Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
Updated: Apr 10
With 1 in 3 consumers using social media to discover new products and brands, having a social media presence is vital for businesses nowadays.
However, with so many social media platforms available, it can be overwhelming at first. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube… Should you use all of them?
Fortunately, you don’t need to be on all platforms, in most cases. It’s typically best to focus your limited resources on the platforms most likely to give you good returns.
So which platform is that? It depends on your target audience and the nature of your business.
When deciding on the right social media platform for promoting a brand or business, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here, we’ll share what you need to consider for the choice.
1. Target Audience
Understanding the demographics, interests, and social media habits of your target audience is key. You can’t choose a platform that will help you reach them effectively otherwise.
It’s not just about knowing your target audience either. You also have to know the demographics and engagement stats for each platform, so that you can match those to your audience.
For example, Facebook has a diverse user base with a broad range of ages and interests. By comparison, Instagram has a younger audience with a large portion of users below the age of 35.
Now switch to TikTok and you’ll get another demographic change, as that platform has a young and diverse user base with a large proportion of users under age 30.
Note that these demographic descriptions of a platform's users can change over time. This is why it's important to regularly research the audience of each platform – you have to check whether or not your target audience has moved elsewhere.
2. Business Goals
What do you want to achieve through social media marketing? Is it increased brand awareness? Lead generation? Actual conversions?
This is important to clarify from the start. Some platforms excel as tools for achieving some goals and perform poorly in others.
For example, you’ll find that some are better for building awareness and top-of-funnel initiatives, while others are better for conversion. You have to match your goals to the platforms that do best in delivering them.
For example, Facebook is best for businesses targeting a broad audience or those looking to build a community around their brand.
Meanwhile, Instagram is best for businesses targeting a younger audience, especially in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries.
And again, TikTok is best suited for businesses targeting a younger audience, especially in the music, dance, and entertainment industries.
3. Platform Features
Each platform also offers unique features that can affect the success of your campaign. They may even offer advertising and analytics tools developed for marketers.
That being said, given that most of the top social media platforms have similar or near-equivalent tools, this is probably going to be less of a concern than other considerations.
4. Advertising Cost
Because you’re very likely going to do some advertising on the social media platform you choose, it’s practical to consider the cost of ads from the start. This can be trickier than you think, however.
Let’s say you’re on a tight budget and want to pay as little per click as possible. In that case, it would seem obvious to head over to Twitter, where cost per click (CPC) is only $0.38.
It seems attractive because it’s even lower than Facebook’s $0.97. And don’t even bother looking at Instagram’s $3.26 and LinkedIn’s eye-watering $5.26.
But then again, is Twitter the best option if you’re here in Singapore? It’s not nearly as popular as platforms like Facebook or Instagram, so whatever you save in ad spend might cost you elsewhere.
This tells you that “raw numbers” don’t always provide the whole story when you’re optimising ad spend through platform selection.
Plus, there are other nuances to consider, like the fact that CPC on each platform varies by industry. On Facebook, for example, the average CPC for Finance & Insurance is $3.77 while it’s $0.70 for Retail.
As such, dig deep into the data when trying to find ad costs per platform. Look for estimates based on industry, billing model (CPC vs. CPM), ad types (and note that some types are more effective than others), and so on.
And note that the actual fees you pay platforms for displaying your ads aren’t the only things to factor in your calculations. You should also count the resources required for management and content creation!
5. Platform Synergy
While maintaining an active presence on all platforms isn’t typically feasible, doing it on just a few of them is. That’s when you need to consider how well different platforms may integrate with each other.
You see, using a combination of platforms is one of the best ways to create a comprehensive social media strategy.
Each platform makes up for the others’ shortcomings or boosts their strengths. They also grant you access to a wider audience thanks to differing demographics between them.
As such, you probably don’t want to get stuck in the mindset of thinking, “I need to choose just one platform that does everything.” No platform does that, anyway.
Look instead for at least a couple of platforms that align with your goals and synergise with each other.
A Last Word on Choosing Social Media Platforms
The notes above should help you find the platforms most likely to help your marketing strategies. That being said, here’s something to keep in mind as you do your research into each platform: things change.
Social media platforms are constantly evolving. Ensure that the data you’re referencing for each platform is still current, or you may end up expecting something from a platform that it can no longer provide.
You also want to check competitor presence and activity on each platform to get a better sense of the field. Find out how others are using social media, what new things they’re trying that seem to work, what’s trending, etc.
All of this can help you choose the best platform to start with so that your business can reap the advantages of social media marketing for business. You can even jump into some of our other social media posts for tips on how to get started then.
If you still think this is overwhelming, however, don’t worry. We can help!
We’ve run countless campaigns on social media for clients in various industries, helping them establish their presence online. We can do the same for you.
Contact us for a chat at any time for your digital marketing needs.