Before you start marketing your business on social media, it’s wise to do a little thinking and research into which social media platform is best for your business.
I am a big fan of starting with ONE social media platform. After all, we are trying to AVOID overwhelm, and starting out with more than one will get overwhelming quickly!
Before making any decisions about social media platforms, you must walk through the process of identifying your ideal customer. If you have done this, you know their gender, age, income level, interests, and what their lifestyle is like.
This is the main piece of information that will guide your social media platform decision.
If you have not identified your ideal customer, head to this post and walk through that process.
So now, let’s take a look at a few popular social media platforms and compare – and then YOU can decide which one you and your business would like to start with.
Facebook is the biggest and most widely used social media platform out there. Chances are that you are already very familiar with Facebook, and may even use it regularly for personal use.
Who is on Facebook:
Out of all of the social media platforms listed here, Facebook has the oldest crowd, meaning that the majority of users are between the ages of 25-44. There are even a growing number of users in the 44-54 age group.
How people use Facebook:
People use Facebook for a few reasons – the first is personal connection. They are there to connect with their family and friends and to see photos and video from people they know.
However, more and more – most of LIFE happens through Facebook! People are getting their news there, visiting business’s Facebook pages to find out their hours or their menu, even looking at various companies’ Facebook pages just to see what people are saying about them or if their friends also like the company.
And with the ever-growing list of options through Facebook, people can now buy and sell through the marketplace, play games, and even search for jobs.
Engagement on Facebook:
You will soon learn that the key to success on social media is ENGAGEMENT with your audience. Engagement simply means connection and conversation with your people. People’s likes, comments and shares on Facebook are all forms of engagement.
Because of Facebook’s algorithm (which can keep marketers from reaching a broad number of people), and also because of the sheer amount of people and information on Facebook, engagement is not naturally as high as some other social media platform options.
Facebook can be a great starting point for many businesses because your page almost acts as another website, giving people the information they are craving. Also, the options for paid ads and the analytics you will gain on your people is unparalleled.
Instagram is a newer platform than Facebook, but its rapid growth shows that it’s here to stay.
Who is on Instagram:
Instagram draws a slightly younger crowd, mostly those between ages 18-29.
How People Use Instagram:
This is the key to how Instagram differs from Facebook. Instagram has limited its functionality so much, that you can ONLY do a few things through it. People scroll through photos and posts, take them in, like them, and move on.
People cannot find a vast amount of information about your company there, and you also cannot include any clickable links.
Engagement on Instagram:
However, the engagement on Instagram is through the roof! Though Instagram has much fewer users than Facebook, the engagement there is generally much higher than on Facebook.
If your business has the ability to produce stunning photos or video, Instagram is a great platform for building awareness of your brand, and for interacting with your audience.
Twitter is a tried and true platform that has been around for a while, but it’s a different animal entirely than either Facebook or Instagram.
Who is on Twitter:
The vast majority of those on Twitter are under the age of 40, and it’s a platform that is mostly used in urban settings.
How People Use Twitter:
People are on Twitter looking for real-time updates and information on things. People are not generally there looking for relational connections with people. For this reason, it’s interesting to note that 49% of Twitter users follow brands or companies; whereas only 18% of people do on other social media platforms.
Engagement on Twitter:
Because of the vast number of tweets at any given time, it can be more challenging to have your tweets seen by your audience. For that reason, engagement is not nearly as high as a platform like Instagram.
Depending on your company and product, Twitter can be a great social media platform. It all comes down to who you are trying to reach.
The Bottom Line:
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most common options for a business to start a social media presence. Take a look at your ideal customer and figure out where THEY are likely to be connecting on social media, and which type of social media user they are.
After you determine that, you’ll be in good position to start on your ONE chosen platform and reach an audience just like your ideal customer!