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Best Social Media Marketing Platform Choices For Businesses

Which social media platforms work best for your business marketing plan?

Unless your business has a really big marketing budget, or a lot of time for effective social networking, I find it best to focus most of your time on the 2 or 3 of the social media platforms which fit best with your business goals.

I find that one of the biggest mistakes a business/brand can make, is to leap into social media while having no clue on how the platforms work, and not having goals set in mind to begin with.

I am a big fan of the SMART technique when it comes to creating actionable social media goals.

SMART Goals

Specific: Be specific with what you would like to achieve! Are you wanting to raise brand awareness? Do you want to increase your sales? Improve your customer service? Strengthen your customer loyalty? is your target audience (B2B) Business to Business or Business to Consumer (B2C)?

Measurable: How will you know that your social media goals have been achieved? Which analytical tools will you use to track your progress?

Achievable: Are your goals realistic? When first starting to utilize social media, I suggest not aiming too high. It can be bit deflating when you are not experiencing high success right off the bat. Getting really adept to Social Media Marketing can take a bit of time, patience, and experimentation.

Relevant: Are your goals aligned with your company or business mission, vision, and values?

Time Specific: How soon do you want to achieve your goals? For adding a focus to your social marketing, have one overarching goal at a time. Example: “I would like to increase traffic to our website 15% in the next 3 months“.

There are a variety of methods and practices used for engaging your business and brand in the social media marketing world. Sharing content such as: articles, videos, images, infographics, lists, quotes, company news and events are just a few.

I am writing this article to specifically examine the target audience/demographics for each of the popular social media platforms, and adding some starting methods/tips in which to use these platforms to meet your business marketing goals.

Facebook is easily the most visited social network in the world with well over a billion users on desktop and mobile devices. Still the king of social networks, your target audience is pretty much guaranteed to be there.

The biggest percentage of users fall between the age range of 18-44 and there is a bit of an increase for male users. This is an excellent platform for brand awareness, paid advertising, business reviews, events and some content marketing.

With Twitter averaging 6,000 posts per second, this social media platform can be intimidating at first. The good news is, once you get set up and going, you can share a variety of content and have the flexibility to share often! Brand awareness, content marketing, and customer service will pay big dividends from your Twitter business account.

Engagement and interaction is made simple on Twitter. You can like, retweet, reply and quote for all posts submitted into your timeline. Twitter allows you to promote your business but gives you a more personal voice as well. This helps establish relationships as your content can be varied and reflect a bit more about your business and individual personality.

Instagram is sought out by more than 800 million monthly active users, and is the fastest growing social platform. The site is especially appealing to the millenials and younger audiences. It is ideal to promote products from online stores of fashion, art, decoration, travel, beauty, etc. It has become a reference of inspiration and information.

If you have your own brand, you really should be on Instagram. This social platform allows you to share photos and videos for 15 seconds.

YouTube is the second biggest search engine today, and processing 300 billion searches a month! Video marketing can be a valuable asset for your business, and promoting relevant, quality videos on your YouTube channel will do wonders.

Although some may question that this is a social media platform. In my mind, there is no doubt that it is. You gain subscribers, you have comments, and you build relationships.

30% of users are between 45 and 54 years old, 22% are between 35 and 44 years old and 18% between 25 and 34. It is a key piece to attract consumers through tutorials, video blogs, branded content and experiential marketing.

Brands use this medium to make viral campaigns producing original, entertaining and high quality videos.

This is an excellent platform for brand awareness and content marketing!

Since launching in in 2010, Pinterest has reached 175 million active users and continues to keep growing. Pinterest is the second biggest driver of traffic, next to Facebook, and it is no surprise that thousands of businesses around the world use this platform to showcase their brand.

Whether pins are posted by an individual or business, they have a few things in common: they pair super images with content that solves a problem, inspires a user, offers something desirable, or appeals to a hobby or activity.

75% of Pinterest users access this platform via mobile. With the rapid rising of mobile users, this social media platform plays well for gaining overall traffic. This is a content marketing dream, as your pins (images and now videos), can link up to your website products and landing pages.

LinkedIn is the central hub on the Internet for connecting professionals and businesses that want to market their expertise and skills to the world! LinkedIn is more of a professional site, and not necessarily for social enjoyment. This site acts as a professional networking event, so your approach should be treated as such.

As an individual, you can establish a professional profile, control the top search results for your name, and build a broad network of professional connections, tap into their knowledge, and discover new business opportunities.

A LinkedIn Company Page is a place for companies to provide more information about themselves and their products and services. Also, they can provide job opportunities and expert insights.

Any LinkedIn user can follow a Company Page to receive and interact with updates to their home page. This will drive brand awareness to a personal profile page and help with social engagement.

Research by LinkedIn has revealed that you only need 100-200 followers of your Company Page to reach the tipping point to start making an impact and driving engagement. It is very ideal to have a complete personal profile and Company Page acting together for maximum engagement in the LinkedIn community!

At the moment, the majority of users are men with a technological profile, at 57%, and only 44% are women.

Launched in September of 2011, Snapchat has garnered 150 million users daily, and in its own right, has become a very effective social media marketing tool. Millennials eat, breathe, and sleep with this popular app.

This video and photo sharing app is worlds apart from its rivals: all messages shared between friends via Snapchat, will self-destruct, never to be seen again! If you switch your thinking to view that this time limit is an opportunity, rather than a limitation, then this tool can be very effective for your business marketing!

When a customer is notified of a Snapchat message, first – they will be excited about the mystery it holds, and second – they know as soon as they open it, the need to pay close attention as they know that soon it will disappear forever!

By today’s standards, 10 seconds of someone’s undivided attention like this – especially on a medium as personal as mobile, is as valuable as gold!

Five tips for good practices on social media platforms

After choosing the most effective social media platforms for your business toward reaching your target audience, it is important to take into account some practical advice when starting to use these tools. Here are a few tips:

Social media marketing (SMM) can’t be ignored. Using the most effective platforms and an optimal strategy, your business can easily achieve desired results in no time. Remember that it is not about quantity, but about the quality of the most effective platforms which allow you to capture your target audience and help you grow your brand.

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