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How To Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your E-commerce Brand

social media for e-commerce

Social media marketing is no longer an option for e-commerce businesses; it’s a necessity. But when it comes to choosing the right social media platform, many e-commerce brands treat it as the easiest part of crafting a digital marketing strategy, and that’s why it’s often overlooked.

There are many social media platforms for a reason. They were not created equal, and each one has its own unique features, audience, and primary forms of content. This guide will help you understand more about the most popular social media platforms used for e-commerce and how to pick the right one for your brand.

Table of Contents
What you need to know about social media platforms
The 4 most used social media platform for e-commerce
The bottom line

What you need to know about social media platforms

In general, we can classify social media platforms as follows (with the most famous example for each type):

  1. Traditional social networking: Facebook
  2. Image-based social media: Instagram
  3. Video-based social media: YouTube and TikTok
  4. Discussion forums: Reddit and Quora
  5. Live stream social media: Twitch
  6. Private community platforms: Discord

Each one of these platforms has a segment of people who consider it their favorite place to hang out on the internet. That’s why choosing the right one for your business starts with mastering your target audience.

different social media platforms for e-commerce

But, before anything else, you need to think of social media as a place to build a community rather than just a way to generate traffic. You can generate leads with social media, but the real power of social media comes from the ability to nurture those leads, convert them, and build a community of people that align with your brand.

For example, Pinterest is an image-based platform, but it doesn’t count as a social media platform because you don’t get to interact with your target audience and build a community. Pinterest is an image-based search engine and is excellent for generating traffic to your website, but Instagram is the right image-based place to build a community and boost your brand awareness.

Now, what should you look for in a social media platform? The right social media for your e-commerce business should:

  • Have the largest percentage of your target audience

Each segment of an audience has unique preferences for platforms and types of content they consume. You should study the online behavior of your target customers and analyze the audiences of each social media platform to know which one has the largest percentage of your ideal customers.

  • Match the right marketing strategies for your products

There are plenty of marketing methods and tactics to market a product, but not all of them are suitable for all products. You need to know which marketing method (email marketing, video marketing, etc.) you’ll rely on.

marketing strategies on social media

For example, the purchase decision for some products tends to be visually driven, because the aesthetic side is an important element of these products’ functionality (home decor, dresses, etc.).

For these products, images and video marketing are mandatory. Therefore, using an image-based platform like Instagram is a great choice. Instagram enables you to post videos and engage with your community, making it a good choice for an e-commerce brand with an aesthetic product.

  • Align with the primary goal behind your social media strategy

Of course, your ultimate goal will be to boost your e-commerce business with leads and sales. But no brand attains this goal without achieving other millstones first. 

  • Do you want to get your brand discovered by more people worldwide?
  • Do you want to build an authority in your niche? 
  • Do you mainly want to get more sales?

You need to be specific about your goals, and this will make it easier to choose the right social media platform (and craft the right overall marketing strategy for your business).

Should you focus on one social media platform?

There is a debate regarding how many social media platforms a business should use as a marketing channel. There is no correct answer, but here are some insights about it:

·         According to Hootsuite, the average person uses 6+ social media platforms, each one for a different purpose. In the US, 31% of people use Facebook for news, 11% use Instagram, and 4% use LinkedIn for the same purpose. Therefore, being present in multiple social media networks as a business is important.

·         According to Vanessa Lau, combining Instagram with another social media platform is a great social media strategy. Instagram is the best relationship-building platform; that’s why focusing on it along with another platform (that serves to boost your Instagram page with more leads) is the ultimate combination of social media platforms.

·         According to Braveheart Digital Marketing, there is no clear answer for how many social media platforms a business should focus on. It depends on your resources, target audience, and the results generated by testing different strategies and approaches across different platforms.

social media strategy

If you’re just starting your e-commerce business and haven’t tested different strategies and platforms yet, it’s recommended to be present in all social media platforms but focus your marketing efforts on one to two established social platforms that align the most with your brand and have the largest segment of your target audience.

As your business grows and you want to reach a wider audience, you’ll spread your marketing effort across other social media platforms, and you’ll also have the necessary resources to test and manage all of them (and maybe even hire people who will help you maintain each account).

The 4 most used social media platform for e-commerce

There are four social media platforms that are most used for e-commerce marketing. The social media network you will start with will probably be one of those platforms, so here’s what you need to know about each one (including audience demographics and pros and cons):

1# Facebook

Facebook is still the world’s largest social media platform to this day. With 3 billion monthly active users, thousands of groups for different niches and interests, and a wide range of advertising features, Facebook is the go-to social media platform for most e-commerce businesses.

According to the Commerce Trends 2023 report by Shopify, 70% of social media shoppers made their purchases on Facebook.



  • Facebook ads are one of the most effective outbound marketing methods

Facebook ads come with powerful targeting options, various ad formats, practical tracking features, and analytics to see the performance of your ads.

Sabri Suby considers Facebook paid advertising “a wiser investment than savings, stocks, or real estate” as he worked with many businesses in different industries and managed to get high ROI (400%, 1000%, and more) for them with the right Facebook advertising strategy.

  • Facebook supports all forms of content

Text, images, videos, stories… Facebook now enables businesses to interact with their followers and audiences using all forms of content, and it allows you to generate traffic and nurture your leads with whatever content form they prefer.


  • Facebook does not support organic lead generation

Organic reach on Facebook is on the decline every year. This year, the average engagement rate of organic posts on Facebook went down from 2.58% to 1.52%.

If you’re starting on Facebook with no audience, organic growth will be a super challenging goal compared to other social media platforms.

Facebook for social media marketing

2# YouTube

YouTube is the largest video-based platform on the internet. And since video marketing is effective for e-commerce brands, this makes it one of the best social media options to market your business.

With 2.70 billion monthly active users and 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute, YouTube is the go-to platform for video lovers regardless of their intent (entertainment, education, product reviews, etc.). There’s a YouTube video for everyone.


  • People aged 25-34 are the largest age group of YouTube video consumers.
  • 45.6% of YouTube users are women, 54.4% are men.
  • 75% of adults report watching YouTube at home on their mobile devices, primarily during prime time.
  • 92% of people prefer YouTube to learn and acquire knowledge.


  • YouTube is the ultimate platform for video content marketing  

It supports all types, lengths, and forms of video content (shorts, podcasts, vlogs, tutorials, lives, animations, product reviews, comparisons, etc.). You can promote your business with any type of videos your target audience prefers, generate and nurture leads with engaging and valuable videos (at any stage of the sales funnel), and also build a community over time.

  • YouTube is an evergreen social platform

YouTube is a powerful video search engine. Unlike most social media platforms, your videos can always be found if people search for the relevant keyword, even if they were posted years ago, and even if they don’t have thousands of views.

The YouTube algorithm also tends to push old videos from time to time on people’s feeds, so good content has a good chance to find its way and reach the target audience organically.


  • Organic growth on YouTube takes time, and it’s not recommended to rely on paid advertising

YouTube inbound marketing is better than paid ads. Users are getting annoyed by YouTube ads, and they tend to skip them quickly, which means you need to grab their attention and interest in less than 5 seconds, which is challenging. This makes YouTube ads a highly competitive marketing method.

Also, some users block those ads definitively, and you can’t reach them by paid advertising. The power of YouTube as a marketing platform comes from inbound and content marketing, but it’s a process that takes some time, and you won’t see organic success on YouTube from the first month.

3# Instagram

Instagram is the leading image-based social media platform. With 2.40 billion monthly active users, its visually-driven experience combined with a relationship-building-focused approach, Instagram has become the favorite platform for many brands to communicate with their audience.

Instagram for e-commerce marketing

Instagram is actually the world’s second favorite social media platform and 4th most visited platform on the internet. This makes it a powerful tool for e-commerce brands, and it’s not surprising that 72% of users made a purchase based on something they saw on Instagram.


  • 48.2% of users are women, and 51.8% are men.
  • 85% of Instagram users are younger than 45.
  • 8% of Instagram users are teenagers.
  • The largest age group for men is (18-24), and for women is (25-34).


  • Instagram is e-commerce friendly (you can generate, nurture, and convert leads all in the same place)

Instagram is the best place to share images and videos that convey the experience your customers will get if they choose your products. It’s also the place to encourage your customers to share their experience so you can boost your user-generated content and testimonials.

You can also engage and interact with your audience daily using Instagram stories, DMs, lives, and reels. And thanks to Instagram shopping features, your customers can now purchase on Instagram.

Overall, it’s the best social platform to build a sales funnel in one place.


  • Instagram is not a business-centric platform

Instagram is a great place to promote a business, but it doesn’t really support businesses. This might sound counterintuitive, but let me explain.

On Instagram, posting content from a business account impacts your reach and how your content performs organically. In general, businesses with professional content tend to perform lower than personal accounts with personal and engaging content.

Instagram also doesn’t work in favor of small businesses. For example, business accounts with less than 10k followers can’t have the swipe-up feature, which prevents users from accessing your links directly from IG stories.

4# TikTok

TikTok is the most popular short-form video-sharing platform. With 1.20+ billion monthly active users and more than 4.1 billion downloads, TikTok has managed to establish itself as the fastest-growing social media platform in history.

Brands started to notice the power of TikTok in marketing, especially since TikTok users are more open to ads (and 15% of TikTok users find it hard to distinguish between paid ads and organic content).


  • 38.5% of TikTok users are between 18 to 24 years old, and this is the largest age group.
  • 53.4% of users are women, and 46.6% are men.
  • Users open TikTok 19 times per day on average.
  • Kids use TikTok for 75 minutes on average each day.


  • TikTok is a great social platform to get discovered

TikTok is the right place to get discovered and go viral quickly. You don’t need to invest many resources to create content for TikTok, and you don’t need to have an audience or post a lot of content daily. Popularity on TikTok is very attainable, especially if you’re creative, your message is relatable and shareable, and you understand how TikTok works. 

People also rely on TikTok to discover products. They use it to search for product recommendations and reviews. So, this platform makes reaching your audience and getting found easier.


  • TikTok is not suitable for nurturing a relationship with your audience and building a community

Popularity on TikTok does not always translate into sales, community growth, and brand authority. TikTok is great for generating leads, but unlike other social media platforms, when someone on TikTok follows you, this doesn’t mean they’ll see your content regularly on their feeds.

On the other hand, TikTok users tend to seek viral and engaging content constantly without caring about following specific people in the long term. This makes it hard to nurture and convert your leads.

The bottom line

As you can see, choosing a social media platform to promote your e-commerce business depends on many factors. As a result it is important to take the time to get to know your audience and to define your value proposition and marketing goals so that you can make the right decision regarding which platform to choose.

And remember, this decision will lead your digital marketing strategy. So, don’t underestimate its importance. But with the right approach choosing the best platform for your brand can go a long way in growing your reach and improving sales.  

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