Social media marketing is the way to go today, everybody knows that. But finding the right social media platform is as important as doing social media marketing. Without the right social media platform, even the most extensive marketing strategies will not yield effective results.
So today, we have taken into consideration a few major social media platforms and listed down their characteristics and the kind of businesses that are suited to these platforms.
Facebook is a giant of a social media platform that is just too big to ignore. It has 1.65 billion, yes billion, monthly active users ( Facebook, March 2016) with their major age demographic being 25-34 years. That demographic is the usually the key target audience for many businesses.
You have a range of demographics available on Facebook: professional working class, stay-at-home parents, students, senior citizens, high income group, middle income group, just about everyone is there on Facebook.
Also, unlike many other social platforms, Facebook has evolved to be multi-media space where you can post texts, images, videos, GIFs, live videos, polls, 360° videos and usually with no limit on size or length. This is great because it allows you to interact with your target audience in a number of ways.
Should you use Facebook ? Here are a few things to keep into consideration:
*Target Audience: Facebook works great for both international and local businesses. You can either target your ad campaign towards a particular age group in a specified area or you can have it targeted for general public around the world. You can target audience of all ages, across countries. But, with the rise of new social media platforms, the younger audience of Facebook has migrated away from. So if your business targets teenagers, then Facebook might not be a good option.
*User Engagement: If you are able to create some stunning multi-media like infographics, creative videos etc, then, Facebook is the surest way to reach your target audience and keep them engaged with your brand. When people share your videos or graphics, you get organic advertising too.
*Competition: Due to its large user base, Facebook is a very competitive platform. There are hundreds of companies and brands with Facebook pages trying to attract the same audience as you. To be able to stand out, you’d need some serious marketing campaign on Facebook and interesting content as well as graphics to be able to attract people.
Best for businesses like:
a. Regional and International – Food Chains, Mobile Apps, Big Retail Stores, Online Shopping Stores, Real Estate Development Companies
b. International – Apparel & Accessories Company, Fandom Merchandise
c. Regional – Furniture/Home Decor Stores, Food Ordering Apps or Websites, Books & Stationery Stores, Medium Sized Retailers, Reputed Clothing Lines, Gift Stores
Twitter is a social media platform that allows you to communicate to your audience in 140 characters or less. This includes text, images, videos, gifs so you have to get creative to be able to fit relevant content in that limit.
There are approximately 310 million monthly active users on Twitter ( Twitter, March 2016) among which the age group of 18-29 years dominates. So there is more younger audience on Twitter in comparison to Facebook.
Who should use Twitter ?
*Niche Market: Twitter is just the platform for niche products. If you have a product or service that is used by a small group of people, then you can use #hashtags to mark your campaign and people can find you or your company through these #hashtags.
*Personalised Customer Care: If your product or service requires a 24×7 personalised customer care, then Twitter should be on your list of social media accounts. In fact, every brand should make effective use of Twitter to deliver efficient customer care service to its customers. Twitter allows customers to contact the company directly by using @companyaccount.
*Younger Audience: Twitter caters to mostly an audience of 16 – 30 years old. So if your business targets people who fall into a more mature age group, like say 45 years old, then you might want to pay less attention to Twitter and more to Facebook.
*Localised Products & Services: Due to the #hashtag phenomenon, Twitter is an ideal place for local companies and brands to promote themselves. People oft use #product in #location hashtags to search for businesses on Twitter.
LinkedIn is less of a social platform and more of a professional social networking site that allows professionals and working people to connect to other professionals and companies.
On LinkedIn, people usually search for jobs and employees so it’s not an ideal place to promote your product. But if you are looking to promote yourself as a professional (writer, editor, accountant, photographer etc) then, you should use LinkedIn. Or if you want to promote your brand or company, or look for employees, LinkedIn is a good choice.
Instagram is a mobile only app that allows people to share images and videos with their followers and general public. Instagram also makes use of #hashtags.
It has over 300 million users with 22% men and 29% women.
Who should use it ?
*Apparels & Accessories: Since Instagram is a visual medium of communication, a company about apparels and accessories can make good use of it to showcase their collections and even create some engaging videos about fashion trends.
*Real Estate: Real estate companies with affordable housing, targeting 25-35 year old will find Instagram an effective tool. High quality pictures and videos along with the right hashtags are a great way to market on Instagram.
*Small Scale Entrepreneurs/ Local Cottage Industries: Instagram can do wonders for small scale businesses or sole proprietors in getting their business a boost. Local products and services are a hit on Instagram with people preferring them for personalised products and service at good rates.
*Self Made Artists: Artists, photographers, writers, designers can all make use of Instagram to promote themselves and their work. As it is an image/video only platform, they can make use of to create a brand identity with their works.
Pinterest is social networking platform where people share ideas in the form of images and videos. Basically, if someone likes your idea, they pin it to their dashboards which can later be downloaded.
Pinterest is a female dominated platform, with 8% men and 33% women.
Who can use it ?
– DIY Projects
– Crafts and Arts
– Cooking Shows/ Chefs
– Accessories Store
– Travel Companies
– Lifestyle Bloggers
– Apparels/ Clothing Lines
– Lifestyle Companies
And other companies that provide or sell female oriented products and services.