Which social media is right for my business?
1 min read
Choosing the right social media for your business will help you achieve your goals, talk to the right audience and ensure you aren’t wasting your time on the wrong platforms.
It has never been easier for business owners to share their story across social media. However, in recent years the choice of social media channels available to users has skyrocketed. With so much available it is difficult to understand what differentiates social media channels, where the value is and what the right social media is for your business.
This guide will help you understand how best to use each of the biggest social media channels and decide which channels are best aligned with your business goals.
Why is social media marketing for business important?
Social media is a great tool to increase brand awareness, nurture relationships with customers, share your brand personality and generate leads.
Potential customers can access your business from countless digital channels including:- organic search, email, referrals, forums, directories and of course social media, to name a few.
Though no one digital channel is any better or worse than another, it is crucial that your brand has a presence in as many as possible, to ensure that customers can find you regardless of where they are looking.
2021 social media usage statistics
Did you know that, as of 2021 there are 4.20 billion social media users worldwide, which is 53.6% of the global population? The average person spends two hours and 25 minutes a day on social media and 44% of the total time we spend on mobile devices each day is spent on social media applications.
So what? Just because people spend hours on social media doesn’t mean they want to be engaging with your business, right?
Well, 63% of users report their primary reason for using the internet is for finding information. Social media is a key fact-finding tool, as 45% of global internet users reported that they use social media at least once a month to research products and services that they are interested in. This figure grows higher as user groups get younger.
So, what does all this mean? Checking social media is a key part of most people’s daily routine and consulting social media prior to making a purchase decision is a core part of most people’s buying patterns. With this in mind, any brand that wants to leverage digital marketing as a driver for growth, must incorporate social media into their marketing mix to best cater for user behaviour, trends and expectations.
Which social media is right for your business?
Now that you understand why your business needs to be on social media, you must decide which channels to invest your efforts into.
One of the primary factors in a failed social media strategy is spending too much time, money and resources on the wrong platforms.
With new social media platforms being launched seemingly every day, it can be easy to get lost in the endless sea of choice. How do you know which social media is right for your business?
The answer to which social media platforms you need to be on for your business can be answered by deeply understanding your audience and their needs.
To do this, hypothesise your audience and create audience personas, flesh out their demographics and psychographics and plot, in detail, the types of content they might consume and where you think they would access such content.
Then, create profiles on these platforms to create and distribute the content you believe will be successful. Constantly review and refine the content to ensure you understand what’s working and what isn’t, to further refine the audience persona and the content you produce to engage them.
For example, say your business makes custom made surfboards; your target audience is women aged 30-34 with a high disposable income and you hypothesise that these users frequently visit Instagram and LinkedIn. In this case, creating content for Facebook, Twitter and TikTok could be a total waste of your time as you’ve hypothesised that your users are not regulars on these platforms.
Could other potential customers exist on those platforms? Absolutely! But it is always recommended to fish in the waters you know are richer than to spread yourself too thin and compromise on the quality of the catch.
Which social media is right for your business? Whichever channels you believe your customers already use. Experiment with alternative channels to understand how successful content could be there, but the majority of your effort should be spent in the places you know your customers already are.
Don’t follow where your competitors go, follow your customers.
Social media demographics you need to know
Social media user demographics are constantly changing, your most valuable customers may move between multiple platforms over their lifetime, so it’s crucial to stay on top of which users are where.
Here is a snapshot of the must know social media demographic data for 2021 to inform your social media marketing strategy.
Facebook demographics and usage
Monthly active users: 2.7 billion
Largest age group: 25 – 34 (26.3% of users)
Gender split: 44% female, 56% male
Daily use: 38 minutes
Key takeaways from 2021 Facebook demographics
- Facebook still remains the most popular social media platform with the highest number of active users.
- The sustained use of the platform by the baby-boomer generation still leaves it very ripe for advertising.
- The theory of younger users leaving the platform isn’t quite true though it’s definitely not their primary platform.
- Despite the pandemic, Facebook Ad revenue and usage has increased, signalling it still remains one of the core social medias most people use.
Instagram demographics and usage
Monthly active users: 1 billion
Largest age group: 25 - 34 (33.1% of users)
Gender split: 57% female, 43% male
Daily use: 29 minutes
Key takeaways from 2021 Instagram demographics
- Instagram’s sustained growth continues, solidifying its position as the second-largest network, after Facebook.
- Since the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook in 2012, the ongoing integration of the Facebook ad platform into Instagram has provided ever-growing cross-promotional opportunities for businesses.
- Though well adopted by older demographics, the platform is aggressively trying to acquire users from both TikTok and Snapchat who command a greater market share of this group.
- Recent data highlight a correlation between the value of influencer marketing and increased motivation for users to shop.
Twitter demographics and usage
Daily active users: 187 million
Largest age group: 30 - 49 (44% of users)
Gender split: 32% female, 68% male
Daily use: 3.53 minutes per session
Key takeaways from 2021 Twitter demographics
- The usage, user base and growth continue to remain consistent year on year.
- The straight to the point, short-term interaction cycle continues to position it as a platform for rapid news digestion and as a customer service portal.
- Twitter remains a leader in facilitating discussion and sharing breaking news, however, this remains a tricky ground for advertisers to thrive in.
- In the US, 42% of Twitter users hold a University degree, compared to only 31% of the American population in general. This makes it a great platform to target high earners, depending on industry.
LinkedIn demographics and usage
Total users: 738 million
Largest age group: 46-55
Gender split: 51% male, 49% female
Usage: 63% of users access LinkedIn each month and 22% of users log on weekly
Key takeaways from 2021 LinkedIn demographics
- It is often believed that LinkedIn is exclusively used by older demographic groups, however, around 1:4 LinkedIn users are millennials.
- A well educated and high earning B2B pool on the platform makes LinkedIn very lucrative for ads.
TikTok demographics and usage
Monthly active users: 100 million
Largest age group: 18-24
Gender split: 59% female, 41% male
Usage: 45 minutes per day
Key takeaways from 2021 TikTok demographics
- Signalled by TikTok's 100 million monthly active users, it's safe to assume that TikTok is not a trend and here to stay.
- TikTok boasts a hyper-engaged userbase with the average user clocking 21.5 hours per month in 2021, up from 12.8 hours in 2019.
- Despite a high concentration of young users, the usage among older demographics is growing - making the platform ripe for ad experimentation.
- Ad features are expected to emerge in 2021, but brands are already capitalising via influencer marketing.
Pinterest demographics and usage
Monthly active users: 459 million
Largest age group: 30 - 49
Gender split: 78% female, 22% male
Usage: 14.2 minutes a day
Key takeaways from 2021 Pinterest demographics
- Pinterest boasts one of the highest concentrations of female users on any major social media platform.
- Pinterest's userbase remains dedicated and loyal to the platform with recent spikes in new signups from both Gen Z and millennials.
- Pinterest remains one of the most product orientated platforms, making it ripe for advertising and solidified by increased ad spend.
What content should I be posting on social media?
How do you know if you need to create Instagram Reels, Twitter Spaces, LinkedIn Articles or a Discord Channel?
Social media content exists in countless forms now, from 15 second Instagram Stories to 90-minute Clubhouse chats. Users want to consume content in an ever-changing way, but how do you decide which forms of content are right for your business?
The answer is quite simple. Where is your audience? What are their problems? And how can you solve them?
Chasing the latest trends, fads, challenges and algorithm changes might help you to create content that makes the social media channels happy - but unless content engages your target audience and aids in meeting business goals; it will quickly become an expensive and time-consuming hobby.
Always remember why you are on social media and why you are making content. Trying to grow vanity metrics, such as likes and follower numbers might make you feel good, but these don’t necessarily correlate with growing your business. Focus on engaging the right audience, with the right content at the right time to maximise the likelihood of users making conversion-level actions.
It’s time to get social!
That’s it! After reading this guide you should be able to better understand what your business wants to achieve on social media and which platforms will support your business in meeting those goals.
So get stuck in, pick one or two platforms to get started with and begin by consistently putting out high-quality content. Be patient, review and refine your work and you’ll be growing an audience, having great conversations and converting leads into sales in no time.