What is the best social media channel for my business?

best social media channel

I’ve been blogging for more than a decade and I realized I’ve never answered this question — the most-asked question I receive — “What is the best social media channel for my business?”

So I will try to answer it today.

I normally cringe when I hear this question because to give a very specific answer, I would need to know a lot more about the company, competition, etc. The optimal marketing mix might be different for every business.

But I do have a general answer … and it might surprise you.

Is it really about the best social media channel?

When somebody asks this question, it’s normally because they are just starting out with social media — and they’re overwhelmed! They have some inclination that their business needs to be on Facebook or LinkedIn and they don’t know where to start.

Here is the place to start: You’re asking the wrong question.

You see, the real value in marketing is driven by content. The content is the fuel behind the social media engine. Social media is simply the distribution system for the content. So the first question isn’t “What is the best social media channel for my business?” It’s “What is the best content for my business?”

Again, it might seem overwhelming, but it’s not.

If you’re asking this question, you’re probably a small company with limited resources. So, you can’t do everything and be everywhere. To keep it simple, you basically have four content choices:

  • Writing something like a blog
  • Recording audio like a podcast
  • Creating video as you would see on YouTube or live-streamed
  • Visual content suitable for Instagram or Pinterest.

To stand out on the web you can’t be great in 10 places. So if you have limited resources, my recommendation is to focus on one content form, master it, and build an audience. Create something meaningful at least once a week.

Which content form do you choose? There are many considerations like competition and customers, but in the end, I recommend choosing something you enjoy because you will have to stick with it for a long time to have success.

Social media is a distribution system

Are you creating great content? Now you have some fuel to power your social media engine.

  • Once you have a blog, for example, you can now post this in multiple places like LinkedIn, Twitter, Substack, and Medium.
  • If you have a video, you can publish all or part of it on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, to name a few.
  • Likewise, a podcast can be distributed in many creative ways. YouTube is actually a huge discovery engine for podcasts.

Many of these activities can be automated, assigned to a virtual assistant, or you can do it yourself once you have the content.

What is the best social media channel for my business?

Now let’s get more specific.

With limited resources, you can probably only succeed in a limited number of places. Let’s focus on your GOALS.

I recently had a student who managed social media for a high-end private athletic club. You might think they need to be posting on LinkedIn, or perhaps Facebook.

But we had to consider the GOAL.

All their memberships were sold out. Their biggest goal right now is finding enough workers for their kitchen staff. So they are considering content on TikTok showing what a fun place it is for employees. On the surface, the teen-oriented TikTok seems like a strange place for this elite business … but not when you consider the needs of the club right now.

That’s why it’s hard for me to be prescriptive in any general way about the best social media channel without knowing many details about the goals of the business and the competitive landscape.

What are your short-term and long-term goals? Don’t post just to post. Serve the goals of the business.

Best social media channel strategy

I think if you follow the three steps I’ve discussed today, you’ll get your company in the ballpark when choosing the best social media channel:

  1. Keep focused on the short-term and long-term business goals
  2. Commit to consistent content to fuel social media
  3. Regard social media as the distribution channel for your content

Now, this post only addresses an organic (non-advertising) social media strategy. There would be another set of considerations for a paid strategy, and most businesses need that too. But in general, I think this should help you sort through the best social media channel for your business on a macro level.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram. Discover his $RISE creator community.

All posts

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast!

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Mark’s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details

Share via