What Type of Platform is Best for You?

It seems like everyone is familiar with the buzz surrounding the use of social media to promote their business, but what a lot of small business owners aren't sure about is what platform they should be using. People know about Facebook and it's function, but what about everything else? Should you have more than one? All of them? The answer varies depending on the type of business you operate, the demographics of your customer base, and the content you push on social media. Below we'll break down the most commonly used social media platforms. We'll also tell you what type of businesses we think benefit from each one. You'll find that people's opinions differ on this front, but these are based on our knowledge and experience with each platform.

Facebook

With over 2 billion monthly active users (https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/), Facebook is the most widely used social media platform and it's usefulness extends to most businesses, regardless of the type. Whether you're selling something, trying to get information out, or trying to rally an audience - this is a great place to do it. The thing to pay attention to with Facebook is the age groups you're targeting. If you do a quick Google search, you'll find breakdowns on demographic information that suggest a large portion of Facebook's users are in the younger age groups (13-29). What is important to understand is that even though these individuals have an account, it doesn't mean they use their account. In our experience, Facebook isn't the best medium if your business targets the younger demographic (see sections about Instagram or Snapchat). Who should use Facebook? Businesses that target customers in the mid 20's range and up will likely find Facebook helpful.

Instagram

Coming in at number 2 is Instagram. It's owned by Facebook, but really does cater to a separate audience. As far as demographics go, we have found that Instagram has a few different pockets of people that love the picture-based platform. Tweens, teens, and college-aged students are heavy IG users but we find it's also popular among fitness gurus, moms, artists, and influencers. This platform focuses mostly on pictures and storytelling, so businesses with an important message or whose content tends to be more artistic and creative would probably find a sweet spot on Insta (that's what the peeps call it). Moving images, stories, and lots of hashtags are the way to be in the cool kids club here. Posting multiple times a day is both acceptable and expected, so you don't have to worry about overwhelming your audience. Types of businesses we think do best here: Artists, Advocacy groups, Influencers/Bloggers, Clothing stores/Boutiques, and Businesses that place an emphasis on local goods.

Pinterest

A lot of people don't consider Pinterest, but it can definitely can be a highly useful marketing tool if used for the right type of business. In fact, we think it's underutilized! If you're not familiar with Pinterest, just think of it as an internet paradise for crafters and DIYers. In the US, it is used heavily by women and seems to have more users in higher income brackets (https://blog.hootsuite.com/pinterest-statistics-for-business/). Like IG it is picture based so photo-worthy content is a must. Posts on Pinterest encourage people to leave the original post in order to visit your external site and by doing so drives more traffic to businesses than Facebook does. What that means, though, is that an up to date website with content is also important here. We think it's most ideal for the following businesses: Clothing Boutiques, Cooks/Chefs/Bakers who provide recipes to followers, DIYers who provide instructions and other content to users, and Businesses that sell handmade goods.

Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform that requires succinct phrasing, as it only allows a max of 280 characters. You can use pictures or graphics, but it isn't a requirement such as with IG or Pinterest. The noteworthy points about Twitter are that it's a pretty even split between male and female users and tends be utilized more by individuals with college degrees and in a higher income bracket. As for types of businesses it works best for: Tech businesses, Developers, Politicians, Companies who want to utilize the platform as a means of customer service, and News Outlets.

YouTube

YouTube is another platform with a vast audience. While it's extremely popular among GenZ, it's also used a great deal by people outside of this age group. YouTube is video based, so if your marketing strategy doesn't include the ability or desire to incorporate videos, then this wouldn't be the best platform for you. While it does require video, it doesn't necessarily require creative content. Yes, you'll find professional music videos on YouTube, but you'll also see just about everything else under the sun - from a guitar tutorial, to a video of someone playing video games, to a video of someone literally sitting in front of their webcam talking and/or telling jokes. And it's all popular. YouTube can certainly add a personal touch to your marketing strategy and allows you to upload videos that are longer and a larger file size than other platforms. YouTube is useful for a lot of business, but we think it's especially good for: Any business that offers free content/tutorials, Musicians, DIYers, Product reviewers, and Fitness gurus.

A common question is should we use more than one social media platform? The answer - maybe. The best way to reap the full benefit of each platform is to create a strategy that utilizes the specific demographic information for each one. So, what you post on FB should be different than the post you make on Instagram. This allows you to maximize your influence because you're targeting different users and advertising different products based off of what those specific users want to see. IG and Facebook are linked so you can post the same content to both, but that's likely only useful if you have a product that appeals to a wide demographic. If you're a small business, we recommend you choose 1 (maybe 2) at first and do a good job of targeting your audience. Based on the business you operate, use the information above or do some research to determine the best platform for you. As always, if you need help, feel free to contact us.