Friday, 29 April 2016

Social Media Strategy: Platforms

Social media marketing is an absolute MUST for any company, large or small. Social media allows you to connect directly with your consumers in a non-obtrusive, and often playful, way. Before you go plastering your brand across all platforms and creating accounts just for the sake of it, you need to understand where your audience actually is. Otherwise, you’re just shouting into the abyss of the internet. Let’s go through the most popular social platforms and why they might be right (or wrong) for you.

Facebook

Gender: Slightly more Women than Men
Most Popular with Ages: 18 to 65+
Number of Active Users: 1 Billion

This is by far the most popular platform, with over 1 billion active users worldwide. In the United States alone, 72% of adults of all ages use Facebook. That means if you’re a business, you need a Facebook page. They’re ahead of the curve on advertising and often times the trendsetters in this area. Facebook will be your greatest opportunity to reach potential customers, drive traffic to your website, and increase brand awareness.

Twitter

Gender: Slightly more Men than Women
Most Popular with Ages: 18-50
Number of Active Users: 560 Million

Twitter is described as a “microblogging site”, which really just means the content has to be short and sweet. Very short in fact, less than 140 characters per post. This platform is ideal for companies who are trying to market to a younger audience. However, be warned, your content MUST be engaging and memorable. Competition on this platform is high, with over 5,700 tweets being sent every minute. If you’re not eye-catching, you’re not noticed.

LinkedIn

Gender: Equally Men and Women
Most Popular with Ages: 18-50, most users ranging ages 30-50
Number of Active Users: 240 Million

Something to note about this platform is that around half of the users are college graduates looking to network professionally. 79% of all users on this platform are over the age of 35. They don’t care about just your latest product, they want to know why it’s groundbreaking and how it was made. Content on this platform needs to offer something educational for your users. For marketing, this platform works best for companies with a B2B approach.

Instagram

Gender: More Women than Men
Most Popular with Ages: 18-29
Number of Active Users: 150 Million

This platform is centered around images and short videos lasting no more than 15 seconds. Brands are participating through hashtags and posting images, image series, or short engaging videos that users can relate to. Make sure your imagery is visually appealing and mimics your brand’s personality. If you don’t have a tangible product to push, this is a great platform to give your consumers a behind the scenes look at how your business functions.

Pinterest

Gender: Mostly Women
Most Popular with Ages: 18-65
Number of Active Users: 70 Million

Pinterest has gained tremendous popularity surrounding any and all lifestyle topics. Users on this platform repin content to their own boards, allowing them to access it again and again. This is a tremendous way to drive traffic to your website, and you have more of a chance of doing this by creating helpful blog posts or tutorials. While this platform can be used by any business, it’s not ideal for every business. Unless you’re steadily creating original content that fits both Pinterest’s demographic and topics, this platform will be a waste of your time.

Vine

Gender: Equally Men and Women
Most Popular with Ages: 13-17 and Millennials
Number of Active Users: 200 Million

The con to this platform is that the demographic is very specific. However, if it fits your brand’s goals, you have the potential to see real engagement here. The point of this platform is to create micro-videos that play in a loop and last no more than 6 seconds. Take a look at some brands that are really using this platform right. Much like Instagram, this platform is most popular amongst brands with tangible products to sell. If you don’t have a tangible product, get creative and maybe even a little silly!

Outside of choosing the right platforms, there are many other factors you need to consider before putting your brand in front of the consumer. This includes your brand voice and personality, messaging language and strategies, defining a demographic, and video content. All of these components are essential to a fully fleshed out brand. If your marketing efforts don’t encompass all of these elements, you likely won’t get the response you’re looking for. We’ll continue to cover all of these topics through our Social Media Strategy blog series. Stay tuned!

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