Small businesses can quickly become overwhelmed with the number of tasks required to maintain an effective social media marketing strategy.
Each individual social media platform requires consistent attention to:
- Content creation
- Post scheduling
- Analytics and insights
- Follower engagement
Businesses trying to juggle 3 or 4 different social channels can end up compromising in other areas, for example, the day-to-day operations of their business.
Fortunately, keeping up with multiple social media channels isn’t a requirement for successful marketing.
Small businesses should consider focusing their efforts on one primary social channel to maximize return on their marketing investment.
Cultivating a robust, engaged target audience on one social channel allows your team to conserve resources and provide a higher-quality experience to your followers.
Of course, the one essential step to success when focusing on one social media channel is choosing the platform that will best serve your industry, content, and engagement needs.
This article explains how to choose the right social media channel for your small business.
To choose the best social media platform, small businesses should consider:
- Social media goals
- Industry trends
- Content types
- Audience preferences
#1 – Social Media Goals
Determining your social media objectives is crucial to choosing the best channel for your brand.
Consider your purpose on social media and the action items required to achieve your goals.
For example, you might choose one of the following objectives:
- Growing your audience
- Developing a smaller, more-engaged following
- Boosting sales
- Generating leads
Review your objectives in order to choose the social channel that will allow you to stick out for the competition.
2. Industry Trends
Research how your competitors and industry peers approach social media to gain insight into what works best for your target audience.
If your small business is part of the fashion industry, for example, it makes sense to research which channels drive the most engagement for fashion brands.
According to a report by Meltwater, five top fashion brands utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Using industry trends and competitor insights, you can adjust your strategy to achieve optimal results.
3. Content Types
Consider what type of content you’ll generate for social media, and ask yourself which platform does the best job at delivering that type of content.
If you frequently publish videos that are less than 60 seconds long, Instagram is a popular platform for short-form videos.
For example, Entrepreneur publishes a series of motivational videos that are each about one minute long.
Brands that publish longer videos will lean toward YouTube, where the average video length is 4 minutes, 20 seconds.
Videos are dynamic and engaging and are particularly effective among younger social media users. They can also be easily repurposed and integrated into company websites with the help of web designers.
Business-to-business (B2B) brands looking to generate leads often choose LinkedIn as their primary social channel, since it’s an excellent platform to network with other B2B professionals.
SEO expert and SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin, for example, regularly share content and engages with people on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is also a great opportunity for B2B companies to establish a brand voice and thought leadership among fellow professionals.
Once you identify the type of content you will share on social media, you can create a strategy specifically focused on that particular type.
4. Audience Preferences
Before making a final decision about a primary social channel, research where your target audience spends the most time online.
Age influences people’s social media habits, according to a recent report by portfolio website Visual Objects.
Facebook is the most popular social channel for all ages except Generation Z (18 – 24-year-olds), who prefer YouTube and Instagram.
Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers all still prefer Facebook. Your company should need to understand these sorts of trends to determine how to target and execute on your social media strategy.
Businesses Only Need One Social Media Channel
Understanding which social platform is the best fit for your industry, content, and audience allows your business to maximize efforts on one channel.
If you’re struggling to create an effective marketing strategy for a channel, or if the channel you choose is unfamiliar to your team, digital marketing agencies can step in and help with your content and strategy.