Social media is, in many ways, the perfect digital marketing outlet for small businesses. Their wide reach (about 80 percent of people use Facebook, for example), and low cost (most platforms are free to use) offer an affordable and effective marketing strategy.

However, small businesses like yours rarely have the time or personnel resources needed to target multiple social media platforms at once. In addition, you are unlikely to get a strong response for your business from every platform.

Instead, effective social media marketing includes selecting the platforms that will work best for your business. Here are some suggestions for doing so.

Know Your Target Audience–and What Platforms They Use.

The first step in picking the right platforms for your social media marketing campaigns is to know your target audience. For example, identify key characteristics, such as age, gender, income level, occupations, and interests.

Once you have drawn a detailed picture of your ideal customer, think about what social media platforms most cater to them. For example, people under 21 use Snapchat, while older people (30-49) are more likely to use LinkedIn. If you can choose the platforms where your target audience is present, your social media marketing efforts will meet with more success.

Choose the Platforms that Best Fit Your Business.

Each social media platform also has its own qualities that may or may not work for your social media marketing campaign. You need to choose the one(s) that mesh best with your business.

For example, Instagram is a very visual medium. As a result, it works best for businesses that can create visually compelling content, usually because of the nature of what they sell. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more text-based and best for established businesses wishing to promote their professionalism.

Understand your business, then select the platform for your social media marketing that fits the personality, values, and products that define your company.

Develop (or Hire) the Skills You Need for Your Chosen Platform.

Finally, you need to ensure that you have the skills required to build a successful social media marketing campaign on your chosen platform. Each platform requires a different approach. As a result, without the right approach, you are less likely to run a successful campaign that takes advantage of the opportunities the platform offers.

You may find it necessary to hire professionals (like us at Distinct Web Design) to assist you in building a social media marketing campaign that takes full advantage of the platforms you choose. In fact, the right professionals can help you evaluate your target audience, select the right platform, and utilize it’s features to the fullest for your social media marketing.

So, the next time you want to get your business on social media, make sure you choose the right platform. And don’t forget finding the right professionals to ensure the successful implementation of your campaign. With careful evaluation and professional assistance, you can use social media to profitable advantage.