully excel at producing. If no-one is happy doing a video, then TikTok is a non runner. 

Work out what great content you can produce and then tune in to the right platform with the right demographic and push out high-quality, authoritative content. 

As tempting as it is to launch accounts on every single social media network, not every platform is going to bring equal returns on investment for a business. Again, time is money.

"Don't blanket post - It harms your brand's reputation and credibility."

Do not push out the same content on several platforms. It doesn’t work, burns resource time (money), becomes a distraction and ultimately becomes a negative marketing position.

Repurposing Content - Definitely do this. 

Repurposing content on the other hand is definitely the right approach when managing different platforms and audiences. 

Take podcasting for example, from an audio perspective, you have several mainstream platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Google, Buzzsprout and Overcast. if you conduct video podcast and interview based podcast, you can split a 30 video podcast into into 1/2 video shorts and push this out separately to different platforms.

Steps to Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business - woman on a mountain shouting

How To Choose The right social media platform For your Business Goals.

Define your target audience.

By narrowing down your ideal customer, you also narrow down your choices when choosing the right social media platform for your business. 

For instance, if your goal is to connect with C-suite execs from banking or tech firms, LinkedIn emerges as the ideal platform. LinkedIn Navigator also offers rich features tailored for targeting corporate executives, especially in the banking and fintech sectors. 

Furthermore, LinkedIn advertising enables highly targeted audience segmentation based on job roles and industry.

This capability enables you to efficiently pinpoint and engage with this audience through LinkedIn, eliminating the need to allocate advertising budget towards an audience that doesn’t align with your objectives, say on TikTok or Pinterest.

LinkedIn seamlessly aligns with companies pursuing a focused B2B sales and business development strategy.

Conversely, if you’re in the business of selling designer clothes and your target audience comprises mostly Gen Z males and females living in the UK and Ireland, then Instagram would likely be the prefered platform of choice.

Instagram boasts the largest advertising audience among 25-34-year-olds, making it an ideal platform for reaching this demographic. In particular, products related to cloths have historically performed exceptionally well in terms of generating sales on this platform. 

It’s worth noting that entire e-commerce brands have not only thrived but grown significantly, amassing tens of millions in revenue through their exclusive presence on Instagram.

How to conduct and create target audience persona profiling.

Understanding your target audience sounds obvious and it is. Knowing your target audience as well as you know yourself is where you need to get to. 

Some factors to consider are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Income levels
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Purchasing habits
  • Preferred social platforms
  • Environmental and social allegiances.
  • Online hangouts and activity
  • What influences their purchasing decisions

“Find your niche. If you sell to everyone, you sell to no one.”

Be clear about your goals.

What is it that you are trying to achieve?

  • Are you trying to increase brand awareness?
  • Increase lead generation, or B2B sales?
  • Increase community engagement?
  • Directly sell your products and services?
  • Build your audience and develop your brand?
  • Drive traffic to your website?

It’s probably a combination but whatever your goals are, once your clear about what they are, you should wrap KPIs around them.

Wrapping KPIs, here's what I mean:

Resource cost = £30K a year or £15 per hour

Resource time spent = 60 hours in 1 month = £900 (3 hours per day)

Platform of choice = Instagram

Paid Social Adverts on Instagram = 1 month campaign @ £5K

Campaign cost for 1 month = £5900

Product RRP = £200

Product Margin = 30%

Margin contribution = £60

Number of products to sell to break even = £5900 / £60 = Approx 100 sales

Your marketing goal KPI in this example is: 

Make a minimum of 100 sales on Instagram with this single campaign just to breakeven. 101 sales and above is £60 GP per sale.

Note: This does not take into account shipping, creative content or other third party costs.

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What resources do you have available?

Key questions you need to answer:

Having a realistic understanding of what resources are available, especially in house. will have a direct impact of your capability, social engagement and campaign decisions. Maybe you will have to work with a third party marketing company. This creates unknowns like trust, value, execution and commercial questions.  

  • What post format does my business want to create and why?
  • Who will provide this content and how much will this cost?
  • What current resources are available within the business?
  • Does the business have capable resources in house?
  • Are all stakeholders committed to social media engagement?
  • Is there a clear strategy detailing goals, costs, KPIs and measurement controls?
  • Who is going to be responsible for execution, who is accountable? 
  • What does success look like?

A Few Golden Rules For Guidance.

Most of these I’ve covered but here’s a summary anyway. 

  • Don’t blanket post – Hurts your brand and credibility.
  • Be clear about which social platform you want to be on and why.
  • Quality over quantity always – Don’t add to the existing deluge of poor, click-bait content already out there.
  • Be an authority – Establish credibility and trust.
  • If possible, push out video content as much as possible.
  • Show up – Be Consistent. Show up again.
  • Engage, engage, engage.
  • Know your audience – I mean really get to know your audience.
  • Measure twice, cut once – Set, wrap and measure your KPI’s.
  • Don’t chase quick wins – Social Media is a long-term gig. Be consistent. Show up.
  • Let your business culture and DNA shine – People love real people and real stories.

Social Media Channel Final Thoughts.

Choosing the right social media channel is an important decision. It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario, and the choice your make for your business should be driven by what you want to achieve, your audience, your content and your resource capabilities.

Remember, it’s not just about being present; it’s about being present where it matters, where your target audience live.  Plan wisely, consider and be clear about your objectives, understand your target audience, and evaluate each platform’s strengths and weaknesses in line with your goals.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on one channel and build your capability and knowledge, then add another channel. Remember, it’s about Quality, Not Quantity ALWAYS.

Social Media channel FAQs.

How do I determine which social media platforms are best for my business?

Assess your target audience, business goals, and the type of content you plan to share. Choose platforms where your audience is active and where your content aligns with the platform’s format and culture.

Is it necessary to be on multiple social media platforms, or can I focus on just one or two?

No, it’s not necessary to be on every platform. As i’ve said,  it’s often more effective to focus on a one or two so you can create a strong presence and engage with your audience effectively. You can also manage the costs and KPIs much easier with. 

How can I know if my chosen social media channels are working for my business?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Set them up so you can measure things like: Engagement rates, follower growth, post popularity, website traffic and conversion rates. Everything in your business should have a KPI wrapped around it. 

Should I consider paid advertising on social media, and does it impact platform choice?

Paid advertising can be beneficial to reach a broader audience and some platforms offer more better paid advertising options so do your research.  However, whatever you decide, your choice should still align with your target audience and goals. Note also that you can throw good money after bad so seek advice before doing Paid advertising. The rewards however can be significant of done right.

Should I review and potentially change my social media channel choices?

When your business goals, audience demographics, or industry trends change then being open to venture on to other platforms is a good idea. Be mindful of the differences of each platform as what works on one platform may not work on another. Again, if you choose to do paid search, seek advice from an expert.. Be open to adjusting your channel choices to stay relevant and effective.

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