How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing your Website

Well hello there and welcome back to Make that Sea Change – Let’s get straight to the subject of today – How to choose the best social media platforms for marketing your website… You know social media – the domain of teenagers, food photographers and woe-is-me’ers the world over. Fortunately there is also another good use for social media and that is as an extremely powerful marketing and SEO tool to drive that all important traffic to your website.

This process however is unfortunately not just a matter of choosing a number of social media platforms and posting some links to your site. Whilst this is a very good place to start – I mean, some presence has to be better than none – building an effective social media following and presences can take some serious time which will be wasted if you are not on the right track to start with. This includes:

  • Choosing the correct platformHow to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - social media binoculars
  • Determining your required outcomes such as
    • Increased traffic
    • Increased sales
    • increased visibility
    • Building a social following
  • Learning how to use the required platform
  • Matching your chosen platform to your brand

So let’s start this process by having a look at the platforms available…

What platforms are there?

There are hundreds of social media sites out there in the online world and by the year 2021, it is envisaged that there will be 3.02 billion people – or 80% of all internet users – with at least one social media account. Added to that is that fact that they will all spend an average of 6 hours per week browsing their chosen site. That is a lot of sites and a lot of users but fortunately for us, we only need to get our posts in front of a very small percentage of that. I mean, let’s put that in perspective – Kim Kardashian only commands 4% of worldwide social media users with her 139M Instagram followers.

Now obviously we are not going to be able to manage every social media site for our websites and we will discuss some criteria for choosing the right platform for you in the next section. Before we do that however, let’s have a bit more of a look at what we can choose from:

Note: I have only chosen a small but popular few as realistically these are going to give you the best chance of getting good reach for a new affiliate marketing website due to their popularity and ease of use. This is not to say that you may not branch out to others in the future – especially if they are particularly popular within your chosen niche.

FaceBook

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - facebook logoFaceBook is obviously the most well-known of the social media sites and can be a very good medium for most website niches.

Number of Users

2.3+ Billion users of which 29.7% are aged 25 – 34. 76 in 100 females and 66 in 100 males have Facebook accounts.

General user behaviours/uses

Users spend an average of 20 minutes per day on Facebook with the highest rates of engagement taking place on a Thursday and Friday. Videos command the highest rates of engagement despite consisting of only 3% of all content.

Pros

  • Allows you to tell a story about yourself and your site over a period of
  • You can easily target the thoughts and feelings of your viewers to try and solve their problems.
  • The ability to build community, business and interest groups.
  • Live video allows for real time communication and interaction with your followers.
  • It is free to create and post a business page.
  • FaceBook groups are a great way to identify what problems you can solve for your target audience.

Cons

  • Paid advertising clogs up feed pages making it harder to maintain visibility
  • FaceBook regularly change their page rules leading to potential shut-downs without ‘reason’.
  • Less and less personal interaction over just browsing adds and pics.
  • Rapid rise in scam, fake and phishing pages/posts.

My thoughts

I have Facebook accounts for my websites and found it good for gaining followers via the ability to invite others to like your page. I do find however that it can be hard to gain traction in the early days without paying to promote your posts. Many of my followers have also actually come in from my website rather than my FB page driving the traffic it.

The one huge advantage that FaceBook has however is the ability to infiltrate specialised or hobby groups.  There is a FaceBook group for everything (see below for example) and if you are able to join these groups, you can use them to identify first hand what problems the users are having, what they are purchasing or what they are wanting more information about.  This is priceless for you as an online marketer as you are able to use this information to add to your own content and ensure that your are meeting the real-time needs of your target audience.

Best Social Media Platforms - FB Group

Best for

  • Building an intimate tribe of followers.
  • Interaction with readers and subscribers via groups.

Instagram

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - instagram logoInstragram is a predominantly mobile/cell phone based social media program aimed at the sharing of images and videos. In the online business world, it is extremely popular with those who are looking to promote image based products such as clothing and art but it has also emerged as a very good brand building platform.

Number of Users

1+ Billion users of which 64% are aged 18 – 34.

General user behaviours/uses

Users under 25 years of age spend an average of 30 minutes per day on Instagram. Average brand growth sits at 6 to 8% per month with a rise of up to 12.6% when at least one hashtag is included. 80% of all Instagram users follow business accounts.

Pros

  • Greater ability for others to find your posts via interests and hashtags.
  • Faster for building a list of followers than FaceBook.
  • Greater use of visuals make it great for brand building.
  • You can include your customers in your posts – people love seeing themselves.
  • It is free to create and post a business page.
  • Strong privacy settings.
  • You can link directly to your FaceBook account.
  • You can find extra followers by seeing what your followers follow.

Cons

  • You cannot place post/blog links on each post.
  • Limited technical functionality – I.e limited to photos/videos.
  • No real PC interface – must all be done of smart device.
  • Reliance on good quality images which is not always possible if you are looking for spontaneity.
  • Time consuming with posts required daily in order to gain the best traction.

My thoughts

I have used Instagram for one of my sites and was pleasantly surprised as to how fast I could attract a good group of followers. Instagram was much easier to communicate with ‘strangers’ who share the same interests making it great for building brand awareness.

Best for

  • Brand and product recognition.
  • Inclusion of customers in posts.

YouTube

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - youtube logoDid you know that YouTube is the second largest Search Engine on the Internet? YouTube, in case you live under a rock, is all about the video and considered the future of social media for online business. In my opinion, it is an absolute must – if for no other reason than to include as part of you SEO processes to increase search engine rankings.

Number of Users

1.9+ Billion users of which 96% are aged 18 – 24.

General user behaviours/uses

YouTube attracts more adults in the 18-49 age bracket during prime time than all of the commercial television stations in the U.S. combined. 68% of YouTube users watched a video to help them make a purchase decision. More people watch YouTube to relax and be entertained than any other social media site.

Pros

  • You can communicate, sell and educate all in the one platform.
  • YouTube search engine capabilities give you another medium to promote keywords.
  • Posting videos into your posts is great for SEO.
  • You can give viewers a real ‘feel’ for your brand and products.
  • You can showcase your own personality within your brand.
  • Hashtags and online chat allow for greater interaction and content sharing opportunities.
  • There is always the chance that an obscure video can go ‘viral’.
  • New technology allows for added keyword exposure within your speech.

Cons

  • Choosing the correct video length is difficult.
  • Videos need to attract attention immediately – much quicker than written words.
  • The size of YouTube means that it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
  • Some functionality is not available until you have built a larger list of subscribers.

My thoughts

YouTube is absolutely the way of the future with some pundits expecting it to overtake Google in terms of search engine power. The addition of videos to your site is a daunting prospect but it is definitely one of those things where you just need to start shooting with what you have and improve as you go. I don’t say this often when it comes to affiliate marketing, but I believe that adding YouTube to your portfolio of social media sites is a mandatory requirement.

Best for

  • Brand and product recognition.
  • Displaying and outlining products.
  • Building brand personality.
  • Best platform for website SEO.

Pinterest

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - pinterest logoPinterest is another graphics based social media platform that allows users to share images – usually as crafted poster type pictures – as a means of promoting products, services or brands. I say crafted poster type images as usually they will provide a little tidbit or information that is derived from a web post or site. Examples if this include recipes, instructional guides, picture montages or simply just website information.

Number of Users

290+ Million users of which 79% are female

General user behaviours/uses

Pinterest is currently adding more users per month than FaceBook and Twitter Combined. In general, Pinterest users are highly educated and earn higher incomes than other platforms and actively research purchases using the platform. As high as 95% or users will actually try the ideas and information they find on Pinterest.

Pros

  • The ability to categorise pins makes it easy for other like-minded users to find your pins.
  • Linkage to website posts with SEO based fields included at loading.
  • People who click on your pin are automatically sent to your site which increases traffic and search engine rankings.
  • Promotion of ‘pins that may interest you’ leads to massive amounts of sharing.
  • Highly visual and aimed at selling products.

Cons

  • Reputation as only for fun.
  • Constant sharing and re-pinning makes copyright difficult.
  • Predominantly female audience – not really a con but just something to be aware of.
  • A lot of pins are copied from others with links changed to scam or spam.

My thoughts

I haven’t used Pinterest a lot however when I set it up for one of my sites I noticed an immediate jump in traffic to it. If you work the categorisation properly and can create attention grabbing pins then I highly recommend this platform as a means of attracting visitors to your site.

Best for

  • Providing extra value for your site
  • Increasing traffic to your site
  • Increasing brand awareness

Twitter

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - twitter logoAlthough interest has waned a little over the past few years, Twitter still has its advantages when it comes to gaining instant interaction with your followers. Twitter works by the posting of messages, links, news information, comments and opinions via a Tweet. Tweets can then be replied to or re-tweeted.

Number of Users

320+ Million users sending over 500 million tweets per month

General user behaviours/uses

24% of internet users have a twitter account – although this number is not growing. The demographic is fairly even for male and females aged 18 – 49. Twitter is the most popular social media platform for political leaders and parties to disseminate news and information. This could be due to the fact that 31% of readers are able to recall information or news read on twitter which is more than any other platform.

Pros

  • Quick and simple to use and send messages.
  • Analytics capabilities for greater audience targeting.
  • Hashtag following and retweeting.
  • Allows for real time customer service and communications channels for customers/readers.
  • Real time news dissemination making it good for product release announcements etc.
  • Linkage from Instagram.
  • Ability to link to website within tweet.

Cons

  • 280 Character limit per tweet.
  • Fast paced communications strategies can expose you and your brand to ridicule or trolling.
  • Potential audience must be online at time to see most tweets.

My thoughts

Twitter is one platform I haven’t had a real lot of exposure to. I have used it a couple of times with my websites but didn’t have the time to invest to gain a following. It is very good for those sites where constant reader input, debate and opinion is helpful such as gaming, political or news sites.

Best for

  • Real time interaction and discussion.
  • Building brand character.
  • Disseminating information to readers.

LinkedIn

ow to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - linkedinLinkedIn is probably the most formal of the social media sites and in my experience is mainly the domain of recruitment agents looking to fill positions. Whether it is meant to or not it is more used as a recruitment platform but there is however great opportunity to reach specific targeted industries and readers within the corporate or political niches. General social media behaviour – such as food photos or emotional posts – are generally frowned upon within this platform.

Number of Users

500+ million users – 40% of whom are active daily

General user behaviours/uses

61 million user are in senior leadership positions with another 41 million in purchase decision-making roles. 56% of users are male with 44% female with only 3 million users publishing content weekly. 50% of all social media traffic to B2B sites and blogs come from LinkedIn where those companies are active.

Pros

  • Allows up to 30000 connections (compared to 5000 on FaceBook).
  • Contains niche specific industry groups and networks for greater targeted access.
  • Posts display much longer in feeds than other platforms – I would say due to the significantly lower number of posts.
  • Most users record their workplace details making them much better behaved.
  • People are more willing to connect due to the mutually beneficial nature of doing so.

Cons

  • 600 Character limit per post.
  • Very limited access to younger audiences.
  • Limited personal information makes it difficult to target outside of general industry or job positions.
  • Limited personal information also makes it more difficult to build brand awareness.

My thoughts

In my government contracting days I used Linkedin extensively when looking for that all important next gig. Since then I have taken a passing interest mainly to stalk ex-workmate to see where they ended up. I am however in the throes of setting up a LinkedIn campaign so watch this space.

Best for

  • Corporate access.
  • ‘Change of job’ type niches.
  • Building trust as an expert in more formal fields and niches.

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What do I need to consider?

Ok, so now that we have covered some of the most popular social media platforms, there are two things that you need to understand from the start:

  1. Unless you hire a team of social media experts, you cannot possibly run a successful campaign using all of them
  2. Most campaigns require daily interactions and posting so they all take time and work to maintain.

As you start to create your social media campaign, you will need to be smart about who you are posting to and when to post to them. If you are using the wrong platform or so many that you can’t keep up, then you will not be effective with any of them – not to mention the time wasted that could be used to write blog posts, tweak websites or even just enjoy the lifestyle aspects of your sea change…

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the most critical aspects of choosing the correct social media platform for your website.How to start and write a blog post - social media

Audience

Let’s start with your audience. Who is it that you are trying to solve problems and provide assistance for? Knowing who your target audience is critical to any successful website and will have an effect on everything from how you write, branding and the products you refer them to. In marketing terms, this is called your customer demographics and can cover a vast array of information depending on the products that you are promoting on your website. Some common demographics include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geographic location
  • Employment status/age
  • Hobbies
  • Home owner/renter
  • Car owner
  • Marital status/children.

This information is just as important to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a social media platform. We have already discussed some of the sites that you can utilise to promote your website and posts and recorded some of base demographics for them. Once you have worked out who it is that you are targeting your posts at, do some more research to find some more in depth information as to which site the demographics for your website are using.

Tip: I only listed the base data for each site within this post but a quick search along the lines of ‘platform’ demographics (e.g. FaceBook Demographics) should provide all of the information you may need.

Objective

A common mistake that many of us make is to just get onto Facebook and add some links and think the job is done. In this case, we may just be wasting our time if we are not sure exactly what we are trying to achieve here. The second piece of information that you will need to specify are your objectives – I.E. what is it that you are trying to achieve with your social media campaign? You will need to think about whether you are trying toHow to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms - phone:

  • Drive traffic to your website or products pages.
  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Gain visibility for your products, designs, art etc.
  • Generate interaction/discussion.
  • Provide advice, assistance, tips or tricks.
  • Generate sales at a physical location.

Each of these objectives may require a different platform, or even multiple platforms. Some examples here might be if you are running an ETSY site to sell your art. In this case, you might want to run an Instagram campaign to display your items and then display your design steps on pinterest. Instagram can gain a good group of followers for you as your art attracts interest and then Pinterest can assist in driving them to your site.

Time and Skills

For those of you who are currently in the early stages of building your online business, you will certainly understand the time that this takes. So to add another aspect such as implementing a new social media campaign can only increase the time that you will need to get it all done. If this is the case for you then you might want to think about how you can save some time by simply utilizing the platform that you already know how to use.

This concept is almost coming at the problem from the opposite direction than what we have discussed so far. Instead of matching the platform to what we know, here we may need to look at matching what we know to the platform. Absolutely you need to keep your audience and objectives in mind, but if you already know how to use FaceBook and Twitter, then maybe you can use these to get something out there in the short term rather than losing time trying to learn Pinterest or the nuances of Instagram.

Brand and Style

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To be honest, I was not sure where to include this section within this post. This is due to the fact that the term brand is an ambiguous one as it can mean so many different things to so many different people. So in reality, any social media platform can be made suitable for any brand depending on the audience and objectives that we have already discussed.

The goood news is that as you have been building your website, you have probably, whether intentional ornot, started to build yourself a brand. In general terms, have a think about the following within your website:

  • What does it look like – colour, logos, fonts etc. Are they formal, relaxed, artistic etc.
  • What does your logo look like – think abut Nike – logos are the visual centerpiece of their brand – include your logo in your site at all times if possible.
  • How do you write – do you write with a lot of humour or is it all serious. Do you write informally, tell a story or just provide solid information.
  • What graphics and videos do you use?

Each of these aspects has an influence on what your brand is and in most cases, it will sort of appear simply by default and your niche. For example, if you have a site aimed at politics you will probably have darker colours, shots of buildings, infrastructure and political figures etc. to match your site content. You brand will probably be formal and serious so in this case, an Instagram picture of a bunch of teenagers partying on a beach is probably not a match for your brand.

How do we match this to a platform

As I have said, there really is no platform out there that you can’t adapt to meet the needs and objectives of your social media activities – maybe except for LinkedIn. But as I have also said, it is nearly impossible to run effective campaigns using every platform – especially if you are on your own. So with the information we have covered so far, you can use the following list to choose the platforms you want to use:

  1. Who are your audience and what are you trying to do with them (your objectives)?
  2. What social media platforms do your audience use?
  3. Which of these platforms do you know how to use?
  4. Which of these platforms are best for what you are trying to achieve?
  5. How much time do you have to commit to your campaign?
  6. Can these platforms be adapted to match your brand?

Answer these questions and you should be left with a good list of platforms to get started with. This does not mean that you cannot add to your portfolio as you grow – in fact you should be looking to expand at all times – especially if YouTube is not in your initial use list…

Conclusion

And there it is – what I hope gives you a good starting point to build a successful Social Media marketing campaign – which is a whole new subject in itself. Do you have any experience with social media for website marketing? Please let me know of your experiences below.

Do you want further assistance with your social media or need help to build your own website?

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Alternatively, if you wish to see what all the fuss is about, click on the link below to watch me build a website from scratch in just 7 days.

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Until next time

Have fun

Paul

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14 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing your Website”

  1. Nice information, you did a great job by explaining each and every platform with accurate information and since I am a newbie I didn’t know about the social platform importance and this article gave me clear information and importance of social platforms in marketing and now I know that the social platform is necessary to drive more traffic to the site.

    Thank you for sharing such a useful Information. Good job, keep on.

    Reply
  2. I’m a starting out affiliate marketer and surely I have heard a lot about social media marketing and how powerful it can be if it’s well leveraged. Seriously, you have given a lot of information on it here and I cannot thank you enough for the wealth of information provided here on this website. Though I’m still lacking in experience on the social media marketing uses but I will try it out and give feedbacks. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Thank you Paul for this very good thorough review on choosing the best social media platforms for the marketing of my website. I will say this… You are correct. It takes time to build a following which is why I have always advocated to people to start learning social media early if they intend to get into online affiliate marketing.

    One of the problems I see with many people new to social media for marketing their business is that they are afraid of using it. They see the garbage and in many cases the hate of people on social media and they back away. However when using social media for business my advice is go on, post, reply to any comments or follower request, and get off.

    Of the six social media platforms you talk about, I use Facebook and Twitter the most. I do have a Pinterest and LinkedIn account but hardly ever use them. Now after reading this review I am definitely going to start using them more. But I am not sure if I should wait on them and learn how to use Instagram and YouTube, which I currently don’t use.

    My thinking is that Instagram and YouTube are more popular than Pinterest and LinkedIn and perhaps I should put in an effort on those first. My problem is I just do not have enough time in my day to do all I want to do. I will just have to take it one step at a time and I have bookmarked this post for future reference. Thanks again Paul.

    Reply
    • Hey Robert, yes, taking it slow is a good plan to have.

      That said, I would still suggest that you check what your competition are doing in regards to the platforms chosen.  Youtube and Instagram are absolutely popular but for one of my sites, Pinterest drove way more traffic to it than any other platform.  Linked in is also extremely good for the make money online space as it is where people look at job related stuff.

      The main advantage of Youtube over the others of course is that it is the second largest search engine on the net with less competition…  a great platform if you can master it for sure.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Paul

      Reply
  4. Good Morning Paul,

    Thank you for this clarifying post on what are the different Social Media and how we can use it for our website. 

    I am doing Pinterest and the results vary a lot. This goes from having a super pin to a pin which did not attract any attention. I do like Pinterest as I use my private photos to make the pins. I have seen an increase in traffic. My audience was female in the beginning but has now shifted to a more male audience. The reason being I do not do hair, nails, or make-up.

    I have been thinking about FB and in your post, I read that it is the videos which get most attention even if they only form 3% on the platform content. So perhaps my time has come now to dive into this.

    You also mention some other platforms but I really think that 2 will be my maximum. I am kind of struggling to keep up having 2 websites already so I do not want to convert this working from home “job” into a burden.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Reply
    • Hi Taetske,

      Thanks for your comments. I have found with pinterest that if I try and mirror the popular pins (colour, font etc.) then I get a better response with others.  But you are right – some just don’t seem to appeal…

      I agree with sticking to only a few sites but if you can harness videos on FaceBook with some good followers you will smash it! – add some live ones too!!

      Paul

      Reply
  5. Hi Paul! I think your page looks amazing and you did an awsome job. your ideas are very well organized, you have all the relevant info right there, at a glance.  I love how you have the list of pros and cons at your figertips, because as we all know,choosing a social media platform that is going to  be a good fit for you and your niche is critical for success

    Reply
  6. Hello Paul

    Thanks a lot for sharing this post on How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing your Website.
    Currently, i’m only using Pinterest to market my website. I’m worried if I use to many platforms then I wont be able to keep up.
    So far, I only have few followers may be due to the way I approach my audience.
    I’m running a home remedies website were I share tips and trick on how people can make their own remedies from home.
    Which other social media platforms do you think is best market for my site?

    Cheers,
    Samm

    Reply
    • Hi Samm – Pinterest is definitely a good one for something like home remedies – Are you putting the actual remedy recipes on your pins?  This will help for sure.  I would also recommend playing with colours and fonts if you are not getting a lot of traction and also make sure your keywords are present.

      If you are in the natural remedy field I would also look for Facebook groups that you might be able to interact with. 

      But most importantly, if you are not shooting videos on how you make and use your home remedies then start! Start now!..  Set yourself up with your mobile/cell phone on a stand with a window behind it and start shooting.  YouTube is SEO and keyword gold!!

      Hope this helps

      Paul

      Reply
  7. Hey Paul,

    Thats a great article, very thorough and loved the video as well. 

    I’ve been quite active on Instagram but after reading this post I see the value of promoting content on Pinterest as well, especially as my audience is mostly female. Would start working on a strategy for that. Thanks once again mate. Wishing you the best in health and happiness.

    Kind Regards

    Harry.

    Reply
    • My pleasure Harry, and I would absolutely recommend Pinterest for your market. It is an excellent means of driving traffic to your site as well.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Paul

      Reply

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