Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

by | May 16, 2015 | Business

A guest article by Andrew Curtis, co-founder and creative director, Vanguard Ideation.

Social media platforms are powerful tools to send out content to your customers, which is a challenging task for startup businesses. At FredXchange Open Coffee on May 15, we discussed the overall basics of each of the main platforms available — listed below.

Not every social media platform is right for everyone. Having the key essentials including Facebook and Twitter is pretty standard to any business in having a basic presence online. Two keys thing to remember are to post when it’s the best time to catch find you audience on those platforms and to keep your content simple and shareable.

First off, here are the basics in simple analogies.

Facebook – I like donuts
Twitter – I talk about #donuts
Instagram – I take donut photos with filters
Pinterest – Here are some donut recipes
Google+ – Donut discussion groups/hangouts
LinkedIn – Skilled in donut eating
Vine – Chomp. chomp. gone.
Snapchat – Watch my donut snaps story
Periscope – Watch my live broadcast of donut eating
Foursquare – This is why I buy donuts here
Swarm – I am currently buying donuts here
Tumblr – Reblog photos and videos of donuts
Vimeo – Here is my short film on donuts
YouTube – Here are some tutorials on making donuts
Flickr – Here are some of my photos of donuts

Lets dive into the good stuff:


Facebook is both a good and terrible platform for businesses. The good thing about Facebook is that you’re able to build a community and have in depth discussion on your business or product that really engages your audience. You also are able to buy promotion time that can pin point a target demographic for your business. Creating social media ads helps showcase your service or product in jumpstarting discussions on your business.

Keeping the content short and concise is always preferable when it comes to Facebook. There is the pages app, which you can use from your phone or tablet on updating the statistics of your business. Don’t forget to like other pages to interact with valued businesses.

People tend to skim long blocks of text if its not easily digestible.

A major low point for Facebook is that is very localized and if people aren’t sharing or liking, commenting etc. on your posts no one will know what’s happening in your business. You really have to make sure that engagement happens, or your business page is dead fish. As with Twitter, make sure to showcase your content. Pinning a post to the top that is important helps focus your customers’ attention.


Twitter is a conversational tool to really build your audience around your business. Hashtags are the primary way of conversing on this platform. With this platform you’re really able to have more direct interactions with anyone while using your business account. Always make sure to break up and diversify your twitter feed between links, posts, photos and videos so your feed isn’t mundane. Hashtags provide an easier way to find a conversation and read who is talking about a set subject. You can also search for key words or phrases and find the same content.

Having a hashtag simplifies the process and helps give you metrics on how many people are discussing a topic. Always be sure to have a hashtag in your promotions that is not too universal and that is more specific for your event and/or business.( i.e. #OpenCoffee vs., #OpenCoffeeFXBG. Be aware of the 140-character count to focus what you put out there and, as always, make sure you use proper grammar when tweeting. Always use a link-shortening resource like bit.ly to save character space.


If your business thrives on visuals, then this is definitely a platform you want to use with your customers. Instagram allows you to take a picture or video, change it with a filter, then post. You can share to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, too.

The industries of food, clothes, and outdoors/scenery are trending markets where you will thrive on Instagram. Utilizing the filters and visual effects can really help you stand out in having content that’s great to look at and is engaging to your audience. Make sure that you limit how many hashtags you include in your post. Using three to five is a safe bet in targeting your audience, without it being over the top. You can post from the Instagram app on your phone directly to Twitter and Facebook, if your accounts are connected to your business accounts/pages.

Instagram is very popular with a younger demographic, and using it can get a lot of engagement with likes and followers. There is a downside in sharing Instagram posts. Some business/people use the Repost App if they would like to share another account’s Instagram images.


Briefly, I would like to say Pinterest is a great way to showcase your aesthetic if you’re a business that focuses on design, food culture, arts & crafts, ideas and brainstorming. Utilizing this tool is a good way for people unfamiliar with your business to see what kind of aesthetic you are as a whole and if you are a match to what you as a business are offering.

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