When you are looking to maximize your social media presence, choosing the social media outlets that fit your brand is key. With popular options like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it can be tempting to pick the most popular platform and hope for the best.
This “hoping-for-the-best” strategy is not only risky but can lead to a false sense of success with a minimal payout. For example, according to Forbes.com, 60% of Snapchat users are under the age of 24 who use the platform for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. With Snapchat being a highly popular social media app, it could see as a logical choice to grow your social media presence. However, if your target audience is within the 50+ range, it is easy to see how Snapchat wouldn’t be the best tool to reach your ideal customer.
So how do you determine which platform is right for your audience?
It takes a little due diligence to segment your audience and identify the social apps they are most likely using in 2019, but that time spent will be well worth the effort to quickly identify where your target customer is and increase your ROI.
To make your target audience persona project easier, we've highlighted the four leading social media platforms used today, and how to pick the right platform for your brand.
Facebook is a platform that is dedicated to “making the world more open and connected” and “giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” These mission statements have turned the social network into a powerful company with 1.57 billion active mobile users. About 25% of U.S. Facebook users are age 25 to 34 and on average share 1 million links every 20 minutes.
When thinking about your business, and how this platform fits into your plan, it is important to note that while advertising has grown to be very cost effective using Ad Manager, Facebook is not a predominantly business app. This means that you will need to spend more time growing a community that is authoritative, trustworthy, and engaging to ensure consistent results through this platform alone.
Twitter is known for #hashtags and influencers sharing what they ate for lunch, but the real purpose of the platform is to keep people informed. It is a platform that allows users to see what’s happening in the world without the need for creating a community. For a business, this can be a huge advantage.
Twitter is great for keeping your target audience informed on announcements and events as well as keep an eye on your competitors to ensure that your business remains relevant. It is also an excellent app for SaaS, B2B, and B2C to attract their target audience and monitor campaigns (aka #hashtags). However, with a 240 character limit, it is important to make sure your content is concise and engaging (ideally with visuals!)
Instagram is a photo-sharing app that has over 1 billion monthly active users. It is a simple platform to engage with your target audience and converse with potential customers. This platform has introduced easy marketing tools from the ability to follow hashtags to IGTV videos created by brands and influencers.
One of the major setbacks of Instagram is content posting and automation limitations. Though they have introduced auto-publishing through approved online programs, it still requires in-the-moment, manual interactions daily. Another setback would be advertising on Instagram. It can be difficult to target your ideal audience: the platform only provides a few marketing tools, such as the ability to increase engagements or page views. If you are looking for targeted advertising, Facebook may be a better option for your brand.
For highly visual and influencer brands, Instagram is an ideal platform. However, don’t be discouraged if your business focuses on behind-the-scenes content. With the right marketing strategy, any company can be made into a brand worth of following.
LinkedIn is known as a social networking platform designed for business. The focus is to build professional relationships and grow your network for potential business opportunities.
LinkedIn is highly useful for finding new employees, expanding business opportunities, and quickly generating leads and sales. The site also has 260 million monthly active users that could be excellent for a well-connected individual. The downfall is that you can only connect with people whom you have a 2nd or 3rd-degree connection. What that means is that you have to be a friend of a friend or a friend of a colleague of a friend. May seem a little ridiculous to some, but LinkedIn was very clear that they want to encourage direct connections offline to build meaningful interactions. These personal interactions help people feel comfortable on the platform and minimize spam.
This direct connection can be used to your advantage through the LinkedIn community. Your brand can easily create communities around useful topics to build engagement and use those communities to promote events or services.
YouTube is the largest video sharing site where users can choose to be the viewer or the creator. The platform has evolved into an ideal place for paid content, live streaming, and paid advertisement views. The site is highly user-friendly and makes it easy for brands to extract or embed videos on company sites.
One of the main benefits of YouTube is the potential of high traffic to your channel on a highly-recognized platform. It makes it easy for brands to organize their video content to make the user experience easier. However, due to the accessibility of YouTube, it is harder to distinguish your company from your competitors without a strong inbound marketing strategy. One of the reason is that the site continually recommends videos to users looking for a specific keyword. This recommendation feature makes it easier for the user to find a video that appeals to them, but more likely for your videos to be buried by a competitor's flashy graphics.
How to identify the best platform for your business
Once you have identified where your audience spends their time online picking the best platform for your business is easy. Ideally, you want to not only consider where your audience is but also where your competitors are. For example, If you see your competitors on Twitter with high engagements, it would be a good idea to start a Twitter account. You also want to decide whether to focus on a couple of platforms or if your brand qualifies for all platforms for maximum results.
Whichever platform(s) you choose, work to have a strong social media presence to ensure the success of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.
If you are interested in discussing how to create a strong cross-platform social identity that advances your brand, message, and engagement, we would love to speak with you!