4 surefire ways to find the best social media platform for your business
If you’re wondering which social channels are right for your business, use these four key ways to find the best social media platforms for your online audience.
Whether you swipe right, use a matchmaking service, or organically strike up a conversation in-person, finding your right match can be a challenge.
Sure, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but which one is right for you?
Other questions that come to mind:
- How will you get along?
- What’s the best way to communicate?
- Do your interests and goals align?
Well, finding the best social media platforms for your online audience is no different.
You need to make sure it’s a good fit for your online business, brand, and your audience.
The last thing you don’t want to do is waste your time and resources on social channels that don’t make sense. Using social media to sell digital products takes some serious effort and time.
Today, to help you find the best social media platforms for your audience, we’ll share four helpful strategies for navigating your business relationship with social media, starting with making sure the basics are a match -- demographics.
#1. Match your audience with the social media demographics
To match your online audience with the right social channel, first, define your audience demographics.
You can do so by filling in these blanks for your typical audience member:
- Employment status
Beyond basic demographic details, dig into psychographic info by asking questions like:
- What type of personality and attitude do they have?
- What are their interests and hobbies?
- On average, how much disposable income do they have?
- How do they get their information?
71% of companies who exceed their revenue goals create personas, so clearly, it’s an effective strategy -- though it has limits on how far it can take you if you don’t have enough validated info on your audience.
(Don’t yet have a ton of info on your audience? Then check out this guide to conducting customer research.)
Regardless of whether you create personas or not, your next step is to compare your audience demographics across various social channels to see which platforms align the most.
To do this, just look at recent general comparison charts across social platforms, like this one based on demographic groups from Marketing Charts.
As you can see, you can analyze data across a variety of demographic details from very reputable sources (the Pew Research Center, in this instance).
Take location-based demographics, for example. 35% of Pinterest users are located in suburban areas and 21% in rural, whereas 74% of YouTube are in suburban and 64% in rural locations.
So, their general interests and access to amenities will be different.
But users’ location is far from the only metric you can use to whittle down your social media choices. You can also look into gender and age.
In that case, Facebook is basically split between women and men users, slightly leaning toward women at 54%. The majority of its users are within the 25-34 age range.
Pinterest’s user base, on the other hand, predominantly consists of women at 60% of new signups. The age range leans slightly younger than Facebook with 36% of its users falling into the 18-29 age range, too.
So, if your audience leans younger and more toward women, Pinterest would be a better starting place than Facebook.
Of course, if you want to make sure you’re on the right path with matching your audience demographics with the most relevant platform, another option is to simply poll your audience and find out what social channels they spend the most time on.
Once you have a general picture of your audience’s demographics -- and the platforms that best fit those -- you’ll likely have a long list of potential matches. To narrow it down further, your next move is to align your goals with each platform’s purpose.
#2. Match your goal to the purpose of each social platform
Another great way to find the right social platform for your business is to consider the purpose and best use of each channel and align that with your business goals.
Just as we did with your audience demographics, let’s start with your business first and define your social media goals.
Ask yourself, is your social media goal to:
- Build your brand awareness?
- Drive traffic to your site?
- Generate new leads?
- Increase your conversions, signups, or sales?
- Improve customer service and communication?
- Build a community around your brand?
No one is saying you can’t have all of those goals for social media, but for the sake of consolidating your efforts, it’s best to choose just one primary goal to guide your campaigns.
85% of businesses use social media to build brand awareness, and 71% use it to engage with their community.
After you’ve defined your social media goals, compare and contrast the purpose and best use of each platform with those goals.
These details matter, because every platform is designed to support different goals.
For instance, if you want to build relationships and brand loyalty, Facebook is the way to go.
Take Toms, for example. It’s a brand that engages with its audience to build brand loyalty, like in this Facebook post that illustrates the positive impact its customers helped create.
Whereas, YouTube, a “how to” search platform, is best for increasing your brand awareness in the education industry. Check out how creator Bryan Zavestoski uses his YouTube channel and posts instructional videos to promote his Meaningful Motion UI online course.
If your goal is to network and feed your audience relevant news, Twitter is ideal for posting articles and starting conversations, like in this tweet from the renowned coach and talk show host, Mel Robbins, which received several replies and comments just minutes after posting.
You can also network and build relationships with Instagram, just like creator Sander van Dijk does. He posted a quick video on Instagram about his launch of three courses, which received over 5,200 views and dozens of comments.
So, at this point, you should have an idea of which platform aligns with both your audience and goals, but there’s another thing you should consider: which platform best fits for the type of content you want to produce?
#3. Consider the ideal content format for each social media platform
To find the best social platform match for your audience, factor in the best-suited content format.
For instance, if your brand is big on sharing visual content, consider photo-sharing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Instagram is a visually heavy platform, with over 50 billion photos shared on the channel.
You can see how creator Lesya Liu’s Instagram profile features images that appeal to her audience of 7,419 creative entrepreneurs who want to grow their business using Instagram.
Pinterest also features visual content, reaching over 200 billion image-based pins.
Take creator Vanessa Ryan’s Pinterest profile, for example, which displays images that feature her design templates and email marketing content. With nearly 47,000 monthly viewers, Pinterest proves to be a natural fit for Vanessa’s audience.
If you have video content to share, you’ll likely want to invest your resources in managing a YouTube channel instead, like creator Jamie Keddie‘s YouTube channel, which has over 2,500 subscribers who consume his storytelling content for teachers.
YouTube isn’t the only ideal platform for videos, though. Facebook is another great platform for publishing your video content.
Better yet, if you’re able and willing to do live videos, Facebook Live videos are a great format for you to leverage.
Why? They increase your audience engagement.
So much so that Facebook Live videos spur six times as many interactions and 10 times more comments than standard videos. It’s little wonder over 2 billion viewers watched Facebook Lives last year.
If there’s an entrepreneur who does Facebook Live videos well, it’s Tiffany Williams. Check out her Facebook Live episode from her TiffanyTalks series, where she shares with her audience of women entrepreneurs tips on how to start an online business with little money.
Tiffany’s Facebook Live video reached over 5,600 views, which is a good sign that this format resonate with her audience.
If your business doesn’t focus on visual content, not to worry. There’s a social platform for you, too.
For written content, Facebook and Twitter may be a good fit for your brand. Try publishing article links and updates in your Facebook posts and Tweets just like entrepreneur, Mojca Zove, does in her tweet featuring her 7-Day Roadmap for Facebook ads.
Or GoodnessMe Box’s Facebook post that includes a link to their Wholefood Sweet Treats recipe book.
OK. So far we’ve got demographics, goals, and content types down, but there’s one final step to validate your platform of choice, and it comes from an unexpected source:
#4. Research which platforms your competitors use
Our final tip today for finding the right social platform for your audience is to find out which channels your competitors use.
You can start your research just as you would any competitive analysis and figure out who your competitors are as your starting point.
You can do so by making a list of direct and indirect competitors:
- Direct competitors - businesses that offer similar products and services as you
- Indirect competitors - businesses with offers that aren’t similar to yours, but provide an alternative or substitute to yours which solve the same problem
Once you’ve categorized your list of competitors, focus only on your direct competitors. Then, dig into their social media marketing platforms.
Pay attention to any patterns you may notice. If there’s a social platform that’s a common thread among your competitors, take it as a clue to use that channel for marketing your online business.
You can also dive deeper and study what types of content and formats work well for your competitors.
For example, if you’re in the business coaching industry, you may want to check out Jay Abraham who uses Facebook and YouTube as successful social media marketing platforms.
If you take it a step further and look at the types of content Jay posts, you’ll see that recordings of his keynote speeches and live events are popular on his YouTube Channel, like this video of him speaking at Tom Ferry’s Elite + Retreat event, which earned over 8,000 views.
On his Facebook page, you’ll find that his posts with educational copy and images of him speaking are the types of content that resonates the most with his audience, like this one that attracted 121 likes, 13 comments, and 11 shares.
By leaning into your competitors’ strategies, you can follow suit and create similar -- or, ideally, even better -- content on your own social channels that will also resonate with your audience.
Sounds doable, right?
By analyzing what your competitors are doing on their social channels, you can glean some useful insights to narrow down the channels and content types that will work best for your audience.
Swipe right and find your best social media platform match
Matching the right social media platform with your online business and audience doesn’t have to be like a hopeless romantic’s dramatic quest to find “the one”.
So long as you have the right steps in front of you, the path is straightforward.
Speaking of matchmaking, if you’re looking to streamline the management of your online storefront, use this two-week free trial to see if our all-in-one platform is the right match for you.
In the meantime, let’s recap those steps for you:
- Make sure your audience demographics match the demographics on each social channel. Use demographic and psychographic data for a more accurate matchup. You can also ask your audience directly what their preferred channels are.
- Align your social media goals with the social media platform best-suited for your goal. Each platform is designed with a different purpose.
- Factor in the content format that’s ideal for both your business and each social platform. For visual-based content, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are ideal. For written content, Facebook and Twitter work well.
- Finally, conduct research to find out which social platforms your competitors are using to promote their profitable digital products, then follow suit.
Here’s to you swimming directly to your best social media platform match(es)!