Social media has grown to become an incredible platform for businesses to connect and communicate with their target audience. But with so many options to choose from, it has become a really difficult job to find out what works the best for you.

As a matter of fact, it’s not that hard. Before locking down on the social media platform that you assume might work the best, there are a number of things you should consider. Like the core audience, engagement level, type of content etc. (for example, a bakery is better off with Instagram than LinkedIn). This will give you an idea about which platform has the most potential to fulfil the goal you’re trying to achieve.

Here’s a guide to choosing the right social media platform for your business:

Facebook

Facebook has more active users than any other platform, more than 1.5 billion of them. Which makes Facebook the go-to platform for the majority of brands. Facebook’s core value is to serve as a platform to connect and build relationships with people. This is exactly what brands want to achieve out of social media i.e. build meaningful relationships with the targeted audience to turn them into loyal customers.

Facebook helps in gathering feedback for your services or products from your customers and gives you the freedom to communicate with different types of content. Just make sure whatever you put out is visually appealing and engaging.

The majority of the audience is between the age of 15-49 & almost 91% of millennials have a facebook account.

It’s best suited for businesses who want build valuable relationships and want to amplify customer interaction.

The only problem with Facebook is that it’s flooded with pages, profiles and content which has massively decreased the organic reach (expect less than 10%) making it a pay to play model. If you want your content to reach more people you’ll surely have to cough up some cash.

Instagram

Instagram is growing at a fast rate. It may not have the same headcounts as Facebook but people really love it. Its minimalistic interface gets the most engagement on each post than any other platform. You will find the most captivating photos and videos ( 1 minute or less ) on Instagram.

It is best suited for businesses with visually appealing content looking for brand promotion.

As it is still a relatively new platform the user base is also young. 90% of users are below the age of 35.

While Facebook and Twitter recommend 1 or 2 hashtags per post, Instagram encourages to use as many as possible resulting in wider reach and more engagement.

The only downside is it’s difficult to get ROI out of Instagram ( measurable one ). You cannot link your website anywhere except the bio of your profile making it more of a promotional platform.

Twitter

If your business has a lot to say about what’s happening in the company and the world, Twitter is the right platform you. Twitter’s user base is quite diverse but a bulk of it is between the age of 18 and 50.

Twitter lets you communicate with all sort of content including photos, videos, text. You can also engage the audience with features like polling and hashtags.

If you are looking for returns from Twitter, you need to be very active and would require a decent follower count.

A tweet’s lifespan is very low if it’s not trending.

Pinterest

No Pinterest is not just for foodies, travellers and brides-to-be. It has over 100 million users out of which 85% are females. So if your brand’s target audience is young girls, you have to be on Pinterest.

Pinterest is the only platform where the old content stays relevant for a long time.

You will find lots of infographics and DIY posts. So if you can create content like that with relevance to your business, Pinterest will work just fine for you.

The only catch is that it is a slow moving platform and acquiring a large following takes time, but with consistency and quality it can be achieved.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is without a doubt the best digital networking platform for B2B companies. If you do business with other brands, there’s no reason to not be on LinkedIn.

With close to 500 million users it has certainly become a powerhouse for small and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Over 50% of the users are between the ages of 30 and 64.

Remember you don’t sell anything directly to your audience other than your brand.

To conclude:  You’re better off choosing one or two social media platforms and using them to their maximum potential rather than having fingers in too many pies.