It’s no secret that social media plays an important role in developing brand awareness and credibility. According to Pew Research Center, 7 in 10, or 72%, of American adults use social media. That means social media offers businesses the opportunity to reach more consumers in more ways than ever before.
So, we know social media is important, but there are many platforms to choose from: Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Which should your business use, who should you target, and how often should you post? The answers to these fundamental questions lie in your business strategy. Every business is different; therefore, no social strategy will be the same.
If your business is new to social media, it is unwise to try and be everywhere at once and spread yourself thin across multiple platforms. Take time to be strategic and start slow on the one or two highest priority platforms. As you start the selection process, ask yourself the 3 questions below to help determine the right platform(s) for your needs:
1. Who are you trying to reach?
It is important to know WHO you are trying to reach. Consider the demographics of your target audiences, such as ages, locations and interests. Then, establish your business on the platform that gives you the most visibility to those particular audiences.
If you’re trying to connect with middle-aged adults, Facebook might offer the best results. Pew Research Center indicated that 77% of U.S. adults ages 30-49 are Facebook users. If you’re aiming to reach younger generations, Instagram and TikTok could be the way to go. Seventy-one percent of adults ages 18-24 are on Instagram, and 48% of those ages are on TikTok.
If you’re trying to reach other businesses and industry professionals, LinkedIn typically offers the best results. Many businesses have accounts on this platform and interact with peers and other businesses in their industries or locations. LinkedIn will give you the best visibility to other companies and their leaders.
A great example of the power of B2B connections on LinkedIn comes from our client, Weinbaum Management Group, Inc. (WMG), whose company LinkedIn page we develop content for and manage. At the start of our engagement, WMG had 164 followers on LinkedIn. After only seven months of consistent and engaging content being shared, the page grew to 592 followers, many of which were accumulated through tagging other businesses in social copy. This tactic helps engage not only WMG’s audience, but the other company’s audiences as well. Through posting regular, insightful content and by tagging both individuals and organizations in posts, WMG’s following grew substantially, and its engagement skyrocketed, reaching target audiences quickly and efficiently.
2. What are you trying to communicate?
Define what success looks like before becoming active on a platform. Your definition should include clarity around key messages you aim to communicate regularly, and based on your goals, those key messages may differ across platforms. Are you aiming to achieve relevance, thought leadership or relationship building, for example?
If thought leadership is one of your goals, LinkedIn provides a great platform for showcasing insights from executives and C-suite leaders. Not only is LinkedIn where many industry professionals look for relevant news, but it also offers the ability to publish articles directly to its platform. Those content pieces are then shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds and sometimes through notifications. Creating an ongoing column for an executive at your company, for example, could be a great way to showcase their expertise in a more creative way and engage their followers directly.
On the other hand, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are all prime platforms for establishing social relevance and interacting with consumers in less formal ways. All of them offer the ability, on some level, to create relationships with consumers and peers and showcase your company’s brand and voice in unique and engaging ways. Here at Pierce PR, we use our Instagram account as a way to showcase our incredible team and events and recruit other PR pros to join in on the fun!
3. What type of content can you create?
It is important to consider your team’s bandwidth for content creation. Regardless of the platform you select, it is vital to post consistently while keeping in mind quality (and value) is always more engaging than quantity. Set yourself up for success by determining what’s manageable for your team, available resources and what your content is trying to portray.
Each platform highlights different types of content based on its algorithms. If you have the ability to create short-form videos that are trendy and relatable, TikTok and Instagram Reels are a great way to get large amounts of visibility with video content. Maybe video isn’t your thing, but you have stronger skills with creating static images and graphics. If so, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are where you should focus. LinkedIn may require less creative content, but posts should be consistent in keeping followers up-to-date on accomplishments, learnings and industry-related news.
Regardless of the platform(s) you choose, remember that consistency and value are key. Commit to staying up-to-date on platform-specific trends and changes so you can put your business in the best position possible.
We always tell our clients that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to social media. The best accounts are those that consistently share thoughtful, relevant insights and information. Have questions about the best social platform for your business? Get in touch with us today.
Carson Grace Burchette is an account coordinator at Pierce Public Relations.