With an ocean of potential customers as vast as the Internet, it is hard to resist casting a wide net. All too often, businesses trying to build their digital presence will create accounts on as many social media platforms as possible. But when it comes to finding the right customers and maximizing your reach, less is more with regards to social media.

Indeed, selecting the right platform to build your business is crucial to not only finding new customers and engaging with your returning ones, but to keep resource costs down, saving you time, money, and creative energy. While every business and industry has an affinity to different platforms, a single business should limit itself to two or three. But which ones and why? Well, that all depends on what your business does and what kinds of customers and clients you serve.

Consider the following questions when choosing your social media platforms and building your marketing strategy.

What does your business do — and why?

Before making a page to represent your business on social media, think about what your business does. Do you offer business-to-business (B2B) services? Are you an online retailer? Do you sell solely digital goods or do you ship physical ones remotely? Are you a brick-and-mortar business trying to attract local customers or are you expanding into the digital market by offering new shippable products?

All of these types of business models perform better (or worse) on different platforms. A B2B provider, for example, will fare much better on LinkedIn whereas a musician or clothing line might be more at home on Instagram. All of them could have a presence on Facebook to help amplify their message and funnel them to more niche platforms or your company’s site.

Still, some of the best kinds of marketing revolve around storytelling. How did your business start and why? Do you own a bakery that started because all of your friends fell in love with your chocolate chip cookie recipe? Did you start designing and selling posters for music festivals after a few people noticed a band flyer you made for a friend? When choosing a platform, find the ones that help tell your story the best whether in text, images, videos, or all three.

Who is your audience and where do they hang out?

Knowing what your business does and how to explain that is an important first step. The next step is then to get yourself in front of the people you are looking to do business with.

Start by creating an ideal customer profile and determine where they spend their time online. For instance, if you are trying to sell cookware to stay-at-home moms, places like Pinterest (where they collect recipes) or YouTube (where they learn how to use those recipes) will be your best bet. If you have a new brand of sunglasses, t-shirts, or tank tops and are trying to sell to bodybuilders, Instagram or even Tiktok could prove useful. 

No matter what you are selling or who you are selling to, ignore platforms your potential customers do not use. After all, why spend the time and money cultivating a presence in front of a non-existent audience? There might be plenty of people, sure, but if they are not people looking for what you have to sell, it still amounts to wasted energy. You might be able to convert some of them into customers, but it makes the most sense to go where your target demographic already is.

Remember, less is more.

What kind of content could your business create to supplement its marketing campaign?

Finally, digital marketing is not just about selling your services or products. It is also about selling the culture your brand represents. You want to demonstrate that your business is not only knowledgeable and trustworthy, but that you know what your customers want and can connect authentically with them. With that in mind, content creation is important whether it is videos, images, or blog posts not unlike this one.

Again, what kind of content you create is based on the platform you are using, what your target demographic needs and cares about, and what your company does. With us an example, Web Finance Direct works with all kinds of organizations such as banks, car dealerships, and a wide variety of small and large businesses. Beyond indirect financing options, we want to provide useful resources to those looking for them. 

For instance, you might have found us because you were looking for merchant cash advances to help fund your business. But you find yourself overwhelmed with your marketing campaign that has yet to provide a return despite having so many accounts on every platform under the sun. Our goal is to help people save money, find financing that works for them, and be successful. You finding a blog post like this one that can help you solve the problems you face provides value to you (your social media campaigns become more effective by cutting out what is not working and focusing on what is) and to us (we helped solve one problem which might entice you to see what other problems we can help with).

Still, each business and the demographic they serve have affinities to different media. Blog posts are great for guides, long-form explanations, or references to come back to later. Videos, on the other hand, are great for breaking down complex topics or even being entertaining (there are many more viral videos than there are blog posts after all). Combining visuals with text, you can create some great images like infographics, sales notices, or social media posts for news feeds.

While each platform, business, and target demographic all have their own strategies that can be written into full books, this information should at least help you get started on cultivating your digital presence. By understanding your business, audience, and how to bridge the gap between the two on the right platforms with the right content, you will find that a few specialized nets will catch more traffic than many general ones. Great salesmanship is about helping fulfill a need after all. So go where you are needed.