Social media can be extremely valuable to building audience connections and filling your sales funnel. Whether you’re a small business developing your presence, or a large company with years in the industry, utilizing the various social media channels can provide several benefits to engaging customers. But with so many social media platforms available to reach your goals, which is best for your business?

Trying to understand the differences between social media platforms and which is right for you can be overwhelming. As a business owner, it’s important to know how specific platforms can be impactful for your company and drive results with your key audiences. Whether you plan to post organically to social media or invest in paid social advertising, we’re here to help you determine which platforms are fit for your organization.

Which Social Media Platforms Should My Business Be Using?

Before you start with a social media platform, start with a social media strategy. It’s important businesses take time to consider who your audience is, what outcomes you hope to accomplish through your social media efforts, as well as how you will measure success. Spending a little time evaluating the latter can help you match your goals to the platforms that will help you succeed.

To align with your goals, you’ll want to consider each social media platform’s purpose and audience, which helps in creating a strategy for content on each channel. Throughout your initial strategy development, do a bit of research to understand where your core audience lives online. Are your ideal customers utilizing Facebook or LinkedIn? Are they using Twitter to find the types of content or products you offer? Evaluating your current social media analytics from tools such as Google Analytics, or even within the social networks themselves, can help with understanding which platforms are seeing the most engagement from your readers.

How Are the Big Social Media Channels Different?

One of the largest factors to consider when sharing your messaging on any social media platform is how conversations shift within each channel. For example, conversations you may have on LinkedIn can be quite different from those you have on Twitter. You’ll want to adjust your message to fit the social media platform and audience spending time there.

To help with your evaluation, we’ve outlined some key insights for businesses using the widely-used social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is a social media beast that can’t be ignored. With over 2.24 billion monthly active users, your customers are likely going to be using the network either for business or personal use. Though connecting with family and friends is the core mantra of Facebook’s platform, the channel is also a large advertising platform for businesses, primarily strong for B2C companies.

Outside of advertising, Facebook is a great place for businesses to share employee culture and updates on your company. Whether it’s a client or interview candidate, your Facebook page should give outsiders a clear sense of your people and company values.

It’s most important for organizations to note that Facebook has made it more of an obstacle for businesses to reach their audiences organically since newsfeed algorithm updates in early 2018. While there are certainly many strategies business can use to combat the algorithm, considering a paid budget for boosting organic Facebook posts or paid advertising can help ensure your messaging reaches your audience on the platform among other prioritized content from user family or friends.

Twitter

For current news, technical blogs, and industry updates, Twitter is a great way for businesses to engage in real-time. Capturing 326 million active monthly users, Twitter can help your business stay relevant in your industry. With up to a 240-character limit per update, it’s important businesses find ways to keep information concise, compelling, and relevant on such a fast-paced network. The platform opens the door for quick feedback and discussion, using the limited characters to share an opinion, create polls, or join trending conversations with relevant hashtags.

However, always keep in mind the lifespan of your Tweets is short, so contrary to other platforms where sharing multiple updates in one day may be taboo, Twitter is a platform where sharing more updates is a necessary tactic to gain more exposure in your audience’s feed. The more you Tweet and use trending hashtags or topics in tandem to your posts, the more likely your brand is to become influential on a discussion.

Instagram

Though Instagram is owned by Facebook, the social platform certainly has its own identity – not to mention over 1 billion monthly active users, too. For companies that are particularly visual, Instagram is your network to shine. The emphasis on strong or high-resolution images provides businesses an opportunity to showcase brand products or story, people, and other highlights of your company in an eye-catching way. Instagram recently rolled out the option for users to shop right from the app, which also now provides B2C companies another advantage for converting sales from product images.

Similar to Twitter, relevant Instagram hashtags can help with reaching audiences part of your industry or interests. Businesses can include up to 30 hashtags on your post caption or within the comments to expand exposure of the post.

Amongst the advantages of using Instagram for business, Instagram does have its disadvantages for those working to generate more web traffic from the network. Individual posts do not allow for links in the copy, so you’ll want to ensure your company website or other important campaign-related links are provided within your company bio. Of course, this requires your audience to click on your profile and take an extra step in order to interact with your directed webpage, so the emphasis of strong visuals and a compelling call-to-action is huge!

LinkedIn

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the right place to connect and build professional relationships. With over 303 million monthly users, including 90 million of those users that are senior level influencers or in a decision-making position, LinkedIn is a growing social network that businesses shouldn’t neglect.

Unlike Facebook or other social media platforms, LinkedIn emphasizes a professional connection with organizations and other industry professionals rather than family and friends. Any content that is related to your business or professional career – company news, employee updates, milestones – all are excellent pieces of content that will serve your audience well on LinkedIn.

For individual professionals, you can use LinkedIn as your “online resume” to share education and articles expertise with business owners, clients, or potential new employers. Business owners have the opportunity to expand their organization’s credibility and thought leadership by sharing updates from LinkedIn Business Pages to their own personal networks.

Find Which Social Networks Drive Results for Your Business

No matter where you begin or with which social network, remember one of the best ways for success to translate to business goals depends on your evaluation or updates on a regular basis. Results on any social media network can take some time, but a little effort and evaluation can help determine which platforms are well-suited for your audience and messaging.

If you need help with auditing your current social media performance and developing a strategy for which social networks can drive business outcomes, contact us today to speak with our team about social media marketing services.