How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform
- By Wingnut Social
- June 21, 2019
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Social media is everywhere. It’s how we get our news. It’s how we interact with loved ones, and—it’s how we market our businesses. Social media platforms create a unique way to interact with clients and customers, providing a network for users to communicate beyond local and social boundaries. It’s powerful, it’s unavoidable, and with over 3.2 billion social media users worldwide it’s safe to say, it’s here to stay. Which means: social media should definitely be a part of your marketing strategy.
But, which social platform should you be utilizing? It was once believed that having a presence on every social media platform was the way to go, but trust us—doing so will not give you the success you are looking for. Instead, take the time to get to know each platform. You’ll be able to maximize your efforts and it will prevent you from biting off more than you can chew when it comes to managing accounts, creating content and interacting with followers.
In this blog we break down each of the major social networks, their key uses and some best practices to help make your social media platform choices a little bit easier. Let’s dive in!
Is Facebook right for me?
Facebook is the king of social media with over 2.23 billion monthly active users, 74 percent of those daily visitors being American citizens.
Facebook is a great place to share valuable information among fans and prospective clients, by posting everything from images to videos and text. It’s a great source for lead generation, and, now more than ever it’s a great place to create meaningful connections while building a sense of community with clients.
Now, is it the right platform for you? Well, that depends. Facebook is likely not the right platform if your social media strategy is strictly organic. Organic reach is at an all-time low in this particular platform and if advertising isn’t currently in your budget, it will take some time before you start to see any growth for your business. Unless you already have a substantial following, in which case we recommend engaging that following in a meaningful Facebook Group.
‘Meaningful’ Groups are communities that become a key part of a user’s experience. Currently, over 200 million people are members of meaningful Facebook Groups, a number that has doubled in the last year. Since Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions between friends, family, and communities, utilizing a Facebook group will allow your content to be seen by a higher number of your fans and followers.
Facebook’s target audience:
Facebook is used by a variety of users across all age demographics. Though the majority are women, with 74% of users being female and 62% being male. 81% are in the 18 to 29-year-old age group, with 78% being in the 30 to 49-year-old group.
-Creating a sense of community
-Providing customer service to your fans, answering questions, responding to complaints, starting discussions with them
Standing out organically on Facebook isn’t as easy as it used to be. The current algorithm favors particular content based on your fans usage habits. When posting, keep in mind that only a very small percent of your fans are seeing what you post. This is when “boosting” posts can come in handy, should you have the budget.
Why should I use Instagram?
Instagram is a highly visual platform that continues to grow in popularity, with over 1 billion monthly active platform users and 500 million daily active Stories users. The number of online adults who use Instagram has grown by nearly 400% since Pew Research Center first started tracking the social media platform in 2012.
Should your business be on Instagram? We think YES! But only if you have high-quality visual content that will help you make the most of it. Instagram is especially big in the beauty, fashion and design industries, for clear reasons.
The beauty of Instagram is the potential for organic reach. Of course, you can boost posts should you choose, but with the right hashtag strategy and engaging content you really don’t “need” to spend ad dollars.
Instagram is a great way to engage with followers and potential clients by sharing high-quality images and videos. The introduction of Instagram stories and IGTV has made engagement even more attainable by allowing brands to create interactive, relatable content for users to engage with. But it doesn’t stop there, key features like “product tagging” and “swipe up” for Instagram stories allows brands to monetize their accounts too, selling products of their own or their affiliates directly through their account.
Instagram’s target audience:
Instagram users are typically in the “younger” age demographics, with 72% of its audience being in the 13 to 17-year-old age group. Close behind at 64% is those aged 18-29, with 40% being 30 to 49 years of age. The platform also tends to be more popular among women, with 39% of online women using Instagram vs. 30% of online men.
-Building brand awareness, engaging with new followers
-Giving followers an insight into your brand/personality
-Showcasing your work through high-quality images and videos
-Selling your products/or products of affiliated partnerships
-Being an influencer
The only downfall for Instagram is that it does not allow for links to be embedded in regular, organic posts. Meaning, if you’re trying to lead your customers elsewhere (like to a specific page on your website) you will need to direct users to the “link in your bio.”
Do I really need to be on Twitter?
Twitter is known for being a social media platform that delivers cutting edge news, memes and information in short, to the point sentences (280 characters to be exact)—also known as tweets. 500 million tweets are sent each day worldwide, with over 326 million Twitter users each month.
Though not as popular as Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is a great channel for engaging with other users and making new connections. It also happens to be one of the last social media platforms that utilizes a chronological feed, even though the first feed you see uses an algorithm to determine the posts you most want to see. So Twitter both uses an algorithm and doesn’t, which can give you a little advantage.
Twitter is the ideal choice for those who have real-time news to put out, influencers or celebrities, those tying into fandoms (like Star Wars or sports) or who run a lot of contests. Twitter has visual elements, but it’s not the primary platform we suggest for visual businesses like interior design studios.
Adding popular hashtags to tweets will allow people to find your content, and with a quick and catchy lead-in sentence, you’ll have users clicking through to your links in no time. You can also have real-time conversations through Twitter chats, which we highly recommend if you’re on Twitter.
Fun fact: 67% of Twitter users are more likely to do business with brands they follow on Twitter, so this can be a great (and necessary) tool for your business.
Twitter’s target audience:
Twitter is a primarily “young” platform, with it’s largest demographic being adults between the ages of 18-29, with a pretty equal gender breakdown of 24% male and 21% female.
-Real-time news and real-time conversations with fans
-Sending people to your website for more information
Unlike most social platforms, Twitter does not have a complex algorithm that determines the lifecycle of its content. Twitter content has a very short lifecycle, with tweets having only about an 18-minute lifespan. If you aren’t actively posting on a consistent schedule, your content could be completely missed.
Should I use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is unlike any of the social media platforms we have talked about thus far. It has a very unique and specific user base: educated professionals who are looking for information and solutions that will benefit themselves professionally.
You may not think that LinkedIn is right for you, but, we don’t suggest ruling it out just yet. Two professionals join LinkedIn every second accounting for over 260 million monthly active users. That’s a whole lot of professionals ready and willing to connect and network with similar, like-minded people—including you!
LinkedIn is also a great platform to showcase your industry expertise through blogging. Every individual’s profile comes with a personal “blog” where you can write and share articles within the platform. Adding hashtags to these articles will make them discoverable, and in turn, will make your profile discoverable too.
LinkedIn is ideal for those who are looking to network, expand their mind professionally, and provide value to other professionals. It’s also an especially good source for discovering leads. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn’s target audience:
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is most popular among middle-aged men and women, with 33% of users being in the 30-49 age group and a tie between male and female users, both at 25%.
-Networking with prospective clients as well as like-minded professionals
-Writing/showcasing blogs and articles that relate to your industry
-Showcasing your experience and skillset, giving your business credibility
Because LinkedIn is geared towards an older demographic, it does not provide too much value for businesses that have a younger target market who aren’t “business-centric.” This is especially important if you are using LinkedIn to seek new business clients.
Why should I choose Pinterest?
Pinterest is basically an online collection of mood boards. A highly visual platform, Pinterest allows you to search for content ranging from recipes and fashion to kitchen design trends and bathroom storage ideas, ”pinning” each image to a “board” as you go. Pinterest can be an excellent way to direct users to your website, blog or podcast with roughly 250 million users every month.
Pinterest is one of the best platforms out there for driving traffic to your website, which makes it an especially valuable network for those who blog or who have products to sell. Promoting your blog posts is simple, too, all you need is an attractive visual to peek users interest and off they go to your website!
Make sure to claim your website and Instagram on Pinterest, so you’ll get credit when people pin images from your accounts. You can also share tips and tricks of the trade, all of which will help you to raise your brand awareness and connect with new potential clients.
Pinterest’s target audience:
Pinterest demographics show pretty steady usage across all age groups, however, the majority of users are female at 41% of users, with only 16% of the audience being male.
-Promoting your blog or website using appealing visuals
-Creating boards that showcase your style/content that would interest potential clients
-Getting your images out there in search. Google searches Pinterest and displays the images in image search results. This spurs traffic to your website.
Pinterest requires you to have a) visually appealing images and b) consistent, different content to share. Not having either (or very little of both) will not grant you the success you are seeking.
As you can see, social media platforms come in all shapes and sizes. Discovering which of the platforms will be useful for your business will take some trial and error. But, believe us when we say—it’s worth it! Put in the effort, find out which platforms make the most sense for you and your business, and utilize them!
Need help with your social media strategy? We would love to chat!
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