Criteria to Consider Before Choosing a Social Media Platform


By Carly Bauer, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Since starting with Heinz Marketing a little over a year ago, I have been continuously exposed and tasked with different areas of social media marketing, from organic content to paid ads on various platforms. Being successful as a business on social media, working to build your following and brand awareness takes a lot of time, money, and effort. From research to execution, there are as many failures as there are triumphs, but it is all a learning process, and we continue to navigate it and adjust our strategy to keep up with the ever-changing environment. So, I have decided to start a little series around social media from the basic know-how to getting started for beginners, to how to optimize the strategy you already have in place.

In this post we are focusing on the criteria every social media marketer, professional or amateur needs to know before choosing which platforms they want to promote their business on. Shall we jump in then?

Before you choose the ideal social media platform to meet your goals – whether its brand awareness for your company, product selling, or growing your own personal following – it’s important to understand the importance of these criteria and their role in the success of your goals on these platforms.

#1 Choose Social Media Platforms Where Your Audience is Located

In order to choose the best social media platforms for your business you need to understand your customers. Specifically, you need to understand who they are, how they spend their time online, what their frustrations are and how your services or product can alleviate those pain points. Even if they aren’t directly looking for a solution but are aware of their pain points your messaging will stand out more as a possible solution.

So, ask yourself:

  • What social media platforms are they using?
  • Why are they using those social media platforms? What information are they trying to obtain from such platforms?
  • How do they prefer to receive information about your type of product and services?

Another audience detail to consider is their specific titles within the company. Different job titles are going to have different pain points or frustrations and they are going to be seeking different information in different ways. So, it’s important to know which titles you want to target, and how they correlate with the decision makers in the buying committee, if they have one.

If you don’t already know this, then we recommend mapping out an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Buying Committee. The ICP identifies the job title’s role within a company, their responsibilities, their frustrations, and their goals. You can also include where they search for information and the formats, they are mostly likely to collect information from. A Buying Committee maps out the order of influence and purchasing power, with your Influencers and Champions towards the bottom and Decision Makers at the top. Different roles have more or less power to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in purchase decisions. Usually, the larger the company the more complicated the Buying Committee is. To get more insight into creating an Ideal Customer Profile and Buying committee check out these blogs:

How To Create an Ideal Customer Profile

Building Your Ideal Customer Profile with Data

How to Market and Sell to the B2B Buying Committee

Jumpstart Your Buying Committee Map with this Trick

The more you understand about your customers, the better you can select the best social media platforms to reach and engage.

#2 Choose Social Media Platforms That Are Specific to Your Content Type

There are two types of content – macro-content and micro-content.

Macro-content is BIG-picture, long-form content. It can consist of video, audio and written content that provides more in-depth details and takes longer for readers to digest. The best social media platforms to publish this content would be:

  • YouTube for video content
  • A podcast service for audio such as Podbean, Apple Podcast, and Spotify to name a few.
  • WordPress for long-form blog content

Micro-content, on the other hand, is short-form, easy-to-digest content. Think of the pictures you see on your Instagram feed or short witty tweets on Twitters. It’s delivered in small bites that can be consumed very quickly unlike long-form content which requires some time to consume and process before moving onto more content. The best social media platforms to publish different micro-content include:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

It’s important to remember that the shelf life of macro-content vs. micro-content is different too. Even though a blog post or podcast can take more time to create and digest it can generate views and be searched for all year around. So, those couple hundred views a day turns to 10k-100k within a 1-years’ time. Whereas micro-content, such as a single Twitter or Instagram post can be here today and gone and forgotten tomorrow. But at the same time, micro-content is much easier to create and push-out on a consistent basis to allow continuous engagement with your audience. The type of content is important to remember when choosing which social media platforms, you want to focus on.

#3 Limit the Number of Social Media Platforms You Choose to Be On

It’s not necessary to be on every platform; you may end up spreading yourself too thin. It is also important to consider if you have the same followers on similar platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you are going to want to switch up the content, so your followers are not seeing the exact same thing on all three platforms.

Think of each social media platform like a different form of art. Each platform requires its own unique strategy in order for you to be successful on it – consider the type of audience that uses each platform, the type of content that gets the most engagement, the type of ads that get the most clicks. Every platform is different and uses different algorithms. With all things considered, it is best to master the art of 1-2 social media platforms before adding more to your strategy. It’s not as simple as setting up a profile and pressing “publish” on a post. It takes effort and resources to develop a successful presence on social media platforms. In most cases, you will need to invest money in order to promote your content to the right audience type and size. You will also need to review each platform analytics to determine if your content is effective or not. So, if you are a small business with a limited budget, put all of your eggs in 1 or 2 baskets max to start.

So, there you have it– the criteria to consider when selecting which social media platforms you want to utilize to promote your business.

In my next post I’ll go over the best social media platforms for businesses and what’s unique about each one.