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Social Media Marketing: Which Platform Should You Use?

Although most social media platforms provide free engagement with potential customers and clients, you have to know which of these return value. So how do you know which social media channels are right for your brand's growth?

Whether you own a small business or work for a major corporation, you still need to consider your budget when it comes to marketing decision-making. If you are a typical small business, you also have limited human resources to invest in business growth.

Although most social media platforms provide free engagement with potential customers and clients, you have to know which of these return value. So how do you know which social media channels are right for your brand’s growth?

Identify Your Business Goals for Social Media

Spend a little time thinking about your business needs now to avoid spinning your wheels over the long run. The first thing to consider is how much time you will spend working social media. To start, consider giving your social media activity at least six hours of attention per week. About two-thirds of people committing this amount of time to their social media marketing gain clear lead-generation benefit.

So, what are your business goals for social media? Improved search ranking, increased website traffic and better conversion rates are almost given benefits. Beyond these, do you want to make your brand more visible? Is gaining new customers your goal? Specific social media channels work best toward certain results.

Increase Brand Visibility

To increase your brand visibility, consider working with only well-known and highly utilized social platforms. You can apply a great deal of time and energy to these platforms for good results. Still, a social media budget is the best way to gain traction. A little money can go a long way toward a return on your time and money investment.

Gain New Customers

When it comes to gaining more customers, social media can provide lower costs per click than Google AdWords. But you need to know which channel reaches your desired audience. Stand-outs Facebook and Twitter serve both B2B and B2C, whereas LinkedIn is best for B2B.


Match Your Goals to Your Ideal Networks

Now that you know your business goals, use them to understand which social network will meet those goals. Below is brief information about today’s mainstream social media networks, so you can find the best fit:


Of Snapchat’s 100 million users for a daily average of 30 minutes, 60% are under age 24. If you are trying to reach tweens, teens and young adults, Snapchat is a great choice. To participate on Snapchat, get creative with video and interviews.


For most people, Facebook is a no-brainer. The platform provides fantastic audience targeting tools. About one-third of users are females between the ages of 25 and 54. Another third are males of the same age group. Only 9% are young adults under age 25. Adults using Facebook check their profile and news feeds several times each day.

The downside of Facebook is that most brands need to pay for measurable results. If you spend a great deal of time on Facebook posts and still feel let down by lackluster results, you are one of many. Buy some ads to see better results.


Twitter is very much like Facebook when it comes to ad placement and return on investment. You can spend hours upon hours on Twitter and gain little engagement. Consistency is key on this platform, meaning you need to keep the conversation going for it to work. Buying a little Twitter feed time through ads certainly helps.


About 500 million people use Instagram, with more than half of those checking their feed every day. For your posts to provide any results, you need a clickable link in each post. Your photos must be visually intriguing for them to gain attention. All in all, Instagram is not as great for marketing as it is for brand building.


Pinterest rules the playing field when it comes to reaching adult females. Roughly one-third of users are 18 to 29 years old. Another third are 30 to 49 years old. Pinterest is best for products of decor, fashion, art, food or other visually captivating items. If you sell products, the Pinterest buy button links purchasers right to your eCommerce products for quick shopping.


LinkedIn has improved its user engagement, primarily among B2B users. You can easily blog on LinkedIn and build up your brand or yourself as a subject matter expert. But again, this is a B2B audience where you must present value in your writing to gain attention.


Google+ provides excellent SEO benefits. But few people turn to Google+ as their social media channel of choice. For this reason and others related to ROI, Google+ is a good option for amping up your voice, albeit by only a squeak.


Reddit is a content-based community where users share information and opinions. You can find a Reddit community for almost every imaginable topic. But being a marketer on Reddit is taboo and quickly gets you unapologetically kicked out of the community.


The ideal approach for most brands or organizations is to focus on a few primary channels and add one or more for amplified messaging. Facebook and Twitter are almost required of today’s marketers for customer and demographic accessibility. Start with these and add one or more trendy social media channels to your efforts, according to your target audience.

Knowing which channels is one part of your social media equation. The other is having content to talk about or snap images of for quality posts. Spend time curating content, and write some blogs of your own. One blog provides dozens of potential posts, Tweets and image opportunities to fill your prospects’ social media feeds.


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