Social networks have changed pretty much every element of the internet. Whether it’s how you connect with your audience or even grow your brand and online following, it’s all about being social and making sure you have a presence on each of the most important social networks out there.
With that being said, not all social networks are created equal, nor should they be. Facebook is the King, with more than two-billion users. While Twitter is still one of the most used in the media and one of the first places where real-world news and events break. Other top social networks like Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram are all about visuals.
No matter which platform is your favorite, it’s important to make sure you are growing your following while also providing value in the process. At the same time, you also want to make sure your content is not only be shared on social media, but also well branded with your logo design and company colors. This is something Twitter and Facebook is great with, while branding options are limited on Snapchat and Instagram.
To help with this topic, we asked 7o+ different content creators and branding experts what their favorite social network is, and how to get the most out of it. Implement these tips into your blog, brand or business today and see improved social media returns tomorrow!
What is your preferred social network for growing an audience and why?
It’s incredibly difficult to grow an audience organically on any of the established social networks these days. The average profile on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter grows by 0.1% or less monthly. You can grow easily by spending a lot of money buying followers through official and unofficial channels but none of these will bring you any lasting benefits other than the opportunity to brag about the vanity metric. The problem with buying an audience is that only a single digit percentage of them will ever see the content that you post organically so you get stuck in the loop of always needing to spend money to reach people. And on newer social networks it is possible to get more virality but the situation becomes bad there too as the network matures and that’s for example why Snapshot has stopped being as effective as it was earlier. This is why I recommend putting most of the efforts into the creation of great content that answers questions real people have and using that to attract an audience to your website where you can get them to join your mailing list which puts you in complete control. Publishing amazing content also helps grow an audience as the more people that love it and share it on social media for you, the more it helps you break through the low reach issue. You can still be active on your social profiles but this strategy removes the pressure of relying too much on your own organic social efforts.
Marko Saric – HowToMakeMyBlog.com
The short answer is Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but via ads. We think of it in terms of using multiple networks to build email and retargeting audiences- not necessarily social media followers- because our experience with thousands of businesses is that organic audiences often aren’t big or strong enough to rely on for revenue. There are definitely exceptions, but for the businesses that we consult and work with, organic is too slow and unreliable. Even though, for example, Instagram audiences are very engaged, they don’t usually leave Instagram so that you can get business out of them unless you run ads with calls to action to external links. So our strategy is typically to use engaging ads to drive people from multiple social networks to a website, squeeze page or funnel to grow an email list and retargeting audience- ultimately to drive sales and profitability. Because of that, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are the most effective networks for us. But we include Google AdWords in the bunch because we see modern marketing as being more about driving people with advertising and great content to take meaningful action and ultimately sales and customer loyalty. To us, it’s not about social vs. search. It’s about ads vs. organic, and full funnel strategy vs. myopic focus on only one part of the funnel. We don’t find it useful to focus only on audience growth and engagement because if you do that the wrong way, it becomes a dead end that doesn’t lead to sales or revenue.
Brian Carter – BrianCarterGroup.com
My preferred social network depends on the niche. For business oriented niches, I like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For broader, non-business audiences, I like Facebook Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
If I were forced to only choose one social network for each type of niche, I’d choose Facebook for business niches and Pinterest for non-business niches.
Jon Dykstra – FatStacksBlog.com
What Social Media Network brings me the best results totally depends upon what I am looking to accomplish when I am looking to accomplish it, and for whom. There is NO “one” best platform for me… unless there is a very directed KPI.
For me, the best results are created by a wide syndication strategy, focused engagement, and daily relationship building. I syndicate my blog content repeatedly via my own blog, TedRubin.com, any sites I am engaged to write for, my Medium blog, my LinkedIn publishing, TheSocialCMO.com, and HuffPo. I then socialize every time I post via my various Twitter handles, LinkedIn, Facebook personal, business and author pages, and Google Plus.
In addition, I share content regularly that is created strictly for social distribution via Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, G+, and Instagram.
Ted Rubin – TedRubin.com
As much as I enjoy Twitter, I feel it’s losing that flame and following that it used to have. Twitter is one of my top choices because it has become so mainstream and in the media for references and how to follow pretty much anyone. I also like the ability to keep track or retweets and place social sharing buttons on my site. At the same time, it’s also really easy to create new accounts for each of my blogs or new projects I’m working on. Throw in the option of social media scheduling for updates and my latest blog posts, and Twitter is pretty unique. If they can clean up their game, wipe out the spam bots and find someone to acquire the company and really get it to compete against the Instagrams and Snapchats of today, Twitter may still have a bright future.
Zac Johnson – Blogging.org
Facebook is definitely my preferred social network for growing my audience because everyone is on Facebook. You can create your own page or group and join other groups as well. This helps you build a loyal fan base. You can also expedite the process by running Facebook ads.
Syed Balkhi – WPBeginner.com
As software developers behind TimeCamp, we love Quora.com. We use the website on a daily basis, not only to promote TC but also as the source of knowledge. Quora is the place where we meet new customers, people whom we may turn to with our services. At the same time, it is not a pushy way to promote one’s product.
I like Quora for its user-friendly interface, which distinguishes the website from, for instance, Reddit with its coarse graphics. What is more, I have an impression that Quora is a more professional portal than any other, with more business-like subjects. It really offers valuable knowledge.
Besides, I like the section responsible for reporting addressees’ profiles on Quora. I am keen on numbers, and when I see that my posts have reached larger number of users, I smile.
Paweł Kijko – TimeCamp.com
I LOVE LinkedIn. I have fantastic LI communities and the Pulse network for blogging on is simply superb. Given the changes happening on FB (ads in groups coming, group algorithms etc) LI is the place to have a group. The options to have sub-groups mean you can create incredible communities that are readily indexed in the search engines.
LinkedIn is also a business community, so people are not offended if you make an offer or want to pick up the phone rather than publicly share a strategy.
Pulse – I try and blog on the Pulse weekly. Sometimes it’s a round-up of content that I like and techniques that I’ve seen, other times it’s very rich content aimed at a specific segment of the LI community. All of this activity, of course, is directed back to my website where I can build a deeper connection.
Each day I complete small, specific activities to grow my presence there and out of all the platforms, LI Marketing is the one that’s showing the most significant growth in 2017.
Sarah Arrow – Sark eMedia
The #1 traffic source for my Massachusetts Real Estate blog is Pinterest and it is not even close! If you are skilled at creating decent graphics Pinterest can be a huge boon. People love Pinterest for its ease of pinning great content. The thing that is different about Pinterest is the shelf life of a share at this social platform. In every other social media site, your traffic will begin to fade the day after you post. Not so with Pinterest! Traffic will continue to grow because members continue to share your pins over and over again. It is a perpetual traffic source. If you are going to become active in using Pinterest I would highly recommend a few things:
- Find a great visual graphics creating tool like Canva.
- Use tall pins which garner far more traffic.
- Apply for “rich pins” with Pinterest which add html to your pins making them stand out.
- Join some of the top group boards in your niche. Group boards offer the ability to get significant traffic to your content.
Bill Gassett – MaxRealEstateExposure.com
Facebook. Simply because people spend more time on there than any other social media site.
Rafi Chowdhury – ChowdhurysDigital.com
I like Twitter because the rough and ready, Wild West nature of tweeting helps me form strong friendships quickly on the platform. Only so many updates are allowed on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn before you receive the scarlet letter of “S”, for a Spammer. Not so on Twitter. Frequent tweeting is encouraged if you engage your followers a few times daily. Less links. More text only tweets. This is a secret to me attracting 51,000 engaged, targeted followers who chat me up, retweet me and actually click on the links I send out via my tweets.
Ryan Biddulph – BloggingFromParadise.com
Humans are visual people. We’ve known for years that social media content that contains images and videos far exceeds other forms of content (like text) for viewer engagements, so Instagram is the perfect place to build a highly engaged audience.
With networks like Facebook and Twitter, users aren’t sure what they’ll get. It could be text, video, links, or other forms of content. With Instagram, users visit already in the mindset to consume visual content. You’ve already overcome the hurdle of providing the type of content a user is in search of.
By sharing fun and interesting (truly interesting, not just interesting because it meets your marketing needs) content on Instagram, I’m able to continue to grow my audience and keep them happily engaged.
Ben Brausen – BenBrausen.com
My preferred social network is Twitter. I love it because it’s an easy non-threatening way to meet new people, build relationships and start conversations with both influencers as well as small business owners.
Ivana Taylor – DIYMarketers.com
This is one of those questions where there really is no generic answer. The right social platform will very much depend on the audience you are targeting. I like the expression that you should fish where the fish are and your social marketing efforts should be no different.
Start by defining your audience and identifying where they hang out for the kind of content that you will be sharing. Once you have this clear idea of who your audience is and where they are then you can more effectively target those users.
This is a critical step and we recently published a guide to social media marketing that helps identify who your audience and what exact platforms will help you build your audience.
Marcus Miller – BowlerHat.co.uk
Facebook is the best network to grow your audience if you have the budget for ads, but Twitter is the best for organic growth tactics. Though it’s a bit of a grey area, Twitter hasn’t cracked down yet on those employing automation techniques for growing their audience, unlike Instagram, who aims to keep all activities of-the-moment. Instagram still refuses to allow users the option to completely schedule posts, trying to appease businesses with a clunky multi-step process that doesn’t quite do the job.
Besides the opportunity for automating various growth activities, Twitter is a platform also known for networking and communication. For better or worse, people use Twitter to get an individual or company’s attention. It’s also welcoming of a larger quantity of posts, whereas on a platform like Facebook, you probably shouldn’t post more than once per day without risking your message getting lost, or splitting attention for it. Being able to diversify your messaging on a daily basis makes it possible to continuously reach new people and grow your audience.
Maddy Osman – The-Blogsmith.com
My preferred social network for growing an audience is Facebook for many reasons.
First, Facebook offers an enormous opportunity to promote your blog posts. My blog growth took off thanks to Facebook. Facebook groups exist which have daily threads and weekly threads that allow self-promotion. Others let you promote your posts daily to the group’s wall.
In addition to promoting your blog posts, many groups have social media sharing threads. I have received Flipboard followers this way. I know of other groups that have a list of Twitter members, and they all follow each other on Twitter. Groups exist for Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest… Name the social media platform, and I’m sure you’ll find a Facebook group for it. They answer questions about the social media site and share each other’s articles on that social media site.
Other groups exist that will increase engagement. For example, if you are looking to boost comments on your blog, many Facebook groups help with that. Often, you are required to comment a certain number of times.
In all of these ways, Facebook has helped grow my subscribers, my traffic, and my blogging friends.
Janice Wald – MostlyBlogging.com
I’m passionate about social media. That’s why I set clear social media objectives. I love using Facebook groups for connecting with other bloggers. For getting more traffic to my site, use Pinterest. I Here are some quick tips:
- Pin only vertical images.
- Join a lot of group boards in your niche.
- Enable rich pins on your site. These are pins that include extra information on the pin itself, as the name of your site and your icon displayed underneath the pin image.
- Include relevant keywords in your profile description so your profile can be discovered by other users from your niche.
There are a lot of myths surrounding Pinterest, but the truth is that this social network has increased a lot. I have twice more followers on Pinterest than Facebook and Twitter together.
Minuca Elena – MinucaElena.com
I’m usually torn between Facebook and Twitter. I love them both because of how easy they make it to share site content, while also connecting with other people around the world. I still haven’t gotten that active with Instagram or Snapchat yet. I think it’s tougher to build a brand on those platforms while being able to measure results. With Twitter I can see retweets and follower counts, while Facebook also allows me to create Groups and ad campaigns through their platform. For now my preference is still with those two networks.
Brandon Johnston – BlogReign.com
Facebook still continues to grow at the steadiest rate simply because there are more people on there. More people share the content, thus more people see the content and you get the snowball effect. I find that in other social networks this snowball effect is not as strong because of increased noise.
Jacob Cass – JustCreative.com
The best social network our business is a LinkedIn as we have a strong focus on B2B.
The best social network for growing audience would be Facebook.
The reason Facebook works so well is because you can target customers with targeted advertising and targeted content. We have also seen great growth in Facebook groups we run for our business.
Also, we have been testing business content on new channels like Snapchat in the last 2 years. We have been seeing small growth from these channels. Overall Facebook and LinkedIn and still the best channels.
James Norquay – Backlinks.com.au
Facebook. Here are a few reasons why I chose Facebook as my go-to social network for growth hacking and some tips that everyone should take advantage as early as now:
- Localized and specific audience targeting – you can create a local marketing campaign targeting audience within the radius or miles living in a [city/area] – it’s extremely powerful as you can ensure your budget spent can yield maximum results.
- Visual and text are over-indexed – videos and images are the types of content that can resonate well with the audience on Facebook (assuming you have the right message), as well as text-based articles (you may be seeing long-form texts/articles on Facebook that have been performing well).
- Engaging in real Facebook groups is a branding technique that needs to be taken advantage of. When you interact with your audience (doesn’t have to promote your products/services straight), but just answering their questions posted on groups, it can help exemplify your authority and expertise in the industry.
Venchito Tampon – VenchitoTampon.com
Right now I’m having a lot of success with Facebook. The reason? Paid placement. I must admit social is one of my weaker skills in my skill set right now, but one area I’m having success is with paid placement. Facebook’s tools for targeting users are extremely powerful and if you get the right offer in front of the right people it can lead to incredible traffic. Furthermore, not everybody is doing it, so right now it’s incredibly cheap to get started. If you are a small business, or a blogger, and you’re not taking advantage of Facebook, do so right now!
Rhys Wynne – Winwar Media
My favorite social network is Twitter. It’s a great platform to connect with people, ask them questions and get responses quickly. I especially like the search feature which can be used to generate blog post ideas, connect directly with people struggling with specific problems and provide them value.
Whenever I publish a new article, I mention featured individuals and brands in my tweets to draw their attention and increase engagement. If these tagged tweets get liked or retweeted I’m easily exposed to new audiences and grow my following. The same strategy works great while curating content. Whenever I tweet someone’s article, I tag them and most of the time get their attention leading to a conversation.
Tomas Laurinavicius – TomasLau.com
It varies from project to project. You need to understand where your target audience hangs out, and create a presence there. For instance, for projects that are business-related LinkedIn is a great place to publish content and network. For projects that target a mainstream audience, Facebook is great. Pinterest and Instagram are great for image-intensive niches and so on. You need to adapt your bait according to the fish you want to catch!
On place, which technically is not a social network but is close enough, that I believe everyone should be on, however, is YouTube. If you think about it, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world! Over 1 billion users go there every month not only looking for funny videos, but also for general information, tutorials and so on. In other words, your business or website should have a presence there!
Daniel Scocco – Botway.com
I like Twitter. Each network has its benefits, and the best one for you depends on your social strategy. My strategy is based on amplification. By amplification, I mean this: I can reach x number of people on social media. But my network can reach hundreds or thousands times x.
Twitter happens to be very good for spreading a message far and wide.
If I was seeking involved conversations, I would be more interested in Facebook. If I was narrow-casting to very specific professionals, one on one, it would be LinkedIn. There is definitely no right answer to this question.
David Leonhardt – THGMwriters.com
There’s no catch-all social network because again it really depends on the niche that you’re in.
If you’re trying to increase interest in your digital creative agency, for instance, Facebook and YouTube are the first networks that come to mind. Facebook, because you can always promote certain content and drive traffic to your site in order to increase conversions and then YouTube is brilliant in showcasing your abilities and talents by directly engaging with an audience.
With Facebook, you can advertise directly to customers, however, with YouTube, you’ll need to establish a “mascot” and a back-story, in order for the audience to build a connection with your brand.
Cody McLain – SupportNinja.com
It’s been very market and goal-specific for us. There’s not a single social network that’s best for everybody, because there are so many differences and factors that go into them.
I’ve worked selling training courses to marketers and I now run a baby product company, both of which appeal to completely different sets of people. Right now, Pinterest is by far our best traffic generator, even though it’s the platform we have the least amount of followers on. It never worked well when I was selling marketing courses.
However, since Facebook reach is constantly declining, my favorite platform for building an audience today has got to be Twitter. The ability for extended reach, to expose your brand to new sets of people with each tweet is just too powerful to ignore. Although it’s harder to get people to take any direct action on Twitter, the ability to be seen and heard constantly, even by new sets of people, aligns with our business goals at this time and has allowed us to drastically expand our reach.
James McAllister – HelpStartMySite.com
From a B2C aspect, Facebook wins every time for me, as you can get in front of your perfect audience either through natural social media efforts or paid social media, and with 80% of online users in the UK having a Facebook account, very few other places really can deliver the perfect audience in this volume for a business targeting consumers.
From a local business point of view, it really does work, as you can find your ideal customers through a range of options, although if you are not paying for the advertising, it can take some time for you to build up a big enough following to really make it work. For any local business, a Facebook presence is a must, as the amount of traction just one customer sharing a post or leaving you a testimonial can bring is priceless, and because every Facebook user has a “face”, other potential customers tend to trust this kind of feedback far more than other measures.
From a B2B point of view, Twitter is huge, as it means you can get in front of other businesses that might be interested in your services, and as I say, B2B really works for Twitter, and LinkedIn to some degree. I think every business should look at a mixture of all three, but an emphasis on the method that most suits them, as trying to manage all three effectively is far easier said than done.
Ian Spencer – ISDigitalMarketing.co.uk
My preferred social media platform for building an audience in 2017 is Facebook Instant Messenger and the Bot Subscribers. This is because of the new “bot” functionality where you can grow a list of subscribers and you can deliver content and promotions direct to people’s Messenger inbox. There is definitely an early adopter advantage with this strategy because since it’s new and unsaturated, open rates and click through rates are as high as 90-100% for many marketers. You can use the free version of ManyChat and Facebook users can subscriber to your “bot”. You can also program your bot so that it interacts with subscribers with pre-set answers or links or replies to messages.
Adam Franklin – Web Marketing That Works
For businesses that sell products, my preferred social network is Pinterest. It is highly visual and is a fantastic network to feature stunning photos of not only your products, but also of your products in use. For businesses that offer a service, my favorite is Facebook and social networks that allow customers to review your service. If one customer adored your service and leaves a good review or posts happily about your brand on their own Facebook, Yelp or FourSquare, you are likely to gain new customers from their personal following. These types of sites are the new word-of-mouth.
McKinzie Brocail – McKinzieWrites.com
I’m not even a native English speaker, but I (almost single-handedly) was able to create a YouTube channel that generated 11k subscribers and 1,2 Million video views in only 2 years. You can find the link here.
But creating quality videos is rather time consuming. This is why I choose a Facebook Group over YouTube channel.
Here’s the most recent post in our private Facebook group for Ahrefs customers:
65 likes and 46 comments say something about the level of engagement, right?
It took me less than 20 minutes to create that post and generate both some value for our customers and some buzz for Ahrefs brand.
And that is not even a public group. I see people easily getting 10k members on their public Facebook groups on SEO/marketing. And they don’t require too much effort to maintain.
Tim Soulo – Ahrefs.com
My preferred social media network for growing an audience is Facebook. I ran a viral-videos website for about 5 years and got the vast majority of my website’s traffic through Facebook. It was an interesting experience that taught me many good lessons about social media. Nowadays, I still use Facebook to get traffic and grow an audience but I do it differently than before. I prefer to use Facebook groups that are related to my niches, be an active member there, help people out and share my content every once in a while whenever it makes sense — only if I’m allowed to do it and I don’t spam. It takes a while but I get new followers with a great deal of frequency.
Louie Luc – Buzznitrous.com
Build a credible B2B audience with LinkedIn’s publishing tools, groups and strategic outreach.
Linked In is the premier social media for B2B marketers. You are able to publish content, connect with influencers, and distribute content in a measurable forum, without distractions. Since LinkedIn is a trusted network with limited access to “connections”, trust is inherent above anything else. Your connections are entrusting you with their connections and vice versa. Accountability is an add on with LinkedIn that does not exist in Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. When you publish an article or you comment on another person’s content, you should be carefully crafting your online business persona. As your LinkedIn audience and trust grows, you can create a niche-focused group to strengthen your connections. People pay attention to LinkedIn in a way that they ignore content on other sites.
Matthew Capala – DearchDecoder.com
Since I run a tattoo blog and that niche is very visual in nature, I prefer to utilize Pinterest to grow my audience. It’s an awesome social media network to drive traffic to your blog, get lots of email subscribers, opportunities, contacts and make sales at the same time. I’ve created Pinterest boards for my posts and design specific Pinterest-shareable images for each post I publish. Then I just have to pin them to those boards and ask my readers to pin them to their Pinterest boards too. Making sure to add lots of other visuals to my posts (so that people can pin them too) is another important part of my Pinterest strategy. This way I grow my following on Pinterest and get many more visitors to my blog.
Katy Manniche – TattooOy.com
Facebook has given us the most traffic referrals through our retargeting campaigns.
Dave Schneider – Ninjaoutreach.com
I would say Pinterest is my favorite social media network to grow an audience, drive traffic to my blog and get email subscribers. Through the creation of several Pinterest boards for every category on my website, I’m able to target the right kind of audience whenever I share a post to its relevant Pinterest Board. What I do is I pin an image (more than just one, actually) from to my post that’s related to the theme of that particular Board, add a small description (that keeps changing as I keep pinning different images) of what the post is about and a link to said post. Within time, I grow my Pinterest follower count and drive consistent traffic from Pinterest to my blog.
Tim Blaustein – ToolFever.com
I manage social media for b2b enterprise software company and the preferred network to grow the audience for us is Twitter. Comparing to LinkedIn and Facebook we get 100 – 200 more followers every month by using simple yet effective tactics to target key prospects and drive more traffic to our site. Facebook and Linkedin do not offer the same flexibility and options to build followers base or their paid campaigns are too expensive.
- Paid campaigns for users who visited our website (remarketing), contacted us before or follow our competitors. At $1 per follower and $50 budget, we drive extra 50 targeted followers every month on autopilot.
- Using custom Twitter website cards meta tags, videos and surveys for our links and posts. That usually help us double the number for likes and retweets and get new followers.
- Following influencers and our competitors’ followers and following, like and repost relevant content from their profiles. On average, 10% of people will follow us back, and that is usually the most engaging audience for us.
Mikhail Khorev – IKnowSEO.ca
At the moment Instagram is my preferred social network for local businesses to grow an audience because in comparison to other social networks, Instagram stories allow you to organically reach quite a bit of users who do not already follow you. Here is how to optimize the reach of your stories:
- Setup or convert to a business profile to enable post analytics and other features.
- Use location stickers to tag the location relevant to your post, which attracts viewers to by adding your story to the story for that location.
- Review post analytics to see which location tagged are resulting in the most views.
Note: Checkout Soul Cycle’s stories for creative ideas on how to style your Instagram stickers.
Ben Wynkoop – BenWynkoop.com
I have come to the conclusion that Instagram is a very powerful tool to bring traffic to my blog, especially for the niche I’m in: traveling. Once I learned how to master this social media network it has become my favorite one because the quality of traffic you can get it’s totally worth it. I post appealing, top-quality images, photos and videos of my trips on Instagram. By showing my personality on the things I share that usually resonates with a lot of Instagram users that are then compelled to follow my account. On those videos (alongside with my bio information) I ask people to follow my blog and subscribe to my mailing list. All I can say is that it works!
Clara Jeronimos – TravelRedux.com
Due to its global reach and interactiveness, Facebook has always been my go-to social platform for growing a substantial audience for my business. When it comes to building a brand, Facebook’s Pages can be quite effective in reaching out to your target audience and improving your engagement level.
Plus, with Facebook Ads, you are able to further increase your reach and generate targeted leads through optimized custom ads based on Location, Age, Gender, Interests etc.
Also, Facebook is always re-inventing itself with new features like Facebook Videos, that pushes you to be creative when engaging with your audience, which, in turn, drives more traffic to your website.
Apart from Facebook, I have also found Twitter to be quite a resourceful social channel for connecting with other influential bloggers in my niche and Quora is another platform that I have found really useful in creating brand awareness.
Nirav Dave – Capsicum Mediaworks
I love Pinterest above all other social media channels because it is the SEO of social media. It can bring long-term, sustainable and highly targeted people to your website. And, you do not have to keep pushing like you do on other networks.
Ashley Faulkes – MadLemmings.com
LinkedIn, by far. What I love about LinkedIn – and what I look for with every social platform – is the receptivity of the audience. People are there to network around business-oriented discussions and content, so it lends plenty of warm leads and quality business. I also really enjoy the group discussions that go on in Facebook Groups. There are always answers I can give, and questions I need to ask.
Before anything, you’ve got to focus on cultivating an audience that’s not only willing to take action on your social channels, but wants to take that action.
I recommend sitting down and sketching out your ideal audience. I’m talking gender, age, key interests, income – any form of metric that will help you get a better grasp on who you’re pitching to. This’ll lead you to the right channels and methods needed to approach your audience; you wouldn’t try to initiate a B2B conversation through Pinterest, would you?
For example, if you happen to be an E-Commerce store that creates graphic tees of trending bands, you’d want to attack Instagram and Snapchat: 55 percent of all online 18 to 29-year olds in the U.S. are using Instagram, and 37 percent of all Snapchat users are 18 to 24-years old. It only gets more specified the deeper your segment.
To wrap it up – spend more than enough time studying and understanding where your audience spends their time, and what they like. It’s crucial you do this – not optional. There’s more than enough data out there, just do the mining.
Georgi Todorov – DigitalNovas.com
I love Twitter. I love its communication that happens in real time, with fresh, new updates and current trends. It’s dynamic and exciting. It’s possible to easily communicate with the followers, get quick replies and work on building the influence this way.
Regarding increasing traffic, Twitter is also my go-to network. I’d say that visual content is getting more exposure on Twitter lately, so or increasing traffic, it is important to focus on such content. Status updates and hashtags are great, but not enough anymore. We can see more and more companies implementing this approach with cool-looking graphics, funny gifs, and exciting videos. These are all helpful for increasing traffic and generating more exposure on the network. Using paid ads is also an option to explore for increasing traffic and reaching more people.
Albert Mora – Seolution.com
Different social media networks serve different purposes. In an agency, you are working to grow audiences for a variety of brands across a range of industries. For example, B2B companies can find better leads and boost their awareness more sufficiently by utilizing LinkedIn. On the other hand, B2C-oriented brands can make good use of visual outlets like Instagram or Snapchat for the purpose of increasing their engagement.
However, to choose a single, preferred social network, there is no question that Facebook is absolutely critical for businesses of all backgrounds. Facebook just hit their 2 billion user milestone and at the end of the day, this network is simply where the most people spend their time. They have been adding all kinds of components to become a centralized platform where both B2B and B2C companies can effectively promote their niche content. The recent addition of Facebook Stories and Live Video have made it possible for people to experience almost the entirety of a brand’s messaging without leaving the platform. So, due its sheer size and versatility, Facebook is the undisputed king of social networking.
Manish Dudharejia – E2Msolutions.com
When it comes to growing an audience with social media, I’ve been all in on Instagram for my golf site, Breaking Eighty. Instagram is the perfect medium for golf since so many of the courses I play are really stunning. I make sure to take a ton of pictures of courses and holes so I can share images on a daily basis. It helps that golfers are pretty passionate. So I love interacting with them in the comments and hearing about their experiences on particular courses. Just doing this has increased my follower count on the Breaking Eighty Instagram account to over 15,000 people.
Sean Ogle – LocationRebel.com
This is a tricky one because all networks have their pros/cons.
I like Twitter because it’s immediate, and easy to interact on there. Which are the exact reasons it’s also not perfect; interactions and conversations aren’t easy to follow and the fast pace makes it quick to miss something. Building and using lists can help with this, of course.
As a ‘social’ network, LinkedIn has never been great for me personally. The general feel I get is someone connects for the wrong reasons, often to spam me with a sales pitch or worse, add me to their mailing list.
Yeah – LinkedIn leaves me rather cold at times.
That said, people do approach me for business – but, that’s not building an audience.
No, it has to be the old faithful, Facebook.
Massive audience, a plethora of options and formats for posts, and one of the best advertising platforms on the planet. I like the video functionality and analytics detail that Facebook gives you.
Immediate feedback on updates thanks to the intuitive engagement system and of course, easy to follow commenting, which if needs be can be taken to messaging. It’s second nature now.
Messaging can be upgraded further with bots and automation, so you can create a whole flow for enquiries and customer experience. The only limit is your imagination.
And like I said previously, the ad platform is potent.
Having the ability to drive engagement, clicks or conversions, with even a modest budget (when organic reach fails you) is a powerful ally. Something that other platforms do, sure – but Facebook makes it that much easier.
Ed Leake – EdLeake.com
You have to go to where your audience is online and for HealthJoy, it’s on Linkedin. I wouldn’t say Linkedin is the easiest network to grow your audience – Facebook and Twitter are much easier but if everyone you want to reach is active and available on one platform – you need to be active. I think this is pretty common for B2B marketers.
Rick Ramos – HealthJoy.com
For our weekly business networking group MarchesHour, Twitter has been the best platform. Part of the reason Twitter’s effectiveness for growing our audience include the fact that we have a strong Twitter following. Our followers re-tweet our tweets to their followers, which helps to grow our audience week, after week. We have a presence on Facebook, it is not as successful as the growth we get on Twitter.
We have built very powerful social media networking chat and every Wednesday 1-2pm we are getting more and more new members. But the promotion was not very simple and took quite a long period of time.
Evgeniy Garkaviy – Morak.com
Facebook Ads had become a staple part of our social media strategy at Web Hosting Secret Revealed (WHSR) because:
- They are effective in finding targeted audience.
- They are relative cheap compare to other traffic sources.
- They provide tons of market insights and help us understand our users and prospects better.
Yes, paying for reach sucks. But it is the quickest way to accumulate large targeted audience at the moment.
Jerry Low – Web Hosting Secret Revealed (WHSR)
For me, there are 3 go to social networks: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter has the least barrier to growing a following and engaging a large audience. The amazing thing with Twitter is someone can start with zero followers and still engage with millions of people with their first tweet. This is the power of hashtags. By using popular hashtags, people can connect to a larger audience. So it doesn’t matter how many followers you have it matters how many people are actively following a hashtag. To find great hashtags you can use the trending topics or do searches for your competitors on Twitter and see what hashtags they are using to build an audience. If you say things which engage people, often you will build a following. Remember the easiest way to engage is to respond to them. When you use the hashtag see what people are saying or asking and respond to them. It is amazing how much just making a few friends on Twitter can really grow your following.
Allan Pollett – AllanPollett.com
In 2017, we are focusing on Facebook and Twitter. We analyzed user engagement on a different platform and these two networks are performing well for us. For Twitter, you should try Triberr communities where you be a part of like-minded people and they will share your content.
Using Insights option on Facebook, check out which types of posts are performing well, at what time you should publish the post, and act accordingly.
Rajesh Namase – TechLila.com
Definitely Twitter – although I might be a bit biased, as this is the platform that helped me the most with getting to this point in my career. That said, I do stand by it – I think that Twitter is easier to get the hang of than other major social networks, and you’re not as restricted as you are on, say Facebook. You don’t have to calculate every step of the way just to be sure your post gets seen, it’s much easier to find people to interact with and it’s a great platform for driving traffic.
Lilach Bullock – LilachBullock.com
At Stone Temple, the main social network we use for organic promotion is Twitter, but Facebook is not far behind (via our personal accounts). However, what is best for you may differ, based on your specific business, target market, and where your target audience resides. Do consider how to use the personal social media accounts of the leaders of your business as a part off your strategy. For example, company accounts get so constrained visibility-wise on Facebook that building an organic audience there is almost useless.
For us, Twitter is a great choice because digital marketers are very active on Twitter, and so is the media that covers digital marketing. We promote all of our content, including our studies, via Twitter and get consistently good to great results.
Eric Enge – StoneTemple.com
This is a tricky question because it depends on your target market. For example, if your target is 30 years old tech savvy women Pinterest is the best.
For me, Facebook and Youtube are working wonders.
Facebook allows you to use precise targeting and you can get the best bang for your buck with paid advertising. You can send people to your content literally for just a few cents a click.
This is the platform where you can get the lowest price per generate lead (email sign up/ free trial etc).
IMHO Youtube is a social network because people can communicate and interact with each other. Youtube is the second most visited website in the world.
You can put yourself in front of 100s and even 1000s of people just by creating valuable content.
If you are talented and work on your YouTube SEO you can get tons of traffic and leads.
Danny Donchev – FortuneLords.com
Instagram is the place to be! with more people now having a shorter attention span than ever before, it’s all about instant gratification through short videos and images. At the same time, Snapchat and Instagram are seeing massive growth because more people are using mobile devices over desktops and laptops. This means you are less likely to see engagement on your site and ad campaigns, unless you have them mobile optimized and setup for engagement with your audience as if they were content. This is possible through Instgram, especially with Facebook Ads powering the advertising being served through their platform.
Kristel Staci – Marketing Infographics
Without a doubt, Instagram is the most effective network @flightmedia leverages to build out brand.
It accounts for over 40% of our social media traffic.
It converts 11.88% of traffic into leads.
It grows more followers than any other network for Flight Media.
Currently, we have 58k followers and grow about 50-100/day organically with an average of 500-1,000 views per Instagram Story.
(And no, that doesn’t mean we “follow for follow” or like and comment on a million images with some automated software in hopes of someone following us back.)
The content we post is heavily focused on “behind the scenes” and documenting Flight Media’s journey. Take this post for example:
A post shared by Digital Marketing & Design (@flightmedia) on
It generated great engagement and was simply the raw, authentic version of who we are.
Here’s what a week on Instagram looks like for Flight Media:
- One Image Post/Day
- 5-10 Stories/Day
- A 20-Minute LIVE Training Session Each Friday @ 12pm EST
Keeping this cadence has Flight Media growing quickly, driving boatloads of traffic & engagement, and more importantly, increasing the number of leads our sales team receives.
Instagram may be one of the most challenging social media networks to manage, but it yields unbelievable results.
Josh Coffy – FlightMedia.co
Currently, I am testing out a new Pinterest strategy for gaining traffic from social media. As I have always produced custom graphics, cheat sheets and infographics for my articles it makes sense for me to test out getting traffic to my site from visual social networks like Pinterest.
I’ve found that Pinterest users, especially in my niche, have a very good time on site.
- Each pin can lead up to 2 visits and 6 page views
- The average life of Pin is week, on Facebook and Twitter it’s less than an hour
- A pin is 100 times more spreadable than your average tweet
Jamie Spencer – Makeawebsitehub.com
When it comes to growing an audience on social media, we’ve had the best success with Facebook. Compared to the other social networks that we also use, there tends to be a much larger audience that is engaged and allows us to scale our growth marketing efforts. We’ve been successful in doing this by answering questions on Facebook Groups (You can actually see a case study of what I’ve done via this link, which led to a client contract). We also did Facebook advertising with promoted posts, retargeting and video ads.
The audience on Facebook is huge, so it is much more practical to scale compared to some of the other platforms. But you need to go to where your audience is. In our case, Facebook is one of the main drivers.
David James – BusinessGrowthDigitalMarketing.com
Facebook and Twitter will always be powerful just because there are so many people using them these days. I like Facebook because there’s a Facebook group for just about any niche. Its advertising platform is also really cost-effective, making it ideal for the promotion of non-commercial content.
Lately, though, I’ve fallen in love with Pinterest and its Rich Pins. It works really great and drives tons of traffic. The only drawback is that it seems to perform well for female-leaning niches. With more serious, boring and masculine content, we haven’t experienced stellar results just yet. Rich Pins do have a bit of a learning curve but once you get the hang of it, its use is well worth the initial effort.
Glen Dimaandal – GlenDemands.com
I like Facebook and Twitter. They are easy to use!
Twitter is also great because you can use tools like JustRetweet to get others to share your blog posts, thus driving traffic to your blog.
Facebook is nice because of the ease with which you can have a conversation with others, via Messenger, at any time of the day, especially if you have the app installed on your phone.
By being friendly and helping others, your audience will grow in no time!
Lorraine Reguly – WordingWell.com
Pinterest has been one of my longtime favorite social platforms. It’s not so much about the direct contact and engagement with others, but more about the ability to share cool things that you find across the internet. With my business being focused on drawings and visuals, it’s become a perfect platform for me to share content and also build a following in the process. If you want to find even further success with Pinterest, be sure to create custom thumbnails for your pins so they can stand out from the mess of other content on their site.
Montgomery Peterson – OriginalColoringPages.com
Facebook because of the huge amount of time people spend there and the ability to go viral through people sharing your content.
Max Feller – Betslayer.com
Currently, my preferred social network for growing an audience remains to be Facebook. It has the broadest reach and has the paid traffic platform that I am the most familiar with. Although not an expert with Facebook paid traffic the audience is large enough that even a poorly setup ad campaign can drive a lot of reasonably well-targeted traffic. The challenge with any social network for growing an audience remains for me having a system in place that ensures I repeatedly use the system.
My preferred strategy within 2017 for growing an audience is to focus on being helpful in a select few highly targeted Facebook groups.
Jon Haver – AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com
I believe the best social media platform for growing an audience in 2017 would be Facebook. Facebook is the most widely used social media platform so it reaches the most audience. I haven’t tried too much with Twitter or Instagram, however, I do plan to test these out this year. Facebook also has the ability for paid advertising which helps to send targeted ads to those who are interested in what you are providing. Facebook ads do require a lot of fiddling in order to target the ads to people who are more likely to buy or become a follower.
Kelley Jones – LightningRank.com
I prefer working with Google properties to grow my audience. I find it best suited to my efforts for the following reasons:
- Google loves it.
- Almost everybody has a Gmail account, so making a G+ profile/YouTube account and using the same is easier for them, as opposed to creating profiles on other social media’s.
- Gmail account makes G+ profile/YouTube profile creation simple, effective and permanent. I have had issues with client’s completely legit and genuine social media accounts on Facebook, being disabled temporarily for investigation and then being shut down completely. Straight up loss of all the data, followers and innumerable hours of efforts put into building the community. No such issues with G+.
- YouTube I love because the audience there knows very clearly what it will get. Being a video only platform makes the audience there very clear minded and focused. So if you want to succeed with this audience you need to develop excellent videos. There is no confusion over which type of content will work, or how should you design your image as for other social media’s. It’s straight and pure video. Do it right and you will click with your audience.
- Twitter is my 2nd favorite because it has an amazingly interactive and genuine user base. However, the word limit foes make expressing ideas bit tricky, hence I keep it 2nd on my favorite list.
- Facebook features 3rd on my list. This is primarily because although it has an extremely large user base, most of the users are passive. Every piece of content shared will generate tons of likes, even if it’s an event promotion asking users if they would like to join it. Even if things don’t make sense, you can be assured of at least 1% of your Facebook followers to like it. That’s not something my current clients are looking for hence Facebook comes last on my social media list.
Shashank Gupta – ShashankGupta.net
My preferred social network for growing an audience depends on the product/service/niche. If it is a physical product, like ecommerce, standard remarketing through Facebook is a great way to get business and especially repeat business. A visual product or more lifestyle stuff can do well on Instagram, but it depends on the quality of the content. Growing an audience on YouTube takes a ton of work (or luck) because of the video production required. Twitter following can be grown by focusing on content curation around your market or niche, not just sharing your own stuff.
Harris Schachter – OptimizePri.me
Hands down, Twitter. It has always been my go-to platform since I started using it many years ago. Since I come from a small city, being able to connect with someone that I don’t know in real time from another part of the world is mind blowing. The opportunity to say hello, connect with new people quickly and get a response is what makes it the perfect platform. The best part is anyone from any part of the world can use it. Having said that, not many appreciate the power of what it is. Focus on building the relationship that moves you forward. Put in the work and you’ll be rewarded.
Aaron Lee – AskAaronLee.com
Absolutely Facebook, thanks to its ad targeting abilities. It can take some time to learn how to use things like custom audiences and lookalike audiences, but once you’re up-to-speed, there’s no other platform like it. One of the things I really like is the way you can target your ads to where your prospects and customers are in the buying cycle. Facebook Ads are great for initial visibility and exposure, but they’re also great for getting a closing message in front of people after they’ve actually engaged with your brand and are ready to take action. You can’t do that with any other social network right now.
Aaron Agius – Louder.Online
If we’re talking about growing an audience, I’d have to go with Facebook or Reddit. These social media sites are both great for finding and communicating with like-minded people. Reddit does it through sub-reddits, and Facebook does it through public groups.
Why are they my preferred method for growing an audience? Because you can get people used to seeing you, and familiarity breeds trust. I have driven many thousands of redditors and FB visitors to my website and hundreds of thousands to my clients through these two mediums.
Find a great Facebook group that you can start a relevant conversation, or find a particular sub-reddit that shows that people are interested in your niche already. As an SEO, I find myself enjoying White Hat SEO on Facebook, and sub-reddits such as r/Startups or r/Entrepreneur. I have earned clients through both mediums.
Andrew Lowen – NextLevelWeb.com
My preferred social network is Twitter. I’m not active on any other social network, simply because I don’t have enough time to invest in it to get results.
As a solopreneur, I try to make sure that I use my time as effectively as possible, and being active on Twitter has more benefits to me than just driving traffic.
Besides sharing my own content and curating quality articles around content marketing, I catch up on the latest news in the industry and actively build relationships with my audience and fellow business owners – something that would be more difficult to do on Pinterest or Instagram, for example.
The latter is my primary goal for being on Twitter. Properly done SEO is more reliable source of target traffic than any social network, but it won’t give you valuable connections with your audience who will link to you, amplify your message and share their knowledge with you.
Another rather unexpected benefit of being active on Twitter: Communicating via messages that are only 140 characters short teaches you to write succinct, which is an invaluable skill for every content creator.
Gill Andrews – GillAndrews.com
Facebook has strong social signals for Google. But that doesn’t mean Twitter is far behind. However, I prefer Facebook for the level of traction it can help generate. Facebook is one the verge of having 2 billion monthly active users. It is not just the sheer size of this social network, but also the ability to reach your target audience. A larger community also means that a larger group of your target audience is present there.
However, the choice of the right social network for a blog will vary depending on their niche. For some it can also be Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. So if you have a blog focused on food and recipes, a photo-sharing social network could be your best option.
Nisha Pandey – SEOTechyWorld.com
Twitter is my preferred social network for growing an audience. With this social network, you can follow the followers of influential people and brands in your niche. Some of those people will then follow you back, and if you repeat this process over a long period of time, you’ll have your very own Twitter tribe. What I really love about Twitter is the high level interaction you get from it. Interactions from Twitter are directly responsible for several podcast appearances, guest posts (including a post on the Crazy Egg Blog), podcast guest discovery, and many other opportunities.
Marc Guberti – MarcGuberti.com
I’ve been focusing heavily on Facebook lately. So many people use it, that it’s nearly impossible to NOT find your target audience if you look. Facebook is also a very active network, which makes it even better for engaging and interacting with target audiences.
Corinne Kerston – CorinneKerston.com
YouTube by far. Why? Because the engagement level is so high.
Being on YouTube is like being on TV. People see you as a celebrity and they become much more rabid fans. Plus, from YouTube you can take the audio to create a podcast and you can transcribe that to make a blog post.
You can even take chunks of that content and make Instagram stories or Snaps. I also feel like YouTube has the best discovery mechanism since it’s the 2nd largest search engine and the suggested videos help you to find out audience and reach more people. Plus, the higher barrier to entry keeps out much of the noise and competition.
John Sonmez – SimpleProgrammer.com
Twitter is my preferred social media network to grow an audience and build connections. By following and retweeting the right people (influencers), I’ve managed to build a loyal and relevant following that actively engages with my tweets and that leads to growing my number of engaged, relevant followers even more. I always try and tweet interesting and relevant stuff to my audience and engage back with my followers almost every time. Simultaneously, Twitter is the perfect place to share news and get new customers. This Twitter strategy allows me to generate more social media traffic to my website and get new engaged followers which eventually leads to more opportunities.
Mike Martyns – SoccerGearHQ.com
How to Make the Most of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
With more than two billion users spread across the top social networks in the world today, it’s important to always make sure you and your brand look as great as possible. This isn’t seen just through the content and social updates you share with others, but also through your profile pictures and custom backgrounds as well. It’s also important to make sure you are always posting content with the right social media image sizes as well. This in itself can make your brand look foolish and unprofessional. It’s also important to make sure you are always posting content with the right social media image sizes as well. This in itself can make your brand look foolish and unprofessional
Follow each of the actionable social media tips above, while also measuring your own results and ROI based on each platform. Should you need any help with this process or building a new or better image for your brand, be sure to contact InfographicDesignTeam today!