Ways to Narrow Down Your Social Media Platform Options

When it comes to social media, more is better, right? Wrong. Many brands make the unfortunate assumption that they absolutely need to be on every social media platform out there in order to maximize the impact of their social media strategy. To put it simply, this is a waste of time, energy, and resources. Instead of aimlessly tossing content out onto random platforms, you need to get your content in front of the people who matter most: your target customers. That means you need to choose the right social media platforms.

Of course, choosing the right social media platforms to cultivate a presence and attract the attention of your target customer is easier said than done. So, how can you narrow down your social media platform options to the ones that matter the most? Luckily, we’re here to help you out with these tips and tricks.

Figure Out Where Your Target Customers Are

“Beyond the obvious, though, you want to be on the same platforms your market is,” particularly when companies are just launching their brands, Samantha Harrington explained in Forbes. “When you run a startup, a million tasks are on your mind. So, you don't want to be managing a dozen social media accounts all at once. Choose the platforms that are most effective and focus your energy there.”

How can you figure out what social media platforms your target customers are using? Luckily, there are a number of great resources out there, and this Pew Study is a great place to start. The Pew Research Center, which has been tracking the ways in which Americans use social media over the course of the past decade, surveyed 1,520 adults in 2016 to figure out who is using what social media platforms, publishing the results in a report released in November 2016. The study offers broad insights into the behaviors of specific demographics (e.g., Twitter is most popular among the 18-29 age group, while Instagram is most popular with women and those living in major urban areas). However, it also offers insights that are more granular. For example, did you know that teenagers from wealthier households are more likely to use Snapchat, whereas their peers from lower-income households are more likely to be on Facebook? So, if you’re trying to peddle luxury wares to teens, you had better get a Snapchat account.

Ultimately, you will need to do quite a bit of research to figure out what social media platforms your target customers are using. While good research can be pricey and time-consuming, it is best not to cut corners here. You’re far better off investing upfront to have a good idea of where you should be building up your brand’s visibility. This upfront investment will pay off dividends in the long run.

Consider Frequency of Use  

It’s not just about what social media platforms your target customers are using; it’s also about how frequently they are using them. If 90 percent of your audience is on Pinterest, but the majority only checks in once a week or so, and 50 percent of your audience is on Facebook and must check into the site every day, Facebook may actually offer your brand more visibility.

When it comes to frequency of use, Facebook is the clear winner, with Instagram and Twitter taking second and third place, respectively. “Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with its users visiting the site more regularly than users of other social media sites. Roughly three-quarters (76%) of Facebook users report that they visit the site daily (55% visit several times a day, and 22% visit about once per day),” the aforementioned Pew study found. “Instagram and Twitter occupy the middle tier of social media sites in terms of the share of users who log in daily. Roughly half (51%) of Instagram users access the platform on a daily basis, with 35% saying they do so several times a day. And 42% of Twitter users indicate that they are daily visitors, with 23% saying they visit more than once a day.” By contrast, less than a quarter of LinkedIn and Pinterest users check into the sites daily.

Choosing to dedicate the time, resources, and energy to a site that your target customers not only use but also use frequently is important to the success of your overall strategy. Even if the majority of your target customers is using a site like Pinterest or LinkedIn, your best bet is to cultivate a presence simultaneously on a high-frequency-use social media sites, like Facebook or Instagram. 

Make Sure a Chosen Platform Supports Your Goals and Objectives

Once you have an idea of what social media sites your target customers are using and how frequently they are using them, you need to narrow down your social media options even further by figuring out which of these platforms best supports your marketing goals and objectives. If you’re a high-end executive recruitment firm, Pinterest probably isn’t the platform for you. After all, people tend to scroll through Pinterest in search of recipe ideas and fashion inspiration, so they’re probably unlikely to be in the mindset where they are thinking about recruitment firms.

“The one consistent mistake I see when it comes to social media marketing is broadly using social media platforms that fail to support your underlying agenda. You should only utilize social media platforms that will allow you to market towards a tailored audience that supports your organization’s overall strategy, while at the same time providing mutual communication and beneficial information,” Makenzie Bonham explained in Forbes, adding that it isn’t always the best idea to go for the latest fad when choosing platforms. “Don’t pick a platform simply because it’s popular or new to the app store. While it is important to keep up with the market’s current technology and trends, unless your marketing department has the time and the resources to devote day in and day out to each platform, avoid overextending your social media strategy.”

The bottom line is that some platforms lend themselves to certain goals and objectives more organically than others, so you need to have a think about what you are trying to accomplish and how a particular platform will help you to accomplish that.

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

Narrowing down your options is important to developing an impactful social media strategy. Last but not least, it is important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Only committing to one platform is just as ineffective as committing to too many. Your best bet is to choose several platforms on which you can cultivate a presence and develop a routine posting schedule.

Remember, the better you are strategically choosing your social media platforms, the more successful your social media strategy will be. Take the time now to choose platforms that your target customers are using and that reflect your goals and objectives. Putting the time in now to do this well will boost your ROI in the long run. If your company is in need of narrowing down the right social media platform for your company or content for your social media platforms, contact 10twelve today for a consultation.