I’m often asked questions like “which social media platform should I focus on?”, “which social media platform is best for my business?” and “if I only have time for one platform which one should it be?”
Before I give you my opinion on this, let’s look at a few metrics around social media usage…
In June 2017, Facebook officially reached over 2 billion active users. YouTube is the only other social platform to get close to this with 1.5 billion.
The third largest social platform right now is Instagram with 700 million users and this is followed by Twitter with 328 million.
Snapchat has 200 million active users, Pinterest has 175 million and LinkedIn 106 million.
Two other platforms to be aware of are WhatsApp and Messenger. Both owned by Facebook, these each have over 1.2 billion users.
So, should you be focused on the biggest platforms?
Before you start to think that Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the big four to focus on, you need to consider the most important question of all…
Where does you audience hang out?
Seriously, the best platforms for you to use are the ones your audience is paying the most attention to.
It is a bit like offline marketing – if your ideal audience is spending their time at a particular sports club, restaurant or music venue then it will be much easier to meet them in that venue than to try and get them to start hanging out somewhere different.
How old are your audience?
If your audience is under 24 then Facebook may not be the best platform for you, as only 9% of Facebook users are aged 18-24. By comparison, 60% of Snapchat users are under 24 years of age.
However, only 14% of Snapchat users and 31% of Instagram users are currently aged 35 or over.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer.
Although LinkedIn has a small user base when compared to Facebook, for some businesses it will be the most effective tool for reaching the target audience. For other businesses, YouTube (the world’s second largest search engine) may work best.
The only way to be certain is to test. Put content out on the platforms you believe will work for your business and monitor your results.
For most of the businesses I train and consult with, I suggest they have a presence on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter as a minimum, helping the leadership of the business to understand the differences between these platforms and tailor their content accordingly. But, this is not set in stone and is ALWAYS driven by the audience the business is trying to reach.