Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Marketing: 10 Key Considerations

The proliferation of social media sites has made it so much easier for companies to get in contact with the core consumers of their product. However, this extensive proliferation has led to the segregation of demographics based on the appeal of the platform to a particular group.

Companies can’t afford to dive into every social media channel halfheartedly. The most effective method is choosing a few platforms and focusing on them exclusively to deliver content marketing to the company’s core customers. Below, 10 members of Forbes Agency Council explain what companies should be looking for when determining which social media platforms give the best return on time and monetary investment.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Where Your Audience Is

Many make the mistake of being on every platform, but the key is to be on the platforms that your target audience is on. Pinterest is mostly older female millennials and young female baby boomers; Facebook and Twitter’s users are mostly millennials; Snapchat is predominantly Generation Z. Meet your audience where they are and go from there. – JC Hite, Hite Digital

2. How Your Audience Uses Social

Knowing how your audience uses a specific social channel is key in understanding if the brand should participate. Your audience could be huge on Snapchat, but if they are looking for entertainment that your brand can’t authentically provide, don’t do it. Another strategy is to have influencers take you into channels where you can’t authentically play as a brand. – Brandon Murphy,

3. What You Have To Offer

Brands posting on every channel about national “days” (Doughnut Day, Taco Tuesday, etc.) is ineffective. What content is your brand capable of producing, how does it add value to your customers and how does it build your brand? Answer those questions and it will likely push you toward certain channels and away from others. If you can’t consistently produce video, for example, YouTube isn’t for you. – Jim Tobin, Carusele and Ignite Social Media

4. Marketing Personas

The first aspect to take into consideration is the customer base of a company. Every social media channel has a more or less specific type of marketing personas and the customer base should reflect that target based on gender, generation (millennials, X, Z), country, etc. For example, if you company’s customer base is women over 60 in Europe, TikTok wouldn’t be the best option for your strategy. – Alessandro Bogliari, The Influencer Marketing Factory

5. ‘Who,’ Then ‘Where’

Asking “who” is critical. Knowing who the target demographics are and therefore what social media platforms they are on is a necessity. By determining key target demographics, it will help determine the “where” in terms of which social media platform clients should be in and also where it is appropriate to engage with those potential clients, customers and guests. – Durée Ross, Durée & Company, Inc.

6. Your ‘Why’

Why you do what you do is the first critical step to defining your brand narrative and must be answered before addressing what you do, how you do it and where to reach your target audience. Consumers buy on emotion and knowing why you offer a product or service, your reason for existence, is the most important thing to share. – Pete Canalichio, BrandAlive

7. Your Brand Story

Every social platform has unique strengths in telling a brand’s story and connecting with consumers. Auditing each platform as a tool in telling the brand story is how we come to recommend one over the other. – Brian Salzman, RQ

8. The Company’s Goals For Social Media

Many organizations don’t take the time to understand expectations. In our experience, companies jump on social platforms hoping to reach their audience without understanding what they hope to gain. Understanding what a company hopes to get out of their social interaction should help better define the channel(s) they should be focusing on. – Bo Bothe, BrandExtract, LLC

9. What Types Of Services You Provide

LinkedIn is the single biggest market square for professional service providers. The “where” question has a simple answer in my mind. If you are in professional services, focus on LinkedIn. Develop an ideal client profile. Join groups that aggregate people who fit that profile. Get a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account and find people who fit the profile. Then connect and share great ideas. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

10. How You Fare Across Multiple Platforms

It’s important for companies new to social media marketing to perform testing across multiple social media platforms in order to determine which platform performs the best. A/B testing can be performed with different types of media and copy to see what resonates the best with their target audience. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC