In the digital world we are living in, it is absolutely necessary for an organization to have a social media presence in order to engage with its customers. Creating a good social profile for your business is an artform in and of itself, and it takes time and a well thought out strategy to get results.
One of the most critical aspects of your social media strategy is to ensure that you are on the right social media platforms for your business. You want to be on the platforms that your audience is already familiar with. How do you do that? That is when you want to tap into your research skills. With so many options available, from Facebook to TikTok, you will have to spend time researching who the audience is for each platform that you are considering and what their motivations are for using that platform. Before starting a social media strategy you should already have a good understanding of who your target audience is.
We have spent some time researching a variety of platforms which we have deemed to be the most prominent in current times and are going to share what we have found below (P.S. We do accept gifts of gratitude in the form of chocolate and wine). The findings below are not an exhaustive list and may change as time progresses and the platforms change.
Most of us will recognize Facebook as the first social media channel that really took off on a massive scale that businesses began to use to reach their customers and prospects. Over the years Facebook has evolved not only its user base, but also the ability to dig into its demographics for targeting engagement. That is why Facebook has become a massive advertising tool for brands.
According to Sprout Social, nearly 41.3% of monthly Facebook users are in Asia-Pacific whereas the US and Canada’s usage is about 10.1%. However just over 48% of Facebook Ad revenue comes from the US and Canada alone.
Determining your audience’s motivation for using Facebook will greatly impact your decision to be on Facebook or not. In the beginning, people used Facebook to keep in touch with friends and loved ones who may not live in the same place. While that is still a major motivation for Facebook use, other motivations include a sense of belonging and finding validation. Consumer brands should almost always consider Facebook as a platform for their business. Users of this platform are likely to share the brands that they like with their networks. Today, consumers expect brands not only to be on Facebook, but also provide customer service through the platform.
In recent years, Instagram has seen a steady increase in popularity. The most active users on Instagram are teens (13-17) and young adults (18-29). As a predominantly visual platform the main motivation for using Instagram is photo sharing. The story function on Instagram is used for sharing elements of the user’s day to day life. Although other platforms also have a story function, Instagram’s is widely used.
If you have a B2B company, or a large organization, sharing photos of the team in a behind the scenes feature, employee takeovers, etc. can help show your audience that your organization is more than a corporation. Consumer brands should plan for how their individual posts hold true to their visual identity, and make for a consistent presence on the platform that stands out on the feed.
Consumers will expect your organization to be on Instagram. Especially for the B2C businesses. Specifically, restaurants are huge for Instagram. By sharing pictures of menu items you can entice new customers based solely on aesthetics. When the food looks good Instagram users will share photos of their experience with their followers and they will want to visit your restaurant as well. Instagram is owned by Facebook and therefore it is a similarly powerful advertising platform too.
Not the 2009 pop-hit by Ke$ha, TikTok has exploded recently, although it is still the new kid on the block in terms of social platforms. 41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24, and is the most downloaded app on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Providing a creative outlet for Teens, TikTok has shown that the possibilities for content are endless. It allows users to create videos from 15 seconds to one minute long, plus effects and audio options. It gives creators a ton of options to play around with video and photo editing using different techniques.
As a new platform, there is not a ton of data to show how businesses can use TikTok effectively yet. However, this is also an opportunity to try out some new things. Rising stars on TikTok are users who have used the platform creatively. There is an advertising option, but what has worked on TikTok are creativity and humour. Look to brands like Chipotle and the San Diego Zoo to see how TikTok can be fun for organizations and individuals alike.
For a business, TikTok can be very useful in connecting with its younger audience. The creative nature of TikTok allows businesses to create marketing campaigns that are not traditional, which is more appealing to the younger generation.
With its majority users between the ages of 13-17, Snapchat is a very interesting social media platform for businesses. Using Snapchat for business is a tricky thing to do well as most users are on Snapchat to connect with friends and are not using it for business. It is extremely useful to connect with a younger audience as 82% of all Snapchat users are under 34 years old.
As with most social media platforms, users are not only connecting with friends. Snapchat has a Discover section that can be very useful for business. Users on Snapchat are more likely to make impulse purchases. If you are a B2C business, Snapchat is a great way to encourage sales by tapping into that younger audience. Snapchat can be very useful for your business to connect with the audience.
Twitter remains popular for news and customer service; essentially anything that requires a quick response. Considering the character count, now at 280 characters per tweet, it is important to make your message as concise as possible on Twitter.
In an interesting shift, 66% of Twitter users globally are male while only 34% of users are female. Most of the other platforms we have discussed have more female users than male, or at least a closer ratio.
Knowing that users on Twitter enjoy quick access to relevant information, it makes sense for your business to be on Twitter to provide that information. Consumers do not want to spend hours on hold to reach customer service, they would rather send a direct message and get a quick response. This experience helps your business retain customers and attract new ones if it is done well.
We obviously can’t discuss social media for business without talking about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform so it makes sense that it has an older demographic. 37% of LinkedIn users are between 30-49 years of age . LinkedIn also sees more male users than female, with 29% of users identifying as male and 24% female. It is also a highly academic platform with 51% of users with more than a college education .
Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, it is very useful for businesses in the B2B sector. Executives of different organizations can connect online and start to figure out ways that they can help each other. Company pages can be used as powerful engagement tools for industry, current clients, future prospects, and even for attracting talent.
Ultimately, deciding what platforms are right for your business is a task that requires a fair amount of research and strategy in order to be successful. Spending this extra time researching before going beginning your social media activities will save you time and money in the long run by ensuring that you are where your audience is.
All of the information above is subjective and may change depending on your audience, it may not be applicable to your business. Did this help you with your social media strategy? Let us know in the comments below!
Statistics listed above were gathered from the following articles: