How to Choose the Right Social Media Channel for Your Business

For those new to the world of social media, understanding each social channel can be a little overwhelming. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more, it can be hard to figure out which ones to utilize.

While it may seem tempting to create an account on every platform, this can end up doing more harm than good. Focus on creating quality accounts rather than focusing on quantity.

Posts that do well on one social channel, may not thrive on another one. For example, designing a graphic would work if you are creating content for Facebook, but likely wouldn’t do well on Instagram which focuses on organic pictures.

It is important to note that certain platforms use algorithms that can result in your posts receiving little reach.

For example, Instagram will show their followers posts that are getting the highest amount of likes and comments first. If your channel doesn’t have high traffic, then your post is less likely to be featured.

It’s also important to focus on what channels your audience utilizes. For example, Facebook is a growing platform for older adults. If your followers are made up of an older demographic, you will find the most success using Facebook. However, if you are trying to target young adults, you can reach your intended audience by using a platform such as Instagram.

That being said, if you don’t believe that you’ll have a strong following on a certain network, it’s best to not have one at all. Creating multiple accounts with a low amount of followers can result in more work for you and less traction for your brand. It’s better to shift your focus to a few channels that do really well, rather than a multitude that do not. 

When deciding on what social accounts to create, you should also focus on your goal. Are you looking to release information as it is shared? You should utilize an account where you can post consistently and quickly, like Twitter. Are you trying to foster a relationship? A sharing site like Facebook would be helpful for your brand. Are you looking to network with others? LinkedIn was created to be a social site for professionals and can help you connect with other individuals in your field.

Determining what your goal is for your social account can help you gain followers, and ultimately, more leads for your business. Likes and comments only go so far, so it’s important to remember that the amount of people you reach and have real communication with can make a world of difference. 

Remember, even though channels may be new, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to utilize them. Again, you should take into consideration your followers and what you want to accomplish with social media. Jumping on the bandwagon will do nothing to promote your brand. If you don’t utilize the point of the social platform correctly, you will get little out of it.

Whether you are looking to build new relationships, strengthen the ones you already have or some other goal, remember that social sites are there to help you connect with others. The social site you choose can be the difference in an account that generates leads and one that does not.

It’s important to determine how your followers will receive this information. Take a moment and ask how concise and informative your posts should be. Take into consideration the free time that your audience has. Followers that have more free time (such as retired persons, students, etc.) will be able to read a longer, informative post, while business professionals may quickly glance at a status that they believe is too many words. 

Another important factor to consider is your budget. While social media can be a great free tool, some accounts can really benefit from paid services.

For example, on Facebook, the boost feature is a great way to connect with non-followers that could be interested in your brand. However, since you are sponsoring the post, you have to put money behind it, which may not be doable for some. 

Take into consideration what your budget allows and what services are worth utilizing. Your brand could benefit from spending money on better equipment to create better graphics, rather than putting money behind a paid ad. Take a look at what posts are getting the most engagement and reach and make a decision from there.

However, this budget goes beyond monetary value. Take a look and see what you can provide for your audience. Facebook and Instagram are examples of accounts that can (and should) have a break in-between posts. However, with other platforms, like Twitter, the amount of posts created back-to-back will not make much of a difference. 

Social media can be a great service, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Take advantage of making your social accounts the best for your brand by determining your audience, goals, post strategies, and budget. When you post with a purpose, you can create accounts that foster an environment of relationship building and lead generation, rather than social platform with little engagement. 

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