How to Prioritize Your Social Media Presence: A Business Guide to Selecting Social Media Platforms
Updated: Oct 19
How do I know which social media platform(s) are right for my business? This guide shares why you may consider using 7 leading sites and key considerations for each.
In today's ever-changing professional landscape, social media has become an import piece of business marketing and communication strategies. With a myriad of platforms available, choosing the right one for your business can be a daunting task. In this guide, we'll delve into the criteria and considerations for selecting the right platform(s) and highlight the nuances of tailoring your strategy for either B2B and B2C audiences.
Why Should Your Business Participate in Social Media?
The impact of social media on businesses has immense potential. If strategized and executed well, organic social media can be a powerful tool for brand awareness, customer engagement, lead generation, and even revenue generation. While being present and participating on various platforms can help drive reaching your business goals, it is important to be thoughtful and intentional in deciding where to use your – or your team’s – time and resources.
In our post on social media strategy, we outlined all the pillars that should be included in an annual plan. This blog shares just one part of that strategy. Let’s begin!
How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Business
With so many platforms to choose from, making the right choice is essential. Selecting the appropriate social media platform for your business requires careful consideration. We recommend having critical conversations about the time your team has available to invest in social media compared to the platforms that make the most sense for your organization. We will share key questions to ask surrounding this point, below.
Before deciding on organic social media platforms, you first need to know your audience. Discuss these question prompts with your team:
Who is my audience?
What is important to them?
What challenges do they face?
What information would be helpful to them?
To determine if a platform is the right fit, ask some of these crucial questions:
Does this platform match the messaging preferences of our audience across different stages of their journey?
Can we provide content that is relevant and helpful to our audience, instead of directly promoting our business, products or services?
Is it financially viable to initiate our presence on this platform based on our budget and available resources?
Can we maintain a steady flow of high-quality content on this platform?
Can we effectively manage community engagement on this platform over time?
Once we've established a following, will we have the capability to incorporate occasional paid content into our strategy for this platform?
If you answer "yes" to these “platform fit” questions, your brand is well-positioned to launch a presence on that channel.
To share some examples related to resourcing, if you have a team of social media managers, your company likely has the resources to participate on multiple platforms well. If you’re a marketing team of one with multiple priorities, perhaps a single platform is all you can manage, and that is ok. It’s better to do one platform well than do four platforms poorly. Furthermore, we should note that ideal participation on social media does not follow a “post and you’re done” philosophy. Active participation on any platform also requires time to respond to comments, engage with your audience and potential audience, then gather metrics and review key performance indicators to ensure your presence is achieving the goals you set. You can read more about this in our full blog on social media strategy.
The Importance of Audience-Centric Content
No matter the platform or audience, creating content that resonates with your target customer persona(s) is paramount. Your content should address their needs, interests, and pain points.
Tailoring Your Social Media Strategy for B2B and B2C Audiences
Your approach to social media should differ based on whether you are targeting other businesses (B2B) or individual consumers (B2C). Understanding these distinctions is crucial to crafting an effective strategy. For example, a B2B organization may choose to be on LinkedIn and YouTube only, while a B2C organization might select platforms the cater to directly selling, like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. We will outline the benefits and strengths of each platform for each audience next.
For the remainder of this post, you will learn business considerations for each platform, including details on reasons you may (or may not) select each for your organization. A few clarifications before we get started:
Ideal post formats: this section will share the recommended types of posts to create, especially to increase visibility, based on current platform algorithm factors. Typically, when a platform releases a new post type (i.e., when Instagram introduced Reels), that type of post is often ranked higher in the algorithm to promote the new feature.
Algorithm Insights: here, we’ll share current algorithm considerations and strategies to improve reach on each platform.
Linking Tactics: platforms want users to keep on scrolling, so some social media sites deprioritize posts that link away from their site. We do not recommend you link every post to a product page or other external link, but find a balance between linking nothing.
Platform Ranking: we’ve ranked each platform on a scale of 1-3 based on most business cases. (1) signifies the platform should be a top consideration, (3) indicates the platform isn’t always the right fit, and (2) is, of course, somewhere in the middle – there are many business-specific nuances that may apply, and we recommend deprioritizing these platforms unless you have the capacity.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can be a powerful tool for businesses. Its effectiveness varies depending on whether you are targeting a B2B or B2C audience. LinkedIn is ideal for sharing professional updates, industry insights, and networking opportunities. Ideal Post Formats: Posts that include images and short-or long-form videos and polls tend to perform well on LinkedIn. Algorithm Insights: Engagement, particularly comments and shares, can significantly boost your content's visibility. Organizations sometimes put together action plans to request employees, customers and friends share key updates to help get the visibility ball rolling. Linking Tactics: Include links to your blog posts, whitepapers, article mentions and other relevant content to drive traffic and conversions, but be sure to provide helpful information within the post itself, instead of a general CTA like, “Read our blog!” Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Networking and Professional Relationships: LinkedIn is an excellent platform for connecting with other businesses, industry professionals, and potential partners. Thought Leadership and Industry Expertise: Share your knowhow through articles and posts to establish your authority in your industry. Recruiting and Talent Acquisition: Use LinkedIn to find top talent and showcase your company culture. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations Showcasing Company Culture: Give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand to build trust. Sharing Industry Insights: Share relevant industry news and trends to keep your audience informed. Building Trust and Credibility: Engage with your B2C audience by providing valuable content and insights. Platform Rank for B2B: 1 Platform Rank for B2C: 3
Instagram is a visually oriented platform that can be effective for both B2B and B2C businesses. Use the platform to tell your brand's story through captivating visuals. Ideal Post Formats: Carousel (multiple) images, Reels (vertical videos), and Stories generally lead to better metrics on Instagram, versus a single-image post. Text-heavy single-image posts are not advised. Algorithm Insights: Currently, users are seeing more view and engagements via stories. Likes, shares, comments and saves help improve visibility. Engage with your audience and use relevant hashtags to increase visibility. Linking Tactics: Utilize the "Shop Now" feature and add links to your bio for direct product / service linking. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Provide Audience-Centric Insights: Share how-tos, helpful information or guides within the app that Visual Storytelling of Company Culture: Share images that give insight into your company's values and culture. Showcasing Product Development: Highlight the evolution of your products or services. Collaborations with Industry and Non-Industry Partners: Partner with other businesses or content creators to expand your reach. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations High-Quality Product Images and Videos: Showcase your products in the best light possible. User-Generated Content and Testimonials: Encourage customers to share their experiences with your products. Building an Aspirational Brand Image: Create a lifestyle around your brand to attract consumers. Shopping Capabilities: Leverage Instagram's shopping features for direct sales. Platform Rank for B2B: 2 Platform Rank for B2C: 1
This platform is a versatile but tricky, and can be used effectively for both B2B and B2C marketing. Use Facebook to build a community and share engaging content. On this platform, paid support is almost always required for visibility. Ideal Post Formats: Images, videos, and live streams are well-received on Facebook. Algorithm Insights: Engagement, shares, and comments boost your content's visibility. Linking Tactics: Utilize Facebook Shops and add links to your posts for product promotion. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Building a Community and Support Group: Create a group to facilitate discussions and connections within your industry. Sharing In-Depth Content and Webinars: Host webinars and share informative content with your audience. Targeted Advertising for Industry-Specific Leads: Leverage Facebook's advertising options to reach a specific B2B audience. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations Customer Engagement Through Groups and Events: Engage with your B2C audience through group discussions and event promotions. Promotions and Contests: Run promotions and contests to incentivize engagement. E-commerce Integration and Shopping Features: Use Facebook Shops for seamless online shopping experiences. Platform Rank for B2B: 2 Platform Rank for B2C: 1
TikTok is a platform known for its short, entertaining videos, primarily suited for B2C businesses. Be aware of privacy concerns and ensure compliance with data regulations. Due to privacy concerns alone, many businesses will not join TikTok. Create engaging and entertaining short-form video content. The platform recently introduced a “carousel-like” post type, so it would be wise to explore this if you choose to be on the platform. Ideal Post Formats: Short, attention-grabbing videos that align with trending challenges perform well. Algorithm Insights: Engagement, creativity, and trending content contribute to visibility. Linking Tactics: Leverage TikTok's "link in bio" feature to direct traffic to your website or products. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Creative and Engaging Storytelling: Find creative ways to showcase your brand's personality. Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give a behind-the-scenes look into your business operations. Leveraging Trending Challenges for Brand Visibility: Participate in relevant challenges to boost brand exposure. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations Entertaining and Relatable Content: Create content that entertains and resonates with your target audience. Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with TikTok influencers to reach a broader audience. E-commerce Integration and Shopping Features: Utilize TikTok's e-commerce features for product promotion. Platform Rank for B2B: 3 Platform Rank for B2C: 1-2
X (formerly Twitter)
X is a unique, and currently, somewhat tumultuous platform that can cater to both B2B and B2C audiences. This platform is all about news, real-time updates and concise messaging. Ideal Post Formats: Short and engaging posts, accompanied by images or videos, perform the best on X. Algorithm Insights: Businesses across the board have been noticing decreased metrics as of late. X algorithms prioritize recent and relevant content. Engage with trending topics when possible. Pay-to-play appears to be becoming a requirement, and for businesses, it isn’t a small investment (approx.. $1,000/month). Linking Tactics: Include clear calls to action (CTAs) with links to drive traffic to your website or landing pages. YouTube links now play directly within X, so non-paying accounts can post long form in that manner. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Real-time Industry Updates: Share on-topic, current industry or company news and share valuable, timely insights. Engaging with Industry Influencers: Connect with thought leaders and engage in meaningful conversations. Sharing Research and Reports: Publish research findings and reports that showcase your expertise. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations Customer Service and Support: Respond promptly to customer inquiries and provide assistance. Promoting Time-Sensitive Offers and Events: Announce limited-time promotions and events to create a sense of urgency. Amplifying Brand Personality: Showcase your brand's personality through engaging, relatable content. Platform Rank for B2B: 2 Platform Rank for B2C: 3 Note: With recent changes to X, there are now similar, direct competitors, like Threads (Instagram) and Mastodon. Some of these same tactics and insights can be applied to either of these platforms.
Pinterest is a visual platform suited best for B2C businesses looking to inspire and engage their audience. Use Pinterest to curate visually appealing content that aligns with your brand's identity. Ideal Post Formats: High-quality images and infographics are well-received on Pinterest. Algorithm Insights: Use relevant keywords and hashtags to boost the discoverability of your pins. Linking Tactics: Link directly to product pages for seamless shopping experiences. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Sharing Industry-Specific Infographics and Data: Educate your audience with industry-specific data. Collaborating with Other Businesses for Cross-Promotion: Partner with complementary businesses for mutual promotion. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations Curating Boards That Reflect Lifestyle and Interests: Create boards that resonate with your target audience's lifestyle. Encouraging User-Generated Content and Contests: Engage with your audience by encouraging them to share their ideas and creations. Promoting DIY and How-To Content: Share tutorials and guides that add value to your audience's interests. Platform Rank for B2B: 3 Platform Rank for B2C: 1-2
YouTube is a versatile platform suited for both B2B and B2C businesses, offering a unique advantage in terms of SEO support, because the platform is owned by Google. Utilize YouTube to share informative and helpful video content while populating the platform with topics related to search, like you would a blog. Ideal Post Formats: Consider the type of content that suits your audience, whether it's long-form videos or the shorter, trending TikTok competitor, “Shorts.” Algorithm Insights: Create attention-grabbing thumbnails, use relevant keywords, and encourage likes and subscriptions. Linking Tactics: Link to your products or website in the video description and use YouTube Cards for direct linking. Business-to-Business (B2B) Content Topic Recommendations Educational Video Content Demonstrating Industry Expertise: Offer valuable insights and industry knowledge through informative videos. Hosting Webinars and Virtual Events: Engage your B2B audience through webinars and virtual events. Creating Product Tutorials and Case Studies: Demonstrate the value of your products or services through tutorials and case studies. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Content Topic Recommendations High-Quality Video Storytelling About Products or Services: Tell your brand's story through high-quality video content, preview new product releases, etc. Building a Loyal Subscriber Base Through Engaging Content: Create content that encourages viewers to subscribe and engage. Collaborating with YouTubers or Influencers for Wider Reach: Partner with popular YouTubers or influencers for broader exposure and authentic reviews of your products. Platform Rank for B2B: 1 Platform Rank for B2C: 2
In conclusion, your choice of social media platforms should align with your business goals, target audience, and available resources. Consistency, adaptability, and measuring success are key to a successful social media presence. Remember that the social media landscape is ever-evolving, and it's essential to continuously analyze your audience and content, then adjust your content creation accordingly to stay relevant and effective in your marketing efforts.
Want to learn more?
Read our in-depth guide to the foundations of social media strategy. Need support in deciding which channels are right for you? We’d love to create a social media strategy, including the identification of the platforms that are the best fit for your business goals. Contact us to schedule a discovery call, or, request to book a 60-minute consulting call!