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After reading our previous blog posts, Get Funky With Social Media!’, and “Face Your Social Media Demons”, you might now understand how important social media is for your business- irrespective of its scale. The next big question is, how to choose the right social media platform for your business. However, before you get down to choosing a platform, there are a few things you must do. 

Define your target audience:
Over 3.5 billion people use social media, so it is critical to know who you are targeting.


To begin the process, you must profile your target audience based on your product/service. What age should your target audience be? Are they male or female? What are their educational qualifications? How much are they earning? What are their interests?


Once you answer these questions (or any other questions relating to your business or industry), you will have a clear idea of who your target audience is. You have now completed the first step in charting a successful social media course.

Set your goals and objectives:

The next step is to set your goals and objectives which will also help you to measure your ROI. For example, a start-up would want to increase brand awareness, a large organization would want to boost brand engagement, etc. Bear in mind that your goals and objectives should be SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. 

Finding your audience on social media:


Social media habits depend a lot on a user’s demographics and each platform has very clear demographics. Given the numerous platforms and a wide variety of usage, it is important to research your audience. So, how do you find your audience on social media? 


For example, if your target audience is on Facebook groups, by posting on those groups, you may be able to connect with people who are interested in your products. If your audience is on Twitter, you can perhaps find them based on their industry-related tweets. 

After you have found your audience, researching their online behaviour is the next step. You can now curate your message based on this.  

But what if your audience is on multiple platforms? Which platforms do you then choose?  Each platform has its strengths and weakness. To make it easy for you, here is a list of some of the more popular platforms and their salient features: 

Facebook:

Facebook is the largest and the most widely used social media platform, with over 2.4 billion active monthly users. With such a large user base, your product/ service is sure to be viewed. 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, as its potential reach is estimated to be 1.9 billion. 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily, and hence there are several advantages to using Facebook for your business. The first step is to create a business page.

Through this page, you will not only be able to generate awareness for your brand but also reach, connect and engage with existing/ potential customers. It can also help you to generate new leads for your business. In addition, you can use your business page to drive traffic to your website by inserting a link, to your website, in your posts. Facebook also has a feature ‘Facebook Insights’, which gives you detailed reports and analytics of your customers and their demographics. 

Instagram



Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform with over 1 billion monthly users. Instagram users are younger as compared to their Facebook counterparts. There are 25+ million businesses on Instagram and 200 million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily.



To start using Instagram, you will have to start by creating a new page or by turning your account into a business account. It has a higher potential to get new business leads as it has a larger reach than Facebook. Instagram is a ‘visual’ platform hence graphics and a visual representation of your products and services become very critical. 

Twitter

With over 300 million daily users, Twitter is a good platform to build brand awareness. 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials. 37% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29 and 25% of users between 30-49 years. Because of its reach, it is the strongest platform for executing digital marketing campaigns. Twitter is also a suitable platform for companies, especially SME’s, to target more business and engage with their audience. 

One important thing to keep in mind while using Twitter is the use of keywords. Keywords are essential and are executed by ‘Hashtags (#)’ and will play a very important role in finding your brand and starting conversations. 

LinkedIn



LinkedIn has 630 million active users and over 300 million monthly users. 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions. This is the best platform to increase your social network, find new business, increase your visibility and improve the SEO profile of your business. LinkedIn provides daily updates to keep you abreast with the latest industry news. 

YouTube

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users, out of which 30 million are daily users. 95% of the global internet population watches YouTube. Good video content will engage your target audience. Sharing videos on YouTube is a simple process and does not take much time. Most importantly, the platform doesn’t have any restrictions on video length. 

Quora



With over 300 active users monthly, Quora is slowly becoming the place for business-related content. In 2018, entertainment, travel, business, marketing, learning and technology were the most popular topics on Quora.




It is not a platform where you can advertise your products or services, but it is a significant platform to establish your company or yourself as a thought leader. Quora is a high-quality source of traffic that will help you to create awareness about your product category. But to do so, you will have to search for questions which have fewer responses, but a large following. 

Social media has completely changed the way people promote their business. Although it provides all the tools and platforms necessary to reach potential consumers or target audiences, it may also lead to backlash or negative comments around your brand. Choosing the right social media platforms and having a concrete plan is vital to save time and resources in the long run. Having correctly done all of the above, your business can reap in huge benefits. 

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