Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business

six balls with different social media logos on them

Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Business

Social media is a great digital marketing tool for businesses. It’s free to use and can let you connect directly with current and future customers. The latest data shows that over 77% of UK population uses at least one social media platform. 

The real question for businesses is not “should we use social media” but instead “which social media should we use”. With several major social platforms, it would take a huge amount of time and effort to create content for each of them. Only the largest companies like Coca Cola can have a presence on every platform. For a small to medium sized business, it’s ideal to focus on one or two platforms which suit your brand’s message. 

In this post, we’re going to go over the major social platforms and the pros and cons of using them as a marketing platform. Each of these platforms has its own advertising network and sponsored posts, but for today, we’re just focusing on using them for organic posts as part of a social media marketing campaign.
 
The Pros & Cons Of Each Social Media Platform 

Facebook: 
Total Number of UK Users: 51 million 
Average User Age: 40yrs old 
Pros: Facebook has the largest userbase and it is extremely easy to set up a business account. You can upload images and posts about your business and start engaging with potential customers straight away. Facebook also makes it easy for customers to contact you directly by integrating with Facebook Messenger. 

Cons: Facebook is very keen for you to pay to promote your posts. As such, it can be hard for businesses to get traction on content that they have posted organically. Facebook is also losing relevance at an alarming rate, the average age of users on the platform is rising every year and the average age of active users is even higher. Many younger consumers do not have a Facebook account or do not use the one they have. This doesn’t have to be a negative, but it means the platform less suited to brands with a younger demographic. 
 
Instagram: 
Total Number of UK Users: 33.5 million 
Average User Age: 25-34yrs old 
Pros: Instagram has grown at a breakneck pace over the past decade. The network now has over 1 billion monthly active members worldwide and over 33 million users in the UK. Most of these users are under the age of 34. As a result, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for firms who want to reach out to younger audiences. Instagram is also more popular in cities, so if your business is focused on an urban audience, it’s a great fit.

On the platform, photos and short videos perform well. Instagram can also cross-post to Facebook automatically, allowing you to post content to both platforms without any extra effort. 

Cons: One of the disadvantages of Instagram is that it requires good photography skills to stand out. Also, outside of photo captions, Instagram doesn’t provide you much room to communicate in text and limits your ability to link to sites outside of Instagram. 
 
Twitter: 
Total Number of UK Users: 16 million 
Average User Age: 25-34yrs old 
Pros: Twitter has many influential users, including politicians, journalists, celebrities and other high-profile figures. This gives Twitter an outsized cultural impact compared to its relatively small number of monthly active users. Twitter is often said to “drive the conversation”.  

Cons: Twitter is also known to have a fairly acerbic tone and many users have an open hostility towards brands attempting to use the space to promote their services. There have been a few breakthrough successes (see the Steak-Umms twitter account for a good example), but you may find that someone’s snarky comment about your post ends up getting far more engagement than your original content. 
 
TikTok: 
Total Number of UK Users: 10 million 
Average User Age: 15-25yrs old 
Pros: TikTok is the latest social media to achieve mass adoption. This means many businesses have yet to utilise it that effectively (if at all). Subsequently, the competition is lower, and you may have the chance to get in early. TikTok has even less emphasis on text than Instagram, so if your business has a visual element, you will find it easier to market on there. 

Cons: TikTok’s content is extremely short form, with most clips being under the 15 second mark. If your service is not a simple one, it can be hard to get it across in such a brief period. You also have to rely on TikTok’s own algorithm to surface your content to relevant users. Very few people actively search for content on TikTok compared to other platforms. This can make it hard to be discovered on TikTok unless your content is engaging and entertaining in its own right. 
 
LinkedIn: 
Total Number of UK Users: 33 million 
Average User Age: 25-34yrs old 
Pros: LinkedIn is best suited for b2b businesses. For instance, recruiters, professional coaches, management consultants, etc. have a lot of success on LinkedIn. The majority of corporate decision-makers and influencers are on LinkedIn, and if you can effectively communicate with them, you will have a better chance of making a sale and obtaining exposure. 

Cons: LinkedIn has earned its reputation as the corporate social network, and as such, users can be more cynical about what they see there. Everyone knows that everyone else is selling, either selling themselves, their company, or their products. LinkedIn lacks the one element that every other social network has, it has very little content that feels ‘genuine’ and as such it can be difficult to build trust. As the writer Paul Skallas once put it “everyone on LinkedIn feels like they are posting with a gun to their head.”

Hopefully, this has been a useful overview of the differences between the major social media platforms, their user demographics and some of the reasons why you might choose to use or avoid each one. If you would like professional help crafting and managing a social media campaign for any of these platforms, speak to our team today.

Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Digital and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave’s background is in IT services, but he has experience across the online space. His love of all things digital lead him to create a digital marketing branch of the business, with a focus on paid advertising, SEO, web development, social media, graphic design and content writing.