Best Social Media Channels for Your Business

We get this question a lot. Businesses always want the scoop on the hot new social platforms to invest in.

Then we always give the same answer, which is that “it depends on their specific business goals”.

It may disappoint some people, but there truthfully is no quick fix for social media marketing, nor is there a platform that will magically generate results.

Do you want to learn more? We’ll break down each social platform with the pros and cons so you can figure out which route you should take. Leave any questions or comments below if you think we missed something!

Online consumers tend to purchase in stages

The internet is saturated with content and people have learned to ignore most of the noise and focus on what catches their attention. With the abundance of sponsored content, consumers have begun researching brands and products before purchasing. This brings us to “The Customer Journey” which outlines the process from how people discover a brand, all the way to the point of purchase. This differs in many ways and is used by marketers to understand what appeals to their target audience.

When it comes down to it, consumers purchase from where they trust, so it’s up to brands to create funnels that introduce themselves, build trust, and convert prospects into customers.

In a typical funnel, there are three main stages:

Raising Awareness for your Brand, Product or Service

Establishes who your company is and what it does, so potential customers know for the future. Consumers are far more likely to consider your message if they are familiar with the brand facilitating the message.

This stage begins the process of establishing trust.

Promoting Consideration for your Brand

This process helps establish trust among prospects that might be shopping around for the product/service your brand provides. Consumers will naturally be more inclined to trust your brand after engaging with your content. The more helpful information your brand can provide to prospects, the more likely they will become a customer.

Inspiring Action

This is the process of converting prospects into customers. Establishing the connection with your brand will provide the context needed to close the deal when seeing your ads, so the first two stages are often overlooked, but very important.

For example, a consumer would be much more receptive to a “Buy One, Get One Free” promotion if they have a positive experience with the brand. Building brand trust is what determine if someone will pay attention to your ad and eventually consider making a purchase.

Let’s look at what differentiates these well-known social media platform from a marketing perspective.

Find Your Ideal Channels

Facebook

The largest and most-used social media platform can be considered the general “safe bet” for social media. This means that users from all audiences, regardless of demographic factors will be on Facebook. This won’t always make Facebook the “best” option, but it will almost never be a shot in the dark like some of the more niche options you’ll see below.

Pros: Has more active users than any other platform with a data-driven cost effective ad platform.

Cons: Newsfeeds have become less reliable and recent bad press has deterred some users.

Ideal objectives: Brand awareness, impressions, engagements, clicks.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Consideration, Action

Best Industries to target: Anything that doesn’t exclusively target young consumers (below 18 years old)

Twitter

It’s all about the news and what’s trending in the world of Twitter. Breaking stories, big headlines, and industry news makes up a lot of what Twitter has to offer. Their main audience consists of new-junkies, readers, writers, and industry experts.

Pros: Integrates very well with established Public Relations tactics and trending headlines can be leveraged for more quality impressions.

Cons: Threads are often saturated with content and people don’t use Twitter to make purchases.

Ideal objectives: Brand awareness, impressions, engagement.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration.

Best Industries to target: Any industry, as long as there is news surrounding it.

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LinkedIn

Thought of as the ‘professional Facebook’, LinkedIn offers a platform for brands to communicate from a business perspective. Not only is it beneficial for a company to have a LinkedIn page, it’s important for a brand’s credibility. This presents the opportunity for brands to showcase their values without the impression of a promotion.

Pros: The audience is segmented for business professionals, so audiences will be of high quality.

Cons: Advertising is very expensive.

Ideal objectives: Brand awareness, talent acquisition, public relations.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration, Action.

Best Industries to target: Any legal business.

Instagram

Instagram is the image-heavy and ‘mobile only’ platform that brings out the inner photographer within its users.

Pros: Large potential for organic reach and a data-driven cost effective ad platform, provides a big opportunity for brands to get creative and engage fans.

Cons: You can’t add links to individual posts and the user-base is fairly young (which could also be a pro).

Ideal objectives: Brand awareness and engagement.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration, Action.

Best Industries to target: Anything that doesn’t exclusively target older consumers (Over 35 years old).

Snapchat

The original social channel for live experiences, Snapchat is what gave rise to stories on Facebook and Instagram.

Pros: Great for local businesses and younger audiences. This means you can spend most of your campaign budgets on production and let the platform reach your audience accordingly.

Cons: Your audience is limited so if you aren’t a global brand or a local business, it will be difficult to reach your audience, and even when you do, the context might not be appropriate.

Ideal objectives: Brand awareness campaigns and local campaigns for small businesses.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration.

Best industries to target: Fashion, Entertainment, and anything else that is “experience-based”.

YouTube

YouTube absolutely dominates video for social networks. In addition to other content providers, some say YouTube will have the potential to surpass television one day. While you may not be able to post short blurbs like other channels, YouTube allows brands to get creative with high quality videos. This is an entertainment channel above all else.

Pros: High quality content will thrive and tends to encourage more engagement.

Cons: Platform is saturated with videos, so placements are highly competitive without a large budget and/or help from other successful channels.

Ideal objectives: Nurturing, and brand engagement

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration.

Best Industries to target: Entertainment, Fashion, Health, Tech.

Pinterest

Pros: You can segment your audiences by posting to different boards. It’s also easy to share content and click-through posts since they’re all hyperlinked.

Cons: Audience is very niche. This is a pro if your brand/products appeal to this niche, but is otherwise an obstacle as your audience will be very limited.

Ideal objectives: Driving E-Commerce sales.

Ideal Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration, Action.

Best Industries to target: Crafts, arts, décor, fashion, health.

Wrap Up

The truth is there is no “best social media channel” to use because their worth is based on the goals you set for your business. This is where your strategy comes in. There are strengths and weaknesses for all social platforms; the key is to identify which platforms you can most easily (and affordably) reach your audience.

This is accomplished when you:

  • Know who your audience is
  • Understand what your audience wants
  • Can provide value to your audience

Still trying to decide which social media platforms are best for your business? Contact our experts for a free social media analysis and we’ll break down your options for you.

Active Web Group has been in business for over 20 years, servicing businesses of all sizes and industries. With proven expertise in Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Web Design, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Brand Management, Content Development and more, we’re sure to have the tools to help you succeed. Can’t wait? Give us a call at (800) 978-3417 today!