Social media marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing today. Most consumers tend to hang out online and even do their research on brands by browsing their social media accounts.
As a business, establishing a social media presence is crucial to attracting and retaining customers. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re investing in the right channels.
Below, we explore some of today’s most popular social media platforms and some key facts than can help you determine which ones are best for your brand.
Related article: How We Approach Our Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Media Platforms
Instagram is a hotspot for young consumers, with its biggest demographic group being males between 18 to 24 years old. Additionally, 75% of all users are aged between 18 and 24.
Businesses of all sorts are leveraging Instagram for marketing purposes, but the platform is best suited for trendy, urban brands like fashion companies or tech business. To engage your audience, you’ll want to post creative photos and short videos, and try to maintain a theme. Stick to a specific color scheme, build your brand’s voice, and interact with other users on a regular basis.
Also, be sure to keep up with trends and best engagement practices, from IGTV to Instagram stories. Get creative and remain active!
Related article: 9 Expert Tips for Driving Instagram Engagement
Most Americans use Facebook, the demographics being:
- 51% of those ages 13 to 17
- 81% of those ages 18 to 29
- 78% of those ages 30 to 49
- 65% of those ages 50 to 64
- 41% of those ages 65 and older
The sweet spot for age of users is between 25 and 34. If your target consumers fall into this range, you’ll want to prioritize Facebook above all else. Share regular updates, statuses, photos of products, behind-the-scenes shots, event info and more. Also, remember these points: videos earn the highest rate of engagement, as well as posts published on Thursday and Friday.
Unlike on Snapchat, even if your target audience doesn’t use Facebook, you’ll still want to at least exist on the platform. At a minimum, you should create a page with important information (e.g. business address and contact info) to establish your presence and credibility.
Hootsuite reported that 22% of adults and 44% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Twitter. The median age of US users, however, is 40.
Twitter is a great way to spread brand awareness, especially since tweets can be retweeted, thus shared with larger audiences. It’s also the perfect platform for business owners and those in the media/arts, like writers and PR reps, to connect with others in the industry. Use Twitter to network and share your thoughts or links to articles/websites/etc.
Majority of LinkedIn users are between ages 25 and 34, and exist across various industries. The platform helps professionals connect with other professionals. However, while it’s more of an online resume for workers, it can also be used as a marketing tactic for businesses.
Every business should have a LinkedIn account to establish their credibility and digital presence. You can also use LinkedIn to share business updates, event information/coverage, job openings and more.
According to Hootsuite, Pinterest reaches 83% of women aged 25 to 54. However, more than half of this exposure is from Google image search. If you’re using Pinterest for your business, you’ll be able to reach both users and non-users.
Pinterest is also unique because it’s less a social site and more of a self-discovery platform. When users log into their profiles, they’re not looking to interact with others; instead, they’re looking for information, inspiration and products. However, most companies overlook the channel and its potential.
Any company can benefit from having a Pinterest account, as the platform offers various types of content in the form of “pins.” These pins can range from photos of outfits to quotes from articles, linking to external sources. For instance, if you own a PR agency and run a blog on your site, you can link to certain posts in your pins; or, if you’re a clothing boutique, you can share photos of your hottest items with links to your shop.
At the end of 2018, Snapchat had approximately 186 million daily active users. The number dropped slightly from the beginning of 2018 and previous years.
According to the Pew Research Center, the most active Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24. While this platform isn’t as commonly used for marketing as others (like Instagram and Facebook), If your audience mostly consists of millennials or Gen Z, you might consider using Snapchat to engage them even further.
You can create unique behind-the-scenes videos, share photos of your products and link to relevant articles your customers would appreciate. However, keep in mind: Snapchat typically performs better for well-known, large businesses.
According to Oberlo, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform. In fact, 79% of Internet users have an account on the website/application.
YouTube is a great place to share video content with consumers. And since video is becoming a more popular and engaging form of content, businesses of all sorts can find success on the platform. Write articles for your company blog? Translate it into a short informative video. Run a local bakery? Record a how-to baking video while plugging your favorite treats. The options are endless!
This up-and-coming social media platform isn’t on many businesses’ radars yet, but experts predict it’s the “next big thing” in social media. This platform allows users to share short, music-focused video clips (9 to 15 seconds long), and the community values authentic, creative content over highly polished, professional-looking videos.
Business News Daily reports that more than 40% of the app’s 500 million monthly users are between the ages of 10 and 19, so if your brand is marketing to pre-teens and teenagers, TikTok is the place to be. At present, businesses have four primary options for using TikTok: in-feed native content, brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, and branded lenses.
Like any new social media platform, it may be best to wait and see what bigger brands are doing on TikTok before diving in and potentially harming your brand image.
Social media strategy
What is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy encompasses all the processes included in an individual’s or company’s social media marketing efforts. A strategy typically outlines specific goals, like cultivating brand awareness or generating leads, the ways to reach them, and day-to-day tasks per platform.
For example, a company’s social media strategy might establish the goal to increase its following on Instagram, with weekly tasks including posting on Instagram Stories twice a day, sharing a Reel once a week, and publishing a photo to their feed every three days. Their content should be focused on engaging their target audience. Typically, social media strategies are broken down by each social media platform, so content type and schedules will differ by platform
How do you create a social media strategy by platform?
To reap the best results from your social media marketing efforts, you’ll want to create individual strategies for every social media platform your business utilizes, as each requires its own nuances and best practices to keep in mind.
While you don’t need to be present on every social media platform, you’ll want to engage your audience as much as possible on the ones you do use. It’s much better to give a few social media platforms your full attention rather than running multiple accounts on every platform and allocating limited resources to them.
To create a social media strategy by platform, first ask yourself why you’re prioritizing this particular platform. For instance, if you’re using Instagram, understand who you will reach and the types of content you will publish. These questions will help you develop a strategy that’s specific to both your business and the social site you’re using.
Social strategy tips by platform
Here are some social strategy tips for Facebook:
- Use Facebook ads and promoted posts. If your budget allows, invest in a paid Facebook ad or promoted post to better target your audience and increase your reach.
- Go Live. A live video on Facebook holds viewers for three times as long as a prerecorded video. To engage your audience, start a live video showcasing your products or discussing your services/industry.
- Create a Facebook group relevant to your business or community. Creating a group of like-minded people l allows for more intimate connections with prospective and existing customers. The group can have discussions with one another, creating a community among your customers that generates more brand loyalty.
- Use Facebook Messenger for customer service. Much like chatbots on a company website, Facebook Messenger can be used to address your customers’ questions or concerns.
Here are some social strategy tips for Instagram:
- Post on Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are highly interactive and keep your business at the top of consumers’ minds, so be sure you’re posting daily — especially if your feed photos aren’t getting the attention they deserve.
- Use IGTV and Reels. IGTV is Instagram’s long form video platform where users can upload videos and live streams up to 60 minutes long. Reels, similar to TikTok are short form videos,meant to be shared, that can last up to 60 seconds. Utilize both of these video options to create more engagement with your customers and repurpose old content.
- Share customers’ posts. For instance, if a buyer shares pictures of your products, repost it to your story or feed as free marketing.
- Interact in the comments. Responding to comments will increase your engagement and build a more positive relationship with your followers.
Here are some social strategy tips for Twitter:
- Join trending conversations. Twitter cares what you have to say. Share your message on Twitter to establish yourself as a thought leader and attract new customers to your brand.
- Use the right hashtags. By using relevant hashtags, you’ll get your content in front of the right audience, increasing and better targeting your reach.
- Invest in Twitter advertising. Twitter advertising, like promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends, will ensure your tweets are reaching the right users.
Here are some social strategy tips for TikTok:
- Use TikTok advertising. TikTok advertising uses engaging videos to promote your brand. If you have the budget for it, consider experimenting with TikTok ads to increase your reach.
- Create your own sounds. When a specific sound is trending, the original user is likely to get more views any time another account uses their sound.
- Join trends. If there’s a trending sound or video idea, create your own version to stay relevant and increase your visibility.
Here are some social strategy tips for LinkedIn:
- Optimize your company page. Be sure your company’s LinkedIn page is captivating and searchable by using relevant keywords and including a link to your website.
- Publish relevant content. Like you would on your company blog, share relevant content that establishes your credibility in the industry. Be sure to include images and videos to attract more readers.
Here are some social strategy tips for Pinterest:
- Pin your own photos/posts. These can include links to your products, company blog posts, and more. Make sure to use high-quality, vertical images.
- Use descriptive copy. This will ensure you have good SEO and encourage users to interact with your pins/click on the links included.
Here are some social strategy tips for Youtube:
- Create and repurpose videos relevant to your business and industry. Video is a highly engaging form of media, so consider creating videos establishing your expertise or repurposing TikToks and other videos.
- Share your videos across other social channels. Be sure to promote your Youtube videos to increase your reach.
Here are some social strategy tips for Snapchat:
- Create unique behind-the-scenes videos and photos. You can share videos of your business in operation, live footage of events, photos of your products, and even Q&As with your team for a personalized customer experience.
- Utilize Snapchat advertising. Typically for larger businesses, Snapchat advertising can get your videos and photos in front of the right audience without you having to seek them out yourself.
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