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If you’re thinking about creating a social media strategy for your business, the topic of social media platforms is a good place to start. Since the list of social networking channels is ever-growing and constantly changing in terms of popularity and success, it can be difficult to choose the right platforms for your business.
Read on to learn more about some of the most popular social media platforms and to find out which ones are best for your business.
Recent studies by HubSpot show that 24% of consumers between the ages of 18–54 search for brands on social media before using a search engine—and that figure jumps up to 36% for 18–24-year-olds. Businesses can use social media marketing to engage with their current sphere and new prospects by sharing information, starting conversations, and creating communities on various social media platforms. Without an established social presence online, businesses will miss out on the opportunity to converse with these people, increasing the chances that one of those searching prospects finds your competitor’s business instead of yours.
The current position of digital marketing makes social media a valuable and necessary tool for reaching customers.
Before we take a look at social media platforms, it’s important to understand how you use those channels to engage with your target audience. Social media marketing is a great way to retain your current customer base, but it should also be leveraged to find new prospects to help your business grow. Both types of social media users can be reached through two forms of posts: organic and paid.
A social media post made without any cost to the user is referred to as “organic.” Businesses and individual users can share organic content to their feeds and expect that some of their followers may see the post. Depending on the social media platforms, users who do not follow your page may see the organic post if:
Organic posts are the perfect way to establish your brand identity, build connections with your customer base, and maintain community around your business. Your content should meet these goals and cover every stage of the buying journey.
Unlike organic posts, paid social media posts can consistently reach users who have no prior or current connection to your business. Paid social allows you to promote content and reach a tailored audience according to your advertising goals. These goals may include but are not limited to:
This social media strategy is an excellent way to grow your page and engage new prospects, so it’s important to know which social media platforms you should prioritize for paid social media posts.
In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of social media platforms out there with more coming onto the scene every year. Thankfully, you don’t need to be on every single one of them to reach your target audience. We’ve taken some of the most popular and effective platforms for businesses and analyzed how they can best serve businesses.
One of the most popular uses of social media for businesses is professional networking. Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide users with the opportunity to search for, follow, and engage with businesses. Users who want to learn about local or popular organizations may consult these channels for company information, events put on or attended by the business, or other consumers’ views on products and services.
These social channels are also an excellent place for business-to-business, or B2B, connections. Most often, you will see photos, articles, or text posts on these social channels.
If you’re looking to network with business professionals, Facebook and LinkedIn are the ideal social media platforms to leverage. Professional customers are already utilizing these platforms to network and conduct business, so it’s a good idea to meet them where they’re at. Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn have great opportunities for both organic and paid social posts.
Here are some practical ways to network on Facebook:
Try these professional networking strategies on LinkedIn:
Some social media platforms are best used to establish brand identity and create more informal relationships with an audience. On these channels, users are more likely to seek out content that appeals to their day-to-day lives, inspires them in some way, or impacts them emotionally. The type of content on these types of platforms may be geared toward a certain kind of “aesthetic,” theme, or could relate specifically to the originality of a particular individual, business, or ideology.
On Instagram and Pinterest, social media posts and pages are typically centered around a certain lifestyle or community. Businesses can use this to their advantage by curating content that champions those things.
If you want to create community and establish more personal relationships with your audience, Instagram and Pinterest are the perfect social media platforms to achieve it. High-quality images and short-form videos do best on these channels.
Here are some examples of how you can build community on Instagram:
Implement the following tactics on Pinterest to convey your “brand lifestyle”:
Although many social media platforms have the ability to house video, some social sharing services were created specifically for video content. According to 2023 social media studies by HubSpot, short-form and long-form video content currently has the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to other post formats.
Social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and even Instagram have become some of the most popular (and sometimes most effective) places to increase brand awareness. The audiences across these channels tend to be younger, congregating around Gen-Z and millennials.
Businesses that want to reach new audiences can leverage these social media platforms with short-form or long-form video content. TikTok and Instagram are currently the champion of short-form, portrait-oriented content—with most “TikToks” or “Reels” lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a minute long.
Similarly, YouTube has recently rolled out “YouTube Shorts,” which are their own version of TikTok-style video content. However, YouTube is still most commonly known for its long-form content. As with many other platforms, a major key to success on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube is consistency in the frequency of posting.
Try these strategies on TikTok or Instagram Reels to create short-form videos to increase brand awareness:
Use these ideas on your business’s YouTube channel:
While articles, photos, and videos can be incredibly effective forms of content on various social media platforms, some channels are not content-focused at all. Instead, these platforms prioritize discussion and community between users over everything else.
On Reddit and Twitter, users will often look to discuss certain topics, have questions answered, or stay up to date on current events or news. Posts are often short, adding to conversations or supplying relevant information to the topic of discussion.
These social media platforms offer businesses the opportunity to interact with prospects in a more engaging, conversational way. Organizations can provide users with valuable information, business updates, or general customer service in quick, to-the-point responses without the pressure of creating a formal post.
Users who want to take part in discussions or learn about various topics will often use these platforms as a search engine, so businesses can leverage them for general brand awareness, value, and community. However, organizations should be careful not to focus too heavily on a specific business or product in these conversations; Twitter and Reddit users are not looking to be “sold to,” but conversed with.
Implement these tactics on Twitter to get involved in discussions:
Try some of these strategies on Reddit:
The world of social media may seem overwhelming, but don’t stress! You don’t need to be on every social media platform to see success. The right social media platforms for your business come down to your business goals and your target audience. Consider which platforms your clients are already on and the type of people you’d like to reach. For many businesses, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great platforms to start with.
At PHOS, our team is dedicated to staying up to date on the latest developments and strategies in social media marketing. If you’re looking for help in your digital marketing strategy, we would love to talk with you! Contact us today to see how we can serve you and your business.