How To Choose The Right Social Networks For Your Business

Are you ready to start promoting your business on social media? One of the first challenges business owners face is choosing the right social networks for their business. Which one will help you generate more leads and sales in your community? The following are five ways to determine which social media platforms are right for promoting your products and services with potential customers.

Step #1: Describe Your Perfect Customer

The first step in choosing the right social networks for your business is to describe – in detail – your perfect customer. Think about the types of people who are most likely to purchase your products and services. Then ask yourself these questions. It can also be helpful to do this exercise with team members.

  • How old is my perfect customer?
  • Is my perfect customer male or female?
  • Where does my perfect customer live?
  • What does my perfect customer do for a living?
  • How much does my perfect customer make each year?
  • Does my perfect customer belong to any organizations?
  • What did my perfect customer study in college?
  • What does my perfect customer’s household look like?
  • What is my perfect customer interested in? Favorite shows, hobbies, etc.

Step #2: Know Who Uses Each Social MEDIA Network

Once you have a detailed description of your perfect customer, you can use those details to match them to the social networks they are most likely to use. In addition to data from several organizations that reveal the most popular social networks based on age, gender, and location, we also have the data from the social networks themselves. Here’s what we know.

Pew Research Center found that seven out of ten adults in the United States use at least one social network. The following demographics reveal which social networks are most popular amongst particular segments of social media users.

  1. The most widely used social network for all ages, genders, education levels and locations is Facebook. If you only have time to commit to one social network, Facebook should be the one you pick.
  2. The second most popular social network for most age groups, genders, education levels, and locations is Instagram. Notable exceptions include the following:
    • Women use Pinterest (42%) almost as much as Instagram (43%).
    • The 18 – 29 age group uses Snapchat (62%) almost as much as Instagram (67%).
    • The 65+ age group uses Pinterest (15%) more than Instagram (8%).
    • College graduates use LinkedIn (51%) more than Instagram (43%).
    • Social media users in rural areas use Pinterest (26%) more than Instagram (21%).
  3. The third most popular social network for most age groups, genders, education levels, and locations is LinkedIn. Notable exceptions include the following:
    • The 18 – 29 age group uses Twitter (38%) more than LinkedIn (28%).
    • Social media users in rural areas use Twitter (13%) more than LinkedIn (10%).
  4. The fourth most popular social network for most age groups, genders, education levels, and locations is Pinterest. Notable exceptions include the following:
    • Men use Twitter (24%) more than Pinterest (15%).
    • Social media users in rural areas use Twitter (13%) more than LinkedIn (10%).
    • The 18 – 29 age group uses Twitter (38%) more than Pinterest (34%).
  5. The fifth most popular social network for most age groups, genders, education levels, and locations is Twitter.

SimilarWeb also researched the top social networks, but in this case, by state in the US. They found that Facebook was the most popular social network across the nation. The second most popular social network was Instagram in all states except the following.

  • People in AK, CO, MA, MI, MN, MT, ND, OK, OR, TX, WA, and WY prefer Reddit as their second-most used social network.
  • People in AL, IN, KS, KY, NE, NH, NM, NV, RI, SD, WI, and WV prefer Twitter as their second-most used social network.
  • People in Idaho prefer Pinterest as their second-most used social network.

The most important statistics to know? We Are Social & HootSuite surveyed internet users since the start of COVID-19. They found:

  • Internet users ages 16 – 64, 46% of women and 41% of men have increased the amount of time they spend online on social media.
  • From 28% of 55 – 64-year-olds to 45 – 50% of 16 – 24-year-olds research businesses on social media to make purchasing decisions.

Using this data, it should be easy to match your perfect customer to their preferred social media network. To confirm, we’re going to take the following additional steps.

Step #3: Check Out Your Competitors on Social Media

Still not convinced that you have chosen the right social media networks for your business? The next step is to look up your competition on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here’s what you will want to observe.

  • What information and photos does your competition include on their social profiles/pages?
  • How many fans/followers your competitors have on their social profiles/pages?
  • How often your competitors post on each of their social profiles/pages?
  • How many fans/followers engage (like, comment, share) with each of the posts your competitors share on their social profiles/pages?
  • What type of content gets the most engagement? Is it mostly text or images? Photo or video? Advertisements or information?

These observations should tell you if your competitors have successfully found their customers on each social media network. It should also tell you if your competitors can effectively engage their customers through social media posts. And it should give you some inspiration as you will be able to get an idea of what you can post on your social profiles & pages.

Step #4: Estimate Your Audience Size

If you want a more realistic number to demonstrate your need for social media, try Facebook’s Audience Insights tool. This free tool allows you to enter the demographics of your perfect customer along with their interests to find the estimated number of people who match.

For example, lets’s say that your perfect customer is a female, 40 – 55 years old, living in Baton Rouge, LA, and interested in yoga. Facebook Audience Insights tool shows an estimated 10,000 – 15,000 people who match, as shown in the preceding image.

Step #5: Review Your Social Analytics Data

Each of the top social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter – offer analytics data that you can use to measure the growth of your audience and engagement. As you start to use each social network, monitor your growth. If you have chosen to focus on two or more social networks at a time, you can compare the data from each to determine if one social network deserves more of your attention.

In Conclusion

Your success on social media will be determined by whether you choose the right social network to focus your efforts. It’s ok to start slow. If you build a solid foundation for your business on the top social networks, you are more likely to see results from your efforts that increase your sales and grow your business.

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