Did you know that nearly half of Gen Z are using TikTok and Instagram for search rather than Google? This is according to Google’s very own data. Younger generations are leaning less towards typing keywords into search engines and relying more on the immersive experiences they have on social media to make purchasing decisions.

We’ve spoken before about how important it is to have a well-optimised website that appears in Google searches to drive return on investment (ROI). But have you considered how important social media is when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to younger clients and customers?

Let’s jump into some interesting data for a second:

  • 66% of consumers have been inspired to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
  • 31% of consumers say they are using social media channels to browse for new items to purchase.
  • 78% of social media users say brand posts impact their purchases.
  • Millennials are almost twice as likely to use social media channels to learn about new products than traditional search engines.

If these stats aren’t enough to convince you that a large part of your marketing focus should be on social media channels, we don’t know what would be.

But, how do you know which social media platforms you should be present on? Which platforms are best for your brand? Keep reading as we unpack this and more.

Hear us out: You don’t need to be on every platform

The first piece of insight we’d like to share with you, which is something we often tell our clients, is that you don’t have to have a profile on every social media channel available.

Think about it, if you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok, you’ve got a massive chunk of work on your hands. Why? Because not all content is created equal, creating an appropriate balance of posts for each channel will take many hours.

If your budget is limited or your marketing team is small, being active on multiple social media platforms simply doesn’t make sense – you’d be spreading yourself way too thin.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having big aspirations and wanting your brand’s message to be shared as widely as possible. But, unless you have a large group of social media managers and content creators working for you, it will be almost impossible to be active everywhere.

A mistake we see plenty of brands making is having profiles on every platform but not actually being active on those platforms. Having a profile that isn’t updated regularly but can still be found on the internet doesn’t look great for your brand. In fact, we encourage our clients to deactivate social media profiles where they are inactive. It creates a far more positive perception of your brand when you are highly active on a select number of channels.

Top tip: Only being active on as little as one platform is enough! Focus your efforts where they matter the most to maximise results.

Audience insights: B2B and B2C 

As you probably know, LinkedIn is largely a professional social media network. The audience you’ll find on LinkedIn will primarily be skewed towards business-to-business (B2B). TikTok, on the other hand, is far more consumer-focused, making the audience more business-to-consumer (B2C).

It’s vital that the platforms you choose are the ones where your audience naturally resides. The simplest and most effective digital marketing tactic is to meet customers where they already are.

If your target audience is c-suite executives, LinkedIn is where you’ll find them. If your audience is trendy millennials and Gen Z, Instagram is where you want to be.

Understanding your target audience and their online behaviour is important when it comes to choosing the right social media channels for your business.

Top tip: Research the age range and interests of the users of various social media platforms. There is plenty of information online about this and it should help you to narrow down the selection of your platforms.

Happily hashtagging: Keywords for social media

Hashtags are essential if you want to be discovered on social media via search. They work the same way that keywords do on search engines.

But have you ever looked at an Instagram post with what seems like a thousand hashtags and thought it seemed unprofessional and messy? You’re not alone.

The fact that hashtags are your keywords and are a major component of searchability doesn’t mean you should include as many as possible in your post. We recommend including five to 11 well-researched hashtags in each post. Hashtags are your bread and butter, but they don’t need to be the entire loaf.

Top tip: Your hashtags should mention what is in the image or video accompanying the post, what’s mentioned in the copy of the post, and a few industry-related keywords. This is the best strategy to get you noticed on social media by users who search for things related to your brand.

If you’re not sure which social media platforms you should prioritise or where to find your audience online, we can help. We have a team of strategists available for you to tap into to ensure you’re posting the right content on the right platforms according to your brand and target market. Contact us via our website to learn more about working with our strategists.

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