Social media marketing can help your business reach many goals. However, with old platforms evolving rapidly and new ones emerging constantly, choosing the right platform for your social media marketing goals can be difficult.

Just like with any of your digital marketing efforts, social media marketing can only be as successful as the strategy behind it. This includes choosing the most effective platform for your particular goal, whether it's increasing brand awareness, promoting products, engaging with current customers, etc.

When selecting which platform would be most effective for your social media marketing goals, consider the different strengths of each platform.

Facebook - Brand Awareness, B2C

As the world's largest social media network, Facebook's potential reach is unparalleled. The platform allows you to build an online community centered on your brand, where you can engage with your customers and build lasting relationships.

Use Facebook for Business to Customer outreach.

With the wide range of users on the platform, Facebook is an effective way to get customers to join your community and engage with your brand.

One significant benefit of using Facebook to spread brand awareness is the extensive capability to target Facebook ads - compared to the average online reach of 38% for targeted campaigns, Facebook targeting is 89% accurate.

From location and demographics to even interests and behaviors, Facebook allows you to specifically target the audience that will benefit from and engage with your content the most.

Twitter – attract new customers, B2B and B2C

Twitter is a great social tool for attracting new customers. An ongoing digital conversation, Twitter is an in-the-moment real-time platform where brands can engage with users by sharing news and quick updates.

Use twitter for Business to Business and Business to Customer outreach.

Twitter is particularly effective for attracting new customers because you can utilize social listening.

Social listening is a social media marketing tactic that involves monitoring specific keywords on Twitter.

The best strategy is to choose keywords that are relevant to your business including your business name, products/services you offer, or pain points of your customers.

Most monitoring tools will also allow you to set a geographic location that includes your target area.

When a user in your geographic region tweets about any of the keywords you will be alerted. This enables you to respond from your business' Twitter handle and reach out to a new potential customer who may have not been familiar with your brand.

Pinterest – promote products, B2C

A content-sharing platform that lets users "pin" photos and videos to their various boards, Pinterest is an ideal medium for businesses with visual products.

Pinterest is a good choice for Bussiness to Customer ads

Pinterest is differs from other platforms because it is less focused on direct engagement and interaction.

While users do take action to follow the boards of their friends and favorite brands, they don’t expect the same interaction that they do through Facebook comment responses or Twitter favorites. Instead, most users go to Pinterest to browse pins in certain categories like Women’s Fashion, Health & Fitness, or Food & Drink.

A business can showcase its products seamlessly in a relevant category among other lifestyle pins that their target user would be browsing.

Pinterest has capitalized on this by optimizing its pins to be very eCommerce friendly including the price, and a direct link to purchase.

LinkedIn – establish industry expertise, B2B

LinkedIn is a career-oriented social platform in which users can grow their professional connections.

Likedin for Business to Business outreach

If your social media marketing goals include establishing your business as a leading industry expert, LinkedIn is your platform.

It should be noted that LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network that would not be a great fit for a business targeting consumers.

A B2B company, however, should have a robust company page with consistent updates to establish their industry expertise.

Business professionals will be more likely to follow and hopefully share content from successful company pages that can increase your brand’s reputation and reach a new audience.

Instagram – Connect with current customers, B2C

As a photo-sharing social platform, Instagram is an effective way to build relationships, connect with current customers, and humanize your brand.

Use Instagram for Business to Customer outreach.

Instagram reaches a different audience that is less likely to respond to brand interactions or advertisements.

This platform presents a unique opportunity to bring new life into your brand by connecting with users on a more personal level.

The Instagram newsfeed differs from a Facebook newsfeed because there are still a limited number of ads.

Your brand’s post will most likely appear in between photos of users' best friends or family members.

Instagram does not allow links in their posts, so you can’t drive traffic to a product or blog post. The main goal with Instagram is to gain likes, this can only be done with content that connects with users on a deeper level.

Aligning your social media marketing goals with the right platform can significantly improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.