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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

How To Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Your Brand

Updated: Jan 15, 2021



With hundreds of social outlets to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to figure out which one works best for your brand. It is often tempting to try and dabble into all platforms to reach your brand's maximum potential. However, some platforms are not always suitable for your brand and could hurt your overall branding efforts.


When choosing a social media platform, one must consider the following factors:

  • The nature of your brand: What niche is your brand in? Is it a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-customer (B2C) brand?

  • Target audience: What are the demographics of your target consumer? What platforms are they currently using?

  • Objectives: Why are you launching the campaign, and what are your goals?

  • Content Format: What content format do you plan to use? What format is most appropriate for each platform you are considering?

  • Competition: What platforms are your competition using? Is this platform working for them?

  • Drawbacks of the platforms: Each social platform is optimised for a specific type of content and customer base, and this should inform your social media strategy.

As a rule of thumb, focus on two social media platforms so that you are adequately diversified but not stretched too thin.


Social media platforms can be split into three distinct groups based on specific functions:


1. Networking Platforms


Platforms are focused on building stronger relationships with audiences and linking up with people in the same industries. Their strength lies in their interconnectivity, which helps brands share their ideas and build up their audience that eventually serve as customers.


Facebook


Facebook is the biggest social media platform globally, with 2.3 billion active users and 500,000 new accounts being created every day.


Interestingly, the fastest-growing group on Facebook is those aged 65 and over, making up nearly 40% of the user in 2020.


The platform allows users to connect with their network of friends and join common interest groups. Facebook allows users to create a variety of content: photos, text, and videos, with video quickly becoming the most popular content format on the platform. The average user spends 20 minutes a day on the site.


Facebook Groups is the platform's breakthrough feature, allowing brands to form highly-targeted communities around specific topics.


These brand groups enable people to learn from each other, generate genuine engagement from their audiences, increase reach organically, and increase leads or conversions.


So Facebook is a good choice if your brand wants to reach out to an older audience around topics that would appeal to them.


LinkedIn

This is a platform for business professionals to make connections and bringing recruiters and job applicants together. The most popular feature on this platform is the "Connections," which maps out members via their shared contacts. It is also the network of choice for B2B communication.

The platform was originally famous for its written content. However, visual content, such as photos and videos, is gaining momentum on the network.

Compared to other platforms, LinkedIn has a more specialised user group. LinkedIn attracts people with higher-paying jobs, with 45% of people who earn over $75,000 a year saying they are on the platform. LinkedIn also has 46 million college students and recent graduates owning a profile.

LinkedIn's algorithm is not restrictive and provides great organic reach to its members, allowing brands to grow quicker. However, as the platform is professional focused, the niches that do best on this platform are education, technology, and business.

So LinkedIn is an ideal choice if your brand is tailored to professional audiences or other businesses.


Twitter


Twitter is a social soundboard and microblogging platform where users post "tweets" or messages to their followers, limited to 240 characters.

Boasting 145 million daily users, Twitter is the platform to get a picture of what is trending in real-time.




With 500 million posts a day and the lifetime of a tweet lasting about two hours, Twitter is a fast-paced environment where content needs to be shared frequently. 92% of companies actually post more than once a day.

The platform allows users to communicate directly with brands, opening the possibility for a more organic connection. In fact, 77% of surveyed users reported that they feel more positively about a brand when their tweets have been responded to.


However, due to the constant need for updates and communication, it is easy to say something that could negatively affect the brand or offend the audience. So caution is heavily advised when operating on this platform.


In conclusion, Twitter is a good platform for connecting with an audience and keeping up with current trends.


2. Promotion Platforms


These social media platforms are focused on building brand awareness and promoting a brand's products or services using visual content. The multimedia aspect allows for creativity and helps raise brand awareness through exciting visuals.


YouTube


YouTube is the most popular mainstream video sharing platform globally, boasting 1.9 billion monthly users and 300 hours of video uploaded onto the platform every minute. The average user spends 40 minutes a day on the site.


YouTube can provide brands with large amounts of traffic as the platform is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site in the world after Google and Facebook, respectively. The search engine nature means that clients who stumble upon the brand's content will be highly targeted, as they will need to type in specific words to find the videos in the first place.

The platform also provides comprehensive analytics data, giving the brand the relevant information needed to optimise its content and strategy to reach more people.

Additionally, YouTube videos can be repurposed for use on other social media networks without much editing needed.

The drawback is that YouTube videos require a large investment of money and time: buying the equipment, filming the video, editing the video, engaging with the audience, and thinking up content ideas.


So YouTube is an excellent platform to produce video content to reach a broad audience if the brand is willing to invest the time and money into creating quality content.


Instagram


Instagram is probably the first platform that comes to mind when one thinks about social media marketing.


Instagram is a visual platform with 1 billion active monthly users, where people share creative and visually appealing content. It is essential to online branding as at a glance of your Instagram profile, a user must be able to understand who you are and what you do, what your aesthetic and style are, and what your brand represents.


75% of all Instagram users are aged between 18 and 24, with 63% of users using the app every day. While the most popular content format on the site is photos, video content is steadily gaining popularity and a higher engagement level.


Due to its visual nature, the most popular content niches on Instagram are art, fashion, food, travel, and fitness.


Instagram is crucial to brand marketing efforts as 60% of users find out about new product offerings on Instagram, and 30% admitting to buying products directly from the platform. Additionally, over 50% of Instagrammers follow brands, making them the most likely social networkers to do so.

So, in summary, Instagram is a good option if your brand for building a visual portfolio and attracting a younger audience. I highly recommend that Instagram is one of the platforms you focus on.


3. Sharing Platforms

These are the most user-friendly platforms that provide brands and their users a place for sharing and learning within their networks. They can be used to discuss interests and opinions.


TikTok


TikTok is a video sharing app that allows users to share short-form videos no longer than one minute. The application exploded in popularity following the 2020 coronavirus lockdowns, which forced people to stay at home. To date, the app has collectively been downloaded 2 billion times on the Apple Store and Google Play, making it among the most downloaded applications of all time on both platforms.

The application allows users to share short videos meant to entertain, educate, and inspire other users. The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes a day on the platform, with this number set to increase with the addition of new features.


TikTok has 800 million active users, with 60% of its users aged between 16 and 24.


TikTok strikes deals with music right holders to give its users the right to use 15-second music clips in their videos. These arrangements have led to the app having an extensive music library.


TikTok is responsible for launching several songs into the spotlight through user challenges, with the most famous example being Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. Today, music labels are releasing songs with the sole purpose of being TikTok viral challenges.



However, similar to YouTube, TikTok requires a significant time commitment and technical skill needed to create the videos.

The combination of substantial organic reach and an active audience make TikTok an excellent platform for brands looking to attract a young audience.

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