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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Rajandra

Pros & Cons of Key Social Media Channels

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Getting your business started on Social Media doesn't need to be a daunting task. The key here is to pick the right channel or channels that support your business objectives and audiences. Here's a brief overview of what the pros and cons of each major channel are and their suitability for different businesses.




Facebook

Pros

Largest user base, multiple languages, multiple media types, built for a wide variety of businesses, sophisticated insights, low ad cost, drives traffic to site, different ad products available for use based on campaign objectives.

Cons

Aging user base, restrictive, competitive, algorithm updates work against brand pages

Suitability

Facebook is great for small businesses starting out as it is cost-effective and reaches a wide audience. A mix of content and paid done right is a good way to build a brand and get noticed by the right audience on Facebook.

For larger businesses, Facebook can be used to introduce new products and services, direct traffic to their site, and also as a platform to connect with customers and gain insights from your target audience. These insights can be used to better operations, systems, and also products or services. If done right, it can be used to innovate and create new products or services.

Twitter

Pros

The third-largest user base, multiple languages, multiple media types, easily discoverable, helps SEO, and has a large amount of consumer conversation available for analysis.

Cons

Limited characters for postings, ads are expensive, the platform is stagnant.

Suitability

Users mainly use Twitter as a Customer Service platform or for news updates. Leveraging this for your business is the best way to make this most of this platform.


Thought leaders, journalists, and other key opinion leaders related to more serious industries such as tech and finance are often found on Twitter as compared to other platforms. Engaging with these thought leaders and working the PR angle to get a mention is a great way to get conversation around your brand through this channel.

Instagram

Pros

Fastest growing user base, younger age group, easily discoverable content, multiple media types, visually driven, low cost, shopping ad formats available to certain business accounts, stories give timely visibility.

Cons

Restrictive towards external links, visuals, and videos need to be high quality and carefully curated to stand out from the crowd, consistent posting is a must, huge competition for users attention.

Suitability

Instagram is a great platform for consumer products and services. Using it alongside Facebook, small businesses can showcase products in a lifestyle setting which is the best way to leverage the platform.

For larger businesses, Instagram is a great platform to showcase your brand’s story through visuals and videos. This is especially true for campaigns and festive periods when users are showcasing their daily lives and interacting with friends more.


Another point to note that influencers on Instagram are a huge asset to businesses, both big and small as they akin to celebrity endorsers with the ability to influence purchase, website visits, and brand perception.

YouTube

Pros

Unlimited length for videos, helps SEO, easily searched through keywords and tags, second largest user base, larger ad reach, users are spending more time on YouTube compared to other platforms.

Cons

The high initial investment, video only platform (does not support other media types), higher ad cost.

Suitability

For smaller businesses creating high-quality videos could be costly, but with free tools online available, simple product demos could be created and then shared across to complement other marketing efforts.

This is most suitable for larger businesses as the cost to produce video content and paid ads are high.


Another point to note that influencers on YouTube are a great way to produce content and gain exposure to specific target audiences.

LinkedIn

Pros

The high-quality audience, audiences are highly engaged, brands are trusted compared to other social channels, used specifically to market B2B products.

Cons

Advertising cost highest among all platforms, mainly used for recruitment or networking, limited user base.

Suitability

Due to the high cost for advertising and its targeted objectives (recruitment) this platform is suitable for larger businesses looking to build a name within the industry and to hire professional candidates.

For a small business, this platform is a worthwhile investment if your product is a business-related (B2B) product or service.


With the introduction of authors and the increase in job losses in recent months, there is a lot more activity on LinkedIn. Gaining traction by leveraging current topics through well thought out content on the channel is a great way to build your brand and generate leads. Connecting with communities and leveraging thought leadership content is an effective way to build brand authority with industry peers and suss out potential customers or vendors to aide strategic business functions.

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