What social channels are right for your business?
As a business owner, deciding what to post is difficult. Add in the 12 top-performing social media channels to deal with in 2021, deciding where to post can be just as tough!
Choosing the best social channels depends on a few key factors. Number one on that list is where your target audience is hanging out.
In this article, we’ll help walk you through the rest, and ultimately lead you to the best social channels for your business!
Identify Your Audience
Who are you trying to reach? This is your target audience, also called your “buyer persona.”
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on data and research. It’s important to carefully craft your ideal customer to tailor your content appropriately, select the optimal media outlets to advertise on, create goals for your business and so much more.
Your buyer persona is the foundation of your business and deserves a proper, in-depth characterization before you focus on content creation.
When designing your buyer persona, ask yourself the following questions:
- How old are they?
- What industry do they work in?
- What kind of lifestyle do they live? (Do they work a 9-5 desk job? Are they a single mom of 5? Are they a millennial post-grad?)
- What are their hobbies?
- What are some of their short-term goals? Long-term?
- Why do they need help? What problem are you helping them solve?
Of course, these questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the idea.
It’s almost like creating a vision board, except with a focus on curating one very specific person.
Get down to the most micro level of your ideal customer, and you’re sure to provide the most high-quality, relevant content possible.
After you’ve gone through the process of perfecting your demographic, it’s time to start researching to determine which platform is right for your business.
For example, if your buyer persona is a millennial, Facebook probably isn’t where you want to go. You’ll likely want to head over to Instagram or TikTok. Alternatively, Facebook is the perfect place to go if your demographic is age 65+, as it’s the most popular social network among seniors.
The examples above show how valuable pinning down your target market is. Instead of following the pack with marketing strategies, take inventory of who your ideal consumer really is, and where they are.
Evaluate Current Performance
Before changing directions with your social media strategy entirely, it’s a good idea to evaluate your status across the channels you’re currently active on.
If you’re set up as a business account across your media platforms, you likely have access to insights regarding your profile’s performance.
Schedule some time to do a deep dive with these FREE analytics to understand where you should focus moving forward. You may even find that your engagement is higher than anticipated on a certain platform, indicating you should continue to invest your time and resources there.
Here are a few examples of the robust amount of information you can gather from social media analytics after you convert your profile to a business account:
Additionally, Google Analytics is another great FREE tool you can use to assess customer conversion. You might be advertising like crazy, but if those promotions aren’t encouraging more visits to your company’s website, you may want to reevaluate.
Google Analytics also offers another noteworthy report detailing your “bounce rate.”
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. It’s an important metric to pay attention to when looking for areas that need improvement.
Maybe you aren’t addressing a frequently asked question on your Q&A page. Maybe your website could use a facelift if it’s outdated. This report will highlight those trouble areas and lead you in the right direction to make necessary changes.
You can get started utilizing Google Analytics under Acquisition & Social & Network referrals.
Your results will look something like this:
Check out this 4-Step Guide to Tracking Social Media in Google Analytics if you’re interested in more detailed instructions!
Understand the Objective of Each Platform
Each social media platform, from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook and beyond, was created for a unique purpose. Sure, over time their original intent has certainly evolved, but overall, each channel is tailored to a very specific type of content.
With this in mind, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what those objectives are to pick the right channel for your business and generate top-performing content.
Let’s break down the main purposes of some of the most popular social media platforms, and outline a handful of best practices for each:
Instagram is the #1 platform for visual content. We love it for the purpose of establishing a brand’s voice, personality, and culture. This is the place to tell your story in the most creative and authentic way possible.
- Create a consistent, yet diversified grid
- Make sure you convert to a business account to take advantage of those insights we talked about earlier!
- Go live to easily connect with your community, and interact with them in real-time
- Post at the right time
Hootsuite analyzed 258,956 Instagram posts from 11 different industries to determine the ideal time to post for each. Check out their findings:
- Travel and tourism: Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Media and entertainment: Tuesday and Thursday, 12 to 3 p.m.
- Food and beverage: Friday: noon.
- Retail: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, noon.
- Professional services: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 or 10 a.m.
- Nonprofit: Tuesday, 10 a.m. or 4 p.m.
- Non-retail e-commerce: Thursday, 4 or 9 p.m.
- Pharma and healthcare: Wednesday and Sunday, 9 a.m.
- Personal care: Thursday and Friday, 1, 2, or 3 p.m.
- Technology: Monday and Tuesday, 2 p.m.
- Education: Thursday, 4 or 5 p.m.
Facebook is all about building community. With its reputation as the largest social networking platform available, Facebook offers endless possibilities for cultivating relationships which is what your business is all about – right?!
Basically, it’s the OG of social media marketing, and although it might not be the first outlet you run to when looking to share your brunch flat lay these days, it’s an important one to take advantage of.
- Post original content on Facebook, as opposed to linking from other platforms
- Create Facebook groups to unite your community, and spark conversation among loyal customers
- Link articles to attract users to your website
Twitter requires users to be clear, concise and calculated.
With a 280-word character limit, you need to be short and sweet, yet thoughtful and impactful with your message.
Twitter is arguably one of the more difficult media outlets to conquer because of this, but with the right approach, the platform can take your business to new heights.
- Use images and video to enhance your message
- Create a call-to-action as often as possible to increase engagement rates
- Use timely and relevant hashtags
- Implement recurring hashtags weekly to create a schedule for yourself, and give your audience something to look forward to
It’s time to throw on your button-down, and dust off your briefcase (do people still carry these anymore?).
Obviously, we say this as figuratively as possible, considering we’ve been in the same loungewear since … well … does it really matter?
The point being, LinkedIn was made for engaging with companies and professionals, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward.
- Connect with other professionals in your industry
- Encourage your team to keep their profiles updated
- Showcase industry and company events
Sprout Social has a great article with more detail regarding demographics!
If you’re interested in even more detailed best practices for your social media accounts, come hang out with us!
Focus on Niche Platforms
Sure, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are probably the first social media platforms you think of when marketing for your business, however, alternative channels may have a higher ROI than you think.
Let’s look at Pinterest for example.
Pinterest is originally known for recipes, DIYs, and outfit inspiration, but today, it’s actually a leader in the digital marketing space.
Pinterest is unique in the sense that it’s also a search engine. In fact, according to one Pinterest expert, more than one-third of Pinterest users choose the platform over Google search.
These stats are huge if you’re a business owner!
Another notable example of a more specialized networking platform is TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, offering a seamless coordination process, with features like hotel accommodations, restaurant recommendations, and traveler reviews.
If you’re in the hospitality industry, this is a platform you’ll want to invest in by engaging with customers regularly and keeping your company’s information up-to-date.
With such a large reach, it’s no wonder TripAdvisor is the one-stop shop for authentic, timely travel recommendations.
Similarly, you may be familiar with Reddit for reasons outside of your marketing goals (most recently the GameStop/Robinhood stock drama…). However, Reddit is a gold mine for your advertising strategy.
You’re sitting on a pot of gold and likely haven’t bothered to take the lid off yet.
As of today, Reddit is ranked #7 in most visited websites in the United States, above the likes of Twitter, Netflix, and Instagram.
Reddit is THE place for researching your target audience and industry.
With over 2.2 million active subreddits, or niche communities of members, Reddit is a fantastic platform for gaining insight into your goal demographic, as well as following industry trends.
Big players like Instagram and Facebook market to a wide variety of people for a wide variety of reasons. Honing in on niche platforms opens the door to a higher quality consumer who has a vested interest in your specific industry.
Want more advice on what social channels are right for your business? Join Relly for as little as $14.99/mo. Get access to educational resources, 1:1 support from marketing experts, and copy and paste social content.
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