Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Business?
by Sam Campbell
With limited resources, it’s essential for small businesses to focus on finding the right social media platform for the best growth. In this article, we review the most common social media platforms and look at the strengths and weaknesses of each to clarify which one might be best for your business.
Does your business need a YouTube channel? Is Facebook the right social media platform to expand your brand? Should you be on every popular platform to maximize your reach? With so many platforms to choose from, finding the right fit for your business can be problematic.
The best approach for most businesses is to handpick platforms that make sense for their brand. Before you make your decision, you must first ask the question, what is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a term for using social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Social media is one of the best platforms for marketing any type of business because of the size and diversity of the audience.
And in terms of the content you use to convey your message on these platforms, consider this: if a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? It can be argued that video is by far the most effective medium to stand out on these channels. So when you have a limited marketing budget, you must spend it wisely to get the most from your investment. Before you invest in social media marketing, we strongly suggest using video content.
If you’re still unsure if creating video content is for you, remember that videos on social media generate 12 times more shares than text and images combined.
To help you decide where your promotional video content will live once you’ve created it, we’ve compiled a list of 7 top-performing social media sites, a rundown of the pros and cons of using video, and the type of content that works well.
7 Top Social Media Platforms for Your Business
1. Facebook – 2.7 billion monthly active users
With an astonishing 1.79 billion daily users, Facebook is by far the largest platform. Coupled with a primary demographic of adults ranging from 18-54, almost anyone can find their target audience.
Facebook offers an advertising platform, which is perhaps the most developed of all the social media platforms. You can target your ads by age, gender, employment, interests, and purchasing behaviors, to name just a few. The ability to target such a precise audience makes Facebook a fantastic tool for lead generation and building a loyal fan base.
If you want to get your videos in front of potential customers, then you’ll need an advertising budget to reach them. Facebook operates a ‘pay to play’ model, which can become cumbersome for some smaller businesses.
All content formats work great on Facebook, whether it is text, images, or video. Facebook prioritizes content that people share and creates meaningful interactions between users. So it is paramount to develop videos that elicit a response.
2. Instagram – 1 billion monthly active users
When compared with Facebook, Instagram is a network of younger users, with more than half below the age of 34. With 6 in 10 users logging in at least once a daily, Instagram is the second most logged-in social media site for daily use, behind Facebook.
Initially starting as a photo-sharing app, Instagram has since expanded to include videos as part of their popular “Stories” feature and their newly launched IGTV. While photos remain the most common form of content posted, videos receive up to 21% more interactions. As Instagram is primarily a mobile platform, using square or vertical videos is vital.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram has access to the same user-based advertising tools.
3. Pinterest - 367 million monthly active users
Unlike other social media platforms where engagement is the focus, Pinterest is where people share ideas and be inspired. Users' pin' content and links onto different boards to store ideas.
While Pinterest has a more modest monthly active user rate than other social media platforms on this list, it can still prove useful for online stores. Pinterest users are proactively searching for products, with 93% using Pinterest to plan, research, or make purchases.
Pinterest is a visual platform, and images play a central part in the Pinterest experience. Pins are commonly images and infographics with a link back to the original website.
Videos are becoming more popular, and you can import them directly from YouTube.
Pinterest also offers an advertising platform for businesses to boost the reach of their posts and deliver autoplay videos.
4. Snapchat - 360 million monthly active users
If your target audience is primarily comprised of a younger demographic, then Snapchat will be one of the more effective social media sites for your business.
Snapchat is a social media app that focuses on users sharing photos and short videos between friends. This model has proven highly effective amongst younger generations, as 90% of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old.
Much like Instagram, Snapchat also has a "Stories" video feature; in fact, Snapchat first developed the format. A business can create an account, film a short video to show on their Story, which is visible to their Snapchat friends for up to 24 hours. To give your content a boost, Snapchat offers video advertising to showcase your content in people's feeds and in between their Stories.
Videos are only visible for a short period on Snapchat, and businesses can't get feedback on their videos, causing communication to feel restricted. This has led marketers to believe that the platform offers a poor return on investment. If you're reviewing Snapchat due to their key demographic, TikTok could be a better alternative.
While Snapchat can prove to be an effective video marketing strategy for businesses looking for younger demographics, it's not for everyone.
5. YouTube - 2 billion monthly active users
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users watch 1 billion hours of video every day. More than any other social media channel in this list, YouTube has become the platform for sharing information via video.
YouTube has become a powerful tool for business, as companies can create a video channel where they can upload videos to share with their subscribers. Users can connect with companies through likes, comments, and sharing content.
Ranked as the 2nd largest search engine on the internet, YouTube has become a massive search engine in its own right. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure your content is optimized for SEO. By inserting keywords in your title, video description, and including closed captions, you can improve video rankings without dipping into your advertising budget.
6. Twitter - 330 million monthly active users
With a strong emphasis on real-time information, Twitter is the go-to platform for things happening now. Users can post or ‘tweet’ photos, videos, and share links with an associated character limit.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and connecting directly with other customers. With the hashtag function, businesses can search a key phrase (hashtag) and find consumers' posts. This creates a strong emphasis on customer service as consumers can now interact directly with businesses and vice versa.
Often perceived as a text orientated platform due to the character limit, Twitter experiences over 2 billion video views each day. Video is currently their fastest-growing advertising tool, with tweets accompanied by video attracting 10x more engagements.
7. LinkedIn - 310 million active users
Used as a networking tool exclusively for professionals, LinkedIn is typically the choice platform for B2B businesses. As LinkedIn is considered a social media platform for business, users tend to include more accurate information about their job titles, employers, and email addresses.
Once thought of as merely a job search site, it has since evolved into a social media site where industry experts share content and a place for businesses to establish their thought leadership. Companies hoping to establish themselves as an authority in their industry can create a LinkedIn company page to share content with their followers.
If your business follows a B2B model or targets consumers based on job titles, then LinkedIn can be a powerful tool.
Which Social Media Platform Is Right for You?
There is no single social media platform that is ‘best’ for business. It’s more important to consider where your audience is active, what kind of product you are promoting, and how much time you have for your social media marketing strategy.
When you don’t have your own social media team, managing multiple platforms can drain resources. If you have limited time, resources, or bandwidth, you need to focus on the platform that’s best suited for your brand.
Video content is a fantastic way to increase your engagement on social channels, but creating videos can be intimidating. For some top tips, check out our article on video marketing for small businesses.
If you’ve never made a video before, why not consider Ad Director’s easy to use video creator. It helps you produce top-quality content designed specifically for business within minutes. Simply select your template, add your logo and text, and publish.
Our templates are effective straight out of the box, so whatever you want to advertise, you can get started in no time.