If you’re starting out with social media for your business or brand, you might be confused with all the platforms available. You might be wondering if you need to be on all of them, and if not, which one/s you choose? That is a very good question, and we’ll dig deeper into this topic on this blog post.
Since there are many platforms available we won’t be able to cover them all, but we will discuss the most used ones. Let’s do this in alphabetical order.
No list would be complete without mentioning Facebook. It is the king, with more than 1.68 billion monthly active users, and 66% of those report using it daily. Even though their algorithm changes so much, and now it is much harder to be seen without recurring to paying for ads, it is still worth to try it out. At this time, there’s no other place to find that many users. By adding a pixel to your website, you can get a better sense of who your visitors are, and later on, use this information to retarget them. You know how most people are browsing the internet and have a window open with Facebook? Well, basically the pixel tracks those users, and you can then select them, or a portion of them, to create ads.
This is the most popular platform right now, and it is backed up by that guy named Mark Zuckerberg, from Facebook. They have more than 400 million daily active users. It is a very visual platforms, and image quality is very important. The app allows you to post pictures, comment, share and send messages. It is great for brands, product, and service-based businesses. Since it is owned by Facebook, you can use their ads features, and the information you gather with the pixel, to create ads on Instagram. Most users on Instagram are aged 18-29, followed by those who are 30-49. It is a pretty big scope, and definitely a good idea to research if your target demographic is there.
Mostly used for business networking LinkedIn serves as a medium to network with other professionals, keep customers and suppliers updated with industry news, announcements of new products and services, and even customer service. With more than 35 million monthly users, and 70% of those outside the U.S. it is a great platform to find users in other countries.
Although visual like Instagram, Pinterest is more of a search engine. It has more than 150 million monthly users. With Pinterest, image quality is also key, and vertical pics do much better than landscape ones. It is great for product-based businesses who now have the option of selling through Pinterest. Bloggers can also take advantage of Pinterest by sharing their content which in turns generate website visits.
Snapchat launched in September 2011 and now has 158 million daily active users. Their audience is younger, most of them (45%) between 12-24 years old. Want to know another interesting stat? 76% of Snapchat users purchase things online. You can share images and videos, and this platform can share a picture that will disappear. Brands are embracing Snapchat due to its popularity and high engagement.
It seems like Twitter has existed since forever, and this platform has 319 million active users. It is one of the platforms that is suffering the most due to the growth of Instagram stories and Snapchat. One of the great things about Twitter is how up-to-date it is. Anything that is happening or trending will be there. The U.S. Presidential election of 2016 greatly benefited Twitter’s user growth, especially since it is the way President Donal Trump uses to share his views.
Video is all the rage right now, and I still need to get on it (truth!). Not only do you post videos, but it is also a search engine (like Pinterest). You can position yourself as an expert, review products, do how-to’s, among other things. They have around 41 million users between the ages of 25-34 and reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
How do I choose?
What you choose to use depends on a few things. You might use Twitter as a listening tool, Facebook to engage with fellow business owners and Instagram to share content with your audience. There’s no one right answer for everyone. One thing’s for sure, in whichever channel you choose to participate you must be active, engage with others and share high-quality content.
Growing an audience, no matter the platform takes time. You might as well choose one that you enjoy. Even though videos are all the rage right now, don’t get into YouTube if you hate it. Not only will your content suck, but you won’t be consistent either. Also, select one channel that you are good at. If taking photography isn’t your thing, then you probably shouldn’t be on Instagram (although you can use stock photography). If writing is your thing, then, by all means, stick to blogging and maybe share snippets on Twitter.
Not all platforms are created equally and choosing which one (or ones) to will depend on your target audience and your goals. Knowing what you want to communicate, what results you want and how you want your audience to respond are all crucial to selecting the best platforms to be. And remember, you don’t have to be on all of them. It is better to be focused and consistent on one than to be mediocre at 7. In next week’s blog post we’ll go deeper into which platform can be best depending on who your audience is.
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