The Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Business

Social media is at its peak or what biologists would call the exponential phase of growth. Every day, new networks come up as developers seek to fill the gaps they find in the existing social media platforms. Since the birth of Facebook, for example, the social media giant has grown exponentially from just a mere site for college students into being a powerful online marketing tools. If you’re a business person and you’ve used it, I bet you totally agree with me.

In a world where social media platforms are rapidly being launched, businesses have a lot on their plates to choose from. Making up your mind on the best platform to dedicate more time and resources is, therefore, problematic. Of course, businesses must explore all options and establish themselves as much as possible. However, profit-making is the sole business of all businesses. As such, you need a quick turnaround time for any investment made.

Remember that I’m not preaching against multi-channel advertisement/ use, I’m just saying you need to identify your stronghold and utilize it maximally. I have compiled the best pointers for you to decide on which platforms to really concentrate on if you need some return on investment.Which joints does your target audience hang out?

Best Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Business

Best Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Business

Every business has its specific set of clients that it targets. These are your target audience. I’m guessing you’ve already done a market survey and stratified your customers depending on their needs/likes and dislikes. To make things even better, social media platforms such as Facebook allows you and your clients to post your likes and dislikes. It also allows you to join groups in which members share some common aspects.

You must have a clear picture of where exactly your target audience spends most of their time. Whether it means spying on your competitors’ websites or social media platforms to know where exactly where and what your target audience likes or simply asking them via mails make sure you know the exact details. Investigate on which platforms they invest their resources and how they do it. If they’re on different platforms, where exactly is most traffic or transformation (into leads/customers) coming from?

Some social media demographics show that Facebook is more popular amongst 18-29 year old and women, whereas LinkedIn is more popular with men, the educated and the most learned personalities. Since you’ve already categorized your clients, you can easily know where they’re much likely to spend their time.

Which platform better suits my content?

The preferred platform should fit your content suitability. Whereas some platforms are suited for almost all purposes, some are somehow specialized or content specific. Take Facebook, for example, it can be used for videos, images, audio, plain text and so on.

Facebook and Twitter are what we call ‘kitchen-sink’ networks. They can accommodate almost everything. However, some networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are more about image-based platforms. If you’re a professional photographer, then Instagram would be a better option for you compared to the video-based platforms such as YouTube, Vine, and Vimeo.

Similarly, video-based platforms would be much better for those experts who frequently prepare the how-to videos or bloggers who post expert interviews on their pages. This doesn’t curtail businesses, specifically the B2B, from using the video-based platforms for cross-promotion of their brands across the various video-supporting platforms. LinkedIn is another impeccable choice for businesses. You can use it for posting your various News feeds, publish your content and connect with specific personalities.

Which of your current profiles gathers you the most traffic?

Cross-promotion of your brand isn’t such a bad idea. In fact, it’s very healthy if you can keep up with the pressure of handling like 5 platforms at a go. Before you specialize in any one given platform, having a market presence in each network is a good strategy.

Anyway, these things are free and none of us would hate some free lunch. If you’re already established in all these platforms, then this question is entirely directed to you. Have you analyzed them and known which platforms gather you most traffic compared to the others? Facebook is way popular to start comparing its stats with other profiles. With an average monthly use of 1.7 billion users, it’d be crazy to even compare it with the rest of the networks.

Which platforms gather you more conversions?

The fact that a social media network is contributing some traffic doesn’t necessarily mean it leads to some customer conversions. Traffic isn’t good traffic unless your visitors take some actions. How much of their time do they spend on site after landing on it? How many of your visitors go through your content and respond to a valuable CTA?

These are the questions you need to ask. In calculating the conversion rates, such parameters as lifetime value, the value of a website visitor and the total value of new customers could be equally helpful. However, the most important factor to equate here is the number of traffic arising from the web directly excluding the offline sources.

What is your real goal in using social media?

We don’t all do the same things for the same reasons. Seriously, the world would be boring, right? Some businesses engage in social media for pure conversions, others brand promotions while others do it to create long-term relationships with their clients.

While some businesses are in social media for the traffic alone, others do it for the traffic+ the conversions. It’s time you did some meditation on what exactly you look into achieving from social media. Similarly, not all social media platforms will help you achieve all these reasons we’re all in the social media business for.

Follow your heart

Passion is one attribute that has made the most successful persons into who they’re. I’m sure we’ve all seen some college students drop from the Harvard-like universities to go pursue their interests somewhere else. That’s what I’m talking about. Do what you enjoy doing. If you have fun tweeting all day, then make Twitter your best friend. If you suck at SEO marketing don’t mess things up for your business.

Stick to making those funny or insightful videos that garner you thousands of views on YouTube. You can always get someone to do what you suck at and do it to their best abilities. Doing what you enjoy doing comes down to doing what you’re best at. If you have invested a lot of time in any one given network, you can be sure to get good at it in the long-run.

What can you afford?

We’ve always been told to live according to our means and I think it’s pretty important if we did. Some platforms require you to dig deep into your pockets to have your big ad space. Facebook and Instagram have some paid options for their clients.

However, some upcoming and fast-growing networks such as Snapchat are good enough for you if you hadn’t planned on using some cash on social media. It all comes down to doing what you can and doing it to the best of your capability.

Time dynamics

We all have our frame time here on earth. It’s the same thing I used to hear them call ‘a half-life’ in chemistry back then. The same happens scenario is bound to happen to some social media platforms if the developers don’t keep up with the changing times and the growing competition.

This is to say you need to identify what’s working for you now and what is bound to happen in the near future. The venture quickly into new upcoming networks before everyone else does. You’ll gather a following easier and faster that way. Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp and Kik messengers are some of the fast growing ventures you could explore.

There you have it. The first thing to do is soul-search yourself. A better understanding of the inner self and the ultimate purpose of your social media strategy would make a great start for you. You can then get down to the business of choosing the best platforms for your business.

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Article Author Details

Luisa Brenton

Luisa Brenton is a freelance blogger. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago's Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature and cinematography. She is interested in journalism as well. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.