How To Choose The Best Social Media Platform For Your Company

To date, Microsoft has amassed 463,353 followers on Facebook – and that’s only counting their main company page, not the separate pages they have dedicated to their products and services including Windows, Windows Phone, Bing, Office, Internet Explorer and Xbox. There’s little doubt that Microsoft has achieved additional success by using Facebook as a social media marketing platform. But is it the best social platform for your company? This depends on your goals, your traffic-handling capabilities, your audience and your resources. There are many social platforms to choose from aside from Facebook, including:How To Choose the best social media platform for your company

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • YouTube
  • FourSquare
  • Blogger
  • Flickr

…and it’s possible, sometimes even preferable, to choose more than one.

What Exactly Are You Trying to Achieve?

Before dedicating your resources to a social platform, it’s important to define some goals. Your company’s goal might be:

  • More traffic.
  • More sales.
  • More inbound links.
  • A viral marketing campaign to increase visibility.

Of course, you might want to achieve all of these things, which consequently work hand in hand: a viral marketing campaign can lead to more inbound links, which subsequently leads to more traffic for your site and ultimately to more sales.

A typical scenario might look like this: Your company produces a viral marketing campaign with clever, humorous YouTube videos designed to subtly advertise your products or services. The goal? More inbound links, more traffic and more sales. This is exactly what Levi’s did with their famous viral marketing campaign, in which they uploaded YouTube videos of people backflipping and leaping into a pair of jeans. Estimates indicate that this campaign reached out to nearly 100 million people, undoubtedly increasing denim sales for Levi’s.

How Much Traffic Can You Handle?

Different social media sites bring in different levels of traffic, and this can vary heavily according to your company’s niche. As of April 2010, Facebook was towering over other social media platforms in terms of total unique visitors, with 500 million as opposed to under 100 million for both Twitter and MySpace. In less than one year, however, Twitter has increased to 190 million users (nearly doubling) while Facebook now has 600 million users (20% growth). Of course, these are only raw user counts, and they don’t necessarily indicate how much of this traffic will actually see your company.

The traffic handling capabilities of your company’s site are important as well. Even the biggest news and entertainment sites can be bogged down by excessive traffic after breaking a big announcement, and your site is no different. A successful social media marketing campaign can generate a lot of traffic very quickly (Levi’s, for example, didn’t expect their YouTube campaign to be nearly as successful as it was), and investing in a robust business web hosting service can help to prepare your company’s site for massive amounts of traffic.

What Are the Daily Online Habits of Your Audience?

In 2010, Chitika (an online advertising network) conducted a study to determine where exit traffic ultimately ended up after leaving major social media sites. The results:


  • News – 28%
  • Tech – 7%
  • Celebrities and Entertainment – 9%
  • How-To/DIY – 13%
  • Community – 17%
  • Shopping – 9%
  • Other – 17%


  • News – 47%
  • Tech – 10%
  • Celebrities and Entertainment – 10%
  • Movies – 6%
  • How-To/DIY – 4%
  • Other – 23%

Although many of the categories have similar statistics, the study indicates that news sites are better served, to an overwhelming degree, by Twitter marketing, while How-To sites may gain a slight edge with a Facebook page. The exit traffic from MySpace, on the other hand, was primarily focused on celebrities/entertainment (23%) and video games (28%), with little interest in news. Other social media studies reveal important traffic information as well, such as the fact that 28% of adults in America say that they provide advice about buying products and services on social media sites, and that the Facebook community is predominantly female (albeit by a small margin).

How Many Resources Can You Spare?

Since most social platforms can be used free of charge, time is the primary resource to concern yourself with when choosing one. When creating a Facebook page for your company, for example, you must examine the individual time sinks:

  • Creating the page itself
  • Regularly updating it with quality content
  • Promoting the page on your company’s main site
  • Interacting with fans on your Wall (optional)

The fourth time sink is optional because it largely depends on the size of your company. If you own a very large company with tens of thousands of fans, it may be acceptable to allow fans to post on your Wall without actually replying. Fans of smaller companies, however, generally expect a higher level of interaction.

On Twitter, a higher level of interaction is often expected of all companies. This can lead to an ongoing time sink: crafting thoughtful, meaningful tweets while adhering to the 140-character maximum post limit. Of course, the initial time investment with Twitter is smaller than with Facebook, since little more than a name and a brief bio will do. Twitter can require more ongoing maintenance overall, since your image on this social media platform is largely dictated by your tweets as opposed to a profile page.

On Social Media Management Tools

You can greatly reduce the time required for social platform marketing by utilizing social media management tools. Some of the best include:

Spredfast or Google Analytics for metrics and analysis such as determining ROI and whether you’re reaching your target audience.

HootSuite for identifying followers and fans that are worth further engagement.

TweetDeck for simultaneously updating multiple social platform statuses and monitoring interaction across multiple accounts.


Regardless of the social platform you choose for your company, building a large group of followers will take time and patience. There are two exceptions:

1. Your company is so large and successful already that a social media presence is merely icing on the cake.

2. Your first attempt at a viral marketing campaign absolutely blows up, leaving you with more traffic than you can probably handle.

This can actually be dangerous if you don’t have the resources necessary to keep up with huge traffic and high demand for products and services.

Guest Author: David Murton


  • Gabriele Maidecchi

    The last tip about Patience is the most important one to me.
    You can tailor a social media strategy carefully selecting the right platforms and creating the right content for each of them, but without Patience you will not go too far. Unless you are particularly lucky and hit the spot with a successful viral campaign, going the “traditional” way requires a lot of time.
    It reminds me of people starting to blog to start earning money within weeks. It doesn’t really work that way most of the times.

  • Nigel Ohrum

    Jeff, have you done a piece concerning time management of social networks with respect to particular focuses (blogs, small business physical location vs, Internet, etc.)?

    @David, excellent insight and overview. I would reiterate the other comment on patience. I’m new to this industry, but no stranger to the cocept of having patience. Great thoughts.

  • Gautam Tandon

    100% agreed – word to word! To me Social Media is the most hyped around buzz word of current times. We all know it; We all understand it; And we all are, well at times, upset about it. I have tried to use simple techniques like “Learn about Time Management”, “Define your goals properly”, “Prioritize your activities”, etc. to make sure I don’t get addicted and glued to my facebook account all the time. I have tried to capture all that in my blog:

    Hope it will help others too.


  • Daniel

    Social media is indeed the word to utter today! There is so much to offer by these social networking sites, it is tough to even fathom. I do agree that different platforms are particularly better for different uses. In time businesses can effectively capitalize on bigger prospects.

  • Adex

    Great article, Jeff. Simple and useful. I like your last tip – it’s so difficult to be patient sometimes :)).

  • Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt

     Lots of good info here. Nice job, David.

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  • Blogging4Jobs

    You pose a great question here David! <a href="multiplying “>Twitter is a fantastic platform for businesses. With over 2000 million users it allows content to reach farther than Facebook. Great post here! -JMM

  • BinB News

    The idea that you might get millions running at your door because they absolutely love what you do and can’t wait to get some more… tad optimistic 😉

    Reality is more likely to be, folk get bored of trying after just 3 articles, tweets, likes…We all, companies very large and small, need to engage online and be aware of how platforms can be used to engage with potential clients… more thought needs to be given to the research side of the equation which puts sales folk in a better position to know what the clients really want…

  • unique visitors

    huh, facebook is more easy to do bussines..i make a lot of money through it

  • Liad

    Thank you! great article, clear and concise. I think today, more than ever, its very important to choose the right tool for social media marketing since there is so much stuff going, its easy to get lost or just leave it aside. Another great tool I’d like to suggest is Oktopost, which is a very useful tool for b2b social media marketing and lead generation.

  • Kimberlee Lockhart

    I work for a small business with a Twitter acct. that they do not utilize, and I’m going to use your words to try to talk them into letting me re-work it.
    I value your output. Thanks Jeff

  • Janine Dalton

    Thanks for the practical and useful article! I love that you point out that social media costs more time than money; it seems like business owners often forget or undervalue this. Interesting stats too!
    I’m going to share this with my various networks. :)

    • Jeff Brown

      One of the most significant factors when running a successful Social Media website is to use reliable hosting

  • Jennifer Groff

    Its totally depends on your business. Using Social media the user can
    easily get traffic on their account and gain fans. When the users buy social media format they get to have amazing exposure.

  • Essay Maxi

    What is #1 social media? what do you think?

  • Sara

    Social media is a new trend, which helps to grow any business: online marketing, SEO and traffic.

    I prefer to use all the possible social platforms to increase traffic and popularity of my brands.

  • Stefania

    People often overlook
    social media, because they think that their segment in the market has nothing
    to do with it. Since we live in the digital era, we have to remember that
    branding that can be easily done through social media is very important for any
    company. I would have to agree that Oktopost, that has some quirky features and
    Buffer are missing from the list. I was blown away by Buffer, I mean it is so
    comfortable to use, especially when you integrate them into Facebook and
    browser. These two definitely deserve attention. I saw that writers per hour are
    using them and tried first Buffer, then Oktopost. However I am sure all the
    platforms have something unique to offer.

  • David

    Regardless of the social platform you
    choose for your company, building a large group of followers will take
    time and patience. There are two exceptions:

    Check it

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  • JohnnyDepp

    Much thanks to You for this data, however I do have an inquiry. My site is a creature data site, so I “googled” Social Networks for Pets, the first result had a rundown of 18 interpersonal organizations for pet sweethearts, so my inquiry is can Buffer do on these lesser known informal communities what you do with the major ones? That is post a tweet or remark naturally. The site began as a pooch strolling administration C4040-250 pass-4sure , yet physical & monetary constraints changed that, however permitted me to grow.

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  • Raymond Casey

    Personally i use myspace and FourSquare. And sometimes Assignment writing service.

  • Albert Smith

    This information is very timely since the traditional marketing strategies have been replaced by the social media marketing. There are very many social media platforms and a business person may be faced with the difficulty of choosing the best platform to use. Your article has clearly solved this problem.