Social Media Networks Are Not Created Equal: How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Brand

How to choose the best social network

small business success using social mediaAs business owners, it’s important to be aware that not all social media networks are equal. Each network has its own audience, and the content you want to share on one may not be as relevant as it is on another. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram, it’s important that you’re sending your loyal and potential customers the right message and providing them with the information they actually want. So, how does your brand choose the best social network? Here, we outline how to choose the best social networking platform for you.

Goals

Approaching social media with a specific goal in mind can assist businesses in determining which platform is best for their needs. Whether it’s generating more sales or leads or managing reputation, each network can serve a different purpose for your business. For example, you may find that Facebook works best at raising brand awareness, Twitter assists with reputation management and LinkedIn may fulfill lead generation. Basing your decision off the needs of your campaign will make it much easier to determine which social networks are best equipped to get the job done.

Demographics

Before you decide to utilize a particular social network, be familiar with who is using the network. We hear many social media success stories from businesses, however, that doesn’t mean that the network they are using will be right for you. A vital part of content success is learning the types of individuals that engage on each particular network. Your Facebook demographic may be very different from those of your Twitter followers. Therefore, the content that is posted should not be the same.

Analytics

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Google Analytics is an excellent tool to determine the reach of your content on various networks.  Google Analytics lets you look at social media referrals within the traffic tab, which provides an itemization of the number of visits driven from each network. As you click on each network, you can review which pieces of content were shared and drove visits from the network to your brand’s website.

Competition

All good marketers know that gathering data on your competition can be an invaluable asset to any online marketing campaign. In no way do you want to become a copycat, but, by following their networks, you can see what is working and not working in your particular market.

S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead .

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