The social experiment
If it’s not on Facebook, is it even real? In 2019, if you haven’t got a social media presence your business, company or agency will likely not be getting the exposure it needs to succeed. But there are so many social media platforms now available, how do you know which one will best suit your purposes?
One of the main causes of a failed social strategy is prioritizing the wrong social media platforms. However, you can narrow down those choices if you look closely at what you want to achieve with your social media presence.
The best place to start is to ask yourself three questions:
Are you B2C, B2B, or both?
Who’s your target audience?
What’s your overall goal?
You should also understand what you want to achieve through social media – sales, information, client connection? Make sure you understand the benefits of each platform and what its purpose is, so your efforts don't go to waste.
If you’re social media presence is going to be used as a customer service platform then you need to choose a site that has a strong messaging interface and high interaction. If it’s for showcasing new products or promotions a unidirectional platform like LinkedIn would be sufficient.
Here’s a short summary on the major social media platforms, how they work and who they target to make your choice a little easier.
This is the oldest and perhaps the most far-reaching platform globally. Businesses can choose from a variety of options, including professional pages, paid post promotion, and native advertising. Facebook's reach is so expansive that some small businesses choose to just have a Facebook page and not have a website. The largest users of Facebook are still the 18-29-year age group but surprisingly the 50-64- year age bracket is a growing demographic for this platform.
Instagram's primary audience is 18-29 years according to the 2018 Spredfast Social Audience Guide. According to a recent survey by Harvard IOP – How Millennials Use Social Media (2015) – 51 per cent of those aged 18-24 use Instagram, versus. 34 per cent of 25-29 year olds. And the research also found today’s teens display a continuation of the trend we’ve seen among millennials – towards higher uptake of the leading image-led social platforms, Snapchat and Instagram. To be successful on this platform, you must produce high-quality images and video content. Instagram is also popular among women so if your product is unique to women, this platform is the perfect place to promote it.
This is a good platform for marketing to audiences in the under 29-year age group. Research conducted in 2018 by the Pew Research Centre reports that almost 45 per cent of all Twitter users in the United States are aged 18-24. In Australia, the Sensis social media report found usage is slightly higher for males than females, and declines with age. With its heavy sharing aspect Twitter offers a great opportunity to spread the word about your content. The one catch to using Twitter is the word limit. You only have a few characters to inform your audience of your products, so you'll have to develop some serious editing skills. Twitter users are mainly teenagers and millennials.
The most business-oriented form of social media, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other businesses and professionals. It's an older platform that relies less on media content and more on text-based updates. While LinkedIn is a great place to form connections and find employees, it's not the best platform for large-scale marketing or gimmicky campaigns. It is, however, perfect for B2B small businesses and niches. If you're targeting these groups, LinkedIn is your best bet.