There’s no doubt that social media marketing is beneficial to all businesses; no matter how big, or how small. Social media is a great tool to help build brand awareness, engage with customers and increase sales and leads. However, with so many social media platforms out there, many businesses can find it difficult balancing the management of platforms. The truth is, it’s often better to be consistent with just a few accounts, then it is to be sporadically posting across a multitude. Not sure which ones to focus on? Here’s how to work out which ones your business should be dedicating your time and money towards.
First, What is Your Industry?
Not all social media platforms work for every type of business or industry. For instance, if you’re a training company looking to promote your training programs, your business will most likely benefit from a professional careers-focussed platform like LinkedIn.
A fashion or beauty brand will benefit from social platforms that are image and video-focused like Instagram, TikTok and even Pinterest. Facebook and Instagram both have recently released Shop functionalities which allow customers to purchase directly from your online shopping catalogue through your Facebook or Instagram account, meaning they’re essential for eCommerce businesses.
What Are Your Goals on Social Media?
Next, you need to define your goals for using social media platforms for your business. This will help you determine what platform is more suited to particular goals.
Goals may include:
- Increasing brand awareness. This indicates how many people know or are aware of you on social media, and the products and services you offer. Key ways to determine brand awareness include brand mentions (or tags), shares and follower count.
- Generating leads. This goal is about gathering important contact information from potential clients and customers.
- Increasing community engagement. This means your audience wants to hear from you and you want to hear from them - their opinions & feelings may influence your product or service development. You might look at the engagement rate of your posts, comments, replies to stories etc.
- Increasing purchases or conversions. This goal is all about bringing in sales or customers taking an action on your site (downloading a free newsletter).
Who is Your Audience?
The purpose of using social media platforms for your business is to reach and engage with your best audience. You don’t want to invest your time on a platform that your audience is not using. For that reason, it is necessary to know who your target audience is, and what social media platforms they are engaging on the most. Remember to consider your desired target audience and their demographics. For instance, if your audience is aged between 18 and 27, and they are mostly female, use this information to determine what platforms they are most likely to be on. If your target audience is mainly comprised of women over 60, you can more than likely rule out using TikTok and Snapchat.
What Type of Content Will You Make?
All social media platforms serve a different purpose when it comes to content. Some focus more heavily on visuals, while others focus on long-form text like whitepapers or reports. Content types you may want to focus on include:
- Industry news or whitepapers
- Webinars or livestreams
- Short videos
- Links to external content i.e. blog posts, ebooks etc
We explain which platforms are best for each type of content below.
Main Social Media Platforms to Choose From
Facebook has nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users. According to Roy Morgan, Facebook is used by 86% of Boomers, 87% of Gen X and 90% of Millennials. Majority of users are on Facebook purely to stay in contact with friends and family, while only a small percentage use the platform for entertainment and as a news source. Users spend roughly 19 minutes on Facebook daily.
With its wider demographic and user base, Facebook is still one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses, both for organic content and paid social. With paid ads, almost any business will be able to find their target audience on this platform and get their ads in front of the right people. Through Facebook Ads Manager, you can target your audience based off their age, interests, behaviour, jobs, relationship status and location.
Facebook also makes it very easy for businesses to share links to your website, blog posts and other news outlets. It also makes it easy for users to share any articles or posts they think is worth sharing on their own profile. You may notice that a lot of your friends and family’s content isn’t original. They may share blog posts or articles they enjoyed reading, and even news articles and funny videos.
If your desired outcome is to reach as many people as possible through social advertising, to drive traffic to your website or to your Facebook business page, then Facebook is a great option for your business.
Instagram’s focus has always been on the visuals - stunning images and eye-catching videos. Over the years, we have seen Instagram roll out stories (a real-time video feature that lets you share moments of your day for 24 hours), Instagram Shop (which connects to your website catalogue so people can shop directly from the app), the ability to upload long-form videos (IGTV), and most recently, the roll out of Reels (comparable to TikTok). Thanks to Instagram, we have also seen the rise of the influencer.
In terms of usage, as of January 2020, there are nearly 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram. Roughly 52% of the social media platform’s audience is identified as female, and over 130 million users engage with the shopping posts on a monthly basis. Over 500 million accounts also use Instagram stories every day. It is also important to note that the largest age bracket on Instagram is 18 - 29 years.
Instagram is perfect for businesses who would like to focus on:
- Sharing aesthetically pleasing visuals
- Short, engaging videos
- Selling their products through the app
- Sharing Stories for real-time marketing
- Making use of influencers to advertise their products/services
Brands that thrive on Instagram are generally fashion brands, beauty brands, photographers and food brands/restaurants - i.e. things that have a strong visual appeal.
LinkedIn is one of the few social media platforms that purely focuses on B2B (business-to-business) marketing. Roughly 675 million monthly users and 30 million companies are on LinkedIn. In 2019, more than 4 million people were hired through the platform.
If your business plans on sharing regular industry updates, company news and is looking to market the business in search of new employees, then LinkedIn is the best platform to use. Not only should your content help with increasing your brand awareness, but it will hopefully target your audience (potential employees or even potential clients to work with).
TikTok is one of the newest social media platforms with its global release in 2018. It now generates 800 million monthly active users in more than 150 countries. TikTok has a reputation of being popular with teens and young adults, with 27% of its users between 13 and 17, and 42% of its users between 18 and 24.
If you are unfamiliar with how TikTok works, it’s a viral video app that allows users to create their 15 second videos with music, filters and special effects. Content ranges from dance trends to hashtag challenges and original content by influencers, creators and brands. Content is king on TikTok. Accounts with zero followers have the potential to gain millions of views on videos if they use the right hashtags, sounds, and create captivating videos. The best performing TikToks are definitely those that follow the latest sounds and hashtag trends. If your business is looking to share quick videos that have the ability to reach millions of people in a short amount of time, then TikTok might be the app for you. Your business should also make use of TikTok if you plan on running brand collaboration campaigns and influencer campaigns.
There has been some recent controversy around TikTok, however.
The main concern - which has been raised by the likes of Donald Trump and Scott Morrison - is the potential security risks associated with the app.
This is due largely to the fact that the app is Chinese owned, with concerns surrounding the use of the data that app collects, and the possibility it is being shared with the Chinese government. Leaked documents also revealed that moderators blocked videos mentioning Tiananmen Square or the Free Tibet movement.
In addition, TikTok has been criticised for being slow to act in removing controversial content, and enforcing their community guidelines - which have recently been updated.
Twitter has always been a great platform for concise communication, whether it’s brand updates, industry news and engaging with customers. It may not be as popular as other social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, however, Twitter still generates 330 million monthly active users and roughly 500 million tweets per day. Brand response and presence on Twitter is very important - roughly 80% of all Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a tweet. Twitter is the go-to platform for real-time updates, breaking news and other “in the moment” information - think rugby scores, and storm warnings. Many brands use the platform to respond to any queries or comments made by their customers. Brands and businesses who wish to reach new audiences and build a strong online community will benefit from Twitter.
How to Use These Social Media Platforms For Your Business
Now that we’ve broken down the key social media platforms and given you a basic idea on how to use them, it’s time to incorporate them in a larger social strategy. Our team can work with you to customise a social media package to help you grow an online community and maintain a strong online presence. Please get in touch to see how we can help you out!