So what are the top 3 social media channels for your business? I mean, is it better to use Facebook, or LinkedIn, or Twitter? How about Pinterest? Or one of the new channels like Webtalk?
You’re told that you should use social media to promote your business, network, and find leads, but that doesn’t answer the question, ‘which is the best social media channel to use?’.
Well, here’s the thing. There really is no easy or definitive answer to that question that suits every business.
That’s a good thing, though, because it means that with a little investigation, trial and error, and feedback, business owners, freelancers and the self employed can find the ideal social network, or networks, to use.
So if you still want to know the top 3 social media channels for your business, read on.
The social media channel your audience and clients use
If social media is all about, well, being social, then it makes sense that one of the best ways to use it is to get your business seen by the people you serve and the people you want to serve, i.e. your customers and your prospective customers.
There’s no sense in plastering your business all over a social media channel that isn’t used by anyone who would be interested in the services or products you offer.
Which social media channels do your customers use? One easy way to find out is to search online for your customers and find out where they appear. So, for instance, if one or more of your customers are wedding businesses, they may well use social media channels that are visual like Instagram and Pinterest.
Alternatively, ask them which social media channels they use and why.
What about attracting new business? If your prospective clients are businesses themselves, then searching for their online presence may work too.
Where you haven’t identified a specific business that you’d like to work with and only know the type of business, such as a wine merchant or a marketing agency, then find out where that type of business goes online. Again, picking out a handful of those types of business and searching online for them may well point out which their preferred social media channels are.
And what if your customers are the public, rather than another business? Well, this one may come down to:
- their age (for instance, teenagers are much more likely to use Instagram and Snapchat than Facebook these days),
- career (LinkedIn is still a top social media channel for business people but those employed in the creative industries may also use Instagram or YouTube),
- or other life factors (you’ll find a lot of parenting groups on Facebook, for instance).
For a business, social media is all about being seen and heard, so there’s no sense in playing to an empty theatre.
The social media channel that suits your content
What kind of content do you post on social media?
The answer to that question will depend on your business, what you want to accomplish with your posted content, and what you like and feel confident creating.
Where your content is visual, you’ll be better suited to using social media channels that are designed specifically for visual posts, such as Instagram and Pinterest.
When I say visual content, I’m not including video in that, but talking about…
The social media channel that generally springs to mind when thinking about video content is YouTube, but other channels have picked up on the popularity of video and made it easy to share videos and ‘stories’ there too.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all have their own ways to present video content, whether pre-recorded or live.
This will depend on the form your written content takes – short worded post, lengthy article, list, etc. Many of the social media channels are suitable for written content, but not all of them are a fit for every kind of written content.
Most of the channels have limits on the length of posts:
- Facebook’s limit is an immense 63,206 characters
- Twitter allows 280 characters per tweet
- LinkedIn status character limits vary from 700 to 1300 depending on the type of account
But that’s just for basic posts. Where you have an article or blog post to publicise, you can either link to it from a social media post or use one of the channels which allows you to post the entire article online.
The social media channel that you enjoy using
Most people will have a favourite social media channel, one that they feel comfortable interacting on and where they enjoy reading posts. My personal favourite is Twitter, both for my copywriting business and as an author.
Other people will prefer Instagram because of the visual aspect, or Facebook because they like the Facebook Live video element.
Nine times out of ten, you will find it easier to interact on behalf of your business on a social media channel that you like and are confident to use.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t keep up to date with developments across social media in general (I’m still struggling with the fact that I have to post to Instagram via my phone – darn mobile phone keyboard and my big fingers).
Fi’s Tip: You don’t have to limit yourself to one social media channel. One of the best ways to increase your online visibility is to alter the same piece of content to suit more than one channel. I use the three channels below.
Equally, you don’t have to use all of the channels, or even more than one. Do what serves you and your business best.
So there you have it – my answer to ‘which is the best social media channel to use?’.
If you’d like to see exactly how I use social media, you can find me in all the places below: