How to Choose Your Social Media Channels

Taking the first step on social media can be daunting, especially when a vast selection of channels is available for you to choose from. So, understanding that each industry performs better in a particular set of social media channels, is crucial.

In this post I highlight some of the key aspects to keep in mind to help you choose your social media channels appropriately.

Social Media Channels

To begin with, developing a knowledge of  the key social media channels as well as its users will help you understand and narrow down your options greatly.

Facebook

A channel with over 1.5 billion users, where all types of content is shared. Promoting your business and services on Facebook can attract huge attention, but with it comes a higher level of competition, which could turn into a complex challenge.

Twitter 

If the content derived from your industry is text based, then Twitter is a useful channel for promotion. Its 320 million users are into reading fresh, informative and interesting tweets.

Instagram

With a simple picture based scrolling timeline, Instagram can promote your business to 400 million users. Hashtags also increase exposure and deliver your content across multiple locations.

Pinterest 

Mainly consisting of visual content, Pinterest is ideal for Fashion, Travel, Photography, Food and DIY, to name a few. With 100 million users, the competition rates are fair, providing ample room for growth and promotion.

LinkedIn 

If you’re all about B2B, this platform can assist you in many ways. From networking to job-hunting, LinkedIn provides access to 100 million users; an open door of new opportunities for businesses.

Identifying Your Industry

The appropriate social media channels will depend on the type of industry you’re in. Identifying the nature of your business and calculating how much content you will be able to produce for social media would be the ideal first step.

What you sell 

Your presence on social media may vary according to the type of product or service you provide to the market. For example, if your industry produces visual content, Instagram and Facebook are good a match. Alternatively, Twitter and LinkedIn are friendly to text-based content.

B2B or B2C 

Each social media channel targets specific audiences, so, identifying who you are selling to will certainly be an advantage. If you are targeting businesses, LinkedIn and Twitter are a great place to start. Otherwise, for consumers, it’s best to look into daily used platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Where Are Your Customers

Being active on appropriate social media channels and posting quality content regularly may still not be sufficient if you target the wrong audience. Finding out which social media channels your audience is active on will improve engagement and views.

Interests 

Depending on the interests of your target audience, a crowd that likes visual content is likely to be on channels such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. However, if your audience is into reading and sourcing information, Twitter and LinkedIn are more suitable.

Demographics 

Each social media channel has a popular type of demographic based on gender, age, education, income, and location. Ensuring that you are promoting your business on the same platform as your customers is key.

What is the End Goal of your Social Media Marketing

Summarising the process of meeting objectives will contribute towards a better strategy. Appropriate social media channels may improve different aspects of your business.

Customer Support

Unlike the old days, customers now choose social media channels for product issues. Facebook and Twitter can save time and improve customer communication.

Sales 

Promoting your services and products through social media is one way of increasing sales. All channels are suitable for this and it also helps towards brand awareness.

Networking

Building new professional relationships and networking with similar industries will keep your business growing. LinkedIn is an appropriate social media channel that holds numerous commercial contacts.

Why You Shouldn’t Be On All Social Media Channels

It may be tempting to sign up to and experience the best of all channels, but the outcome might not be as efficient. Below are a few of the key points to consider before choosing the appropriate social media channels for your industry.

Time

The idea of being on all social media channels is impractical as the process of creating and posting quality content is time-consuming. Dedicating time on appropriate social media channels will in turn make your online presence more significant.

Content 

In some industries, creating content is effortless. But in others, it may be complex. For instance, a car dealership would only need to take pictures of their newly arrived vehicles along with a description, and post them on social media. On the other hand, a solicitors firm could possibly require a lot more attention when creating content.

Budget 

You might want to invest in paid promotion. This would increase exposure, sales and leads e.g. Facebook offers users the ability to boost each post from as little as £4. Other social media channels also have similar features; therefore working out a budget is advisable.

Still Unsure About Which Social Media Channels Are Appropriate For Your Industry?

  • You could start by analysing each social media platform in terms of demographics, number of users and content format i.e. whether it’s more graphic or text based.
  • To take full advantage of social media, set a few end goals such as improving customer support or increasing sales.
  • After gathering the relevant and necessary information, you can move on to choosing the platforms that would suit your target audience the most. However, make sure to factor in sufficient time, content and budget, as this is crucial to maintaining an active online presence.
  • The key is to explore the potential of each social media platform and what it has to offer, rather than compromising your social media strategy by having an online presence on every platform.

Once you’ve identified your industry, chosen your social media channels and set them up, you can head over to my article on How to make the most of your Social Media channels,  where I’ll guide you through the next phase of your social media marketing and planning.

Need help planning or managing your social media? Get in touch via this contact form to discuss your requirements.

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