By: Alison Donovan and Erin Noble
There are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. They spend an average of 3 hours a day on social media. Social media users are a huge market that a business could be missing out on especially since 54% of them use social media to research best products and services.
The thought of getting your business on social media may be overwhelming. There are several social channels to choose from, all with different types of users and different purposes. We have written this guide to help you narrow down which social media platforms are best for your business.
Ask Yourself the Following
The best way to decide where a business might focus their efforts is by narrowing down who they want to reach, what they want to say, and how much time are they going to add to their social media campaign. We recommend you ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who are you trying to reach?
a. Men? Women? Both?
2. What form is the message coming in?
a. Are you going to post long text? Short text?
b. Links to articles?
3. How much time are you going to invest in social media?
a. 1 hour per week?
b. Less than 5 hours per week?
c. 6-10 hours per week?
4. Do you plan on utilizing social media advertisements?
Which Platform Should You Use?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start thinking about where to put the content you plan to post.
Facebook currently has over 2.6 billion monthly active users in 2020, making it the biggest social media platform in the world. If your goal is to reach a lot of people creating a Facebook Business Page would be a smart move. Facebook encompasses a wide demographic from Gen X to Millennials to Baby Boomers. Facebook users are 54% female, and 46% male. Except for the age demographic 65 and older, the majority of each age group has an active Facebook account. If you are trying to reach a large amount of people from all different demographics, this is the best platform to use. Facebook content can be as long as you want and include videos, links to articles, pictures, and advertisements. We suggest posting on Facebook about once or twice a day. You want to make sure you are showing up on peoples news feed regularly, but it could become overwhelming to followers if your posts are showing up a lot on their feed because you are posting multiple posts a day.
Although the parent company for Instagram is Facebook, they are very different platforms. Instagram is primarily a photo-based platform. It is possible to post videos, but they must be short and edited to a specific size. The demographics for Instagram are completely different than Facebook. In fact, 65% of their users are under the age of 35 and a majority of them are women. If you are trying to reach a younger demographic Instagram is the way to go. The platform is famous for their influencer marketing tactics. A lot of users push products to their followers in order to help brands increase their sales. If a business plans to use influencer marketing Instagram is definitely the way to go. A nice perk of Facebook being the parent company of Instagram is that a business’s Facebook ads can also be enabled to appear on Instagram. Since Instagram is photo based and the best photos are high quality and thoughtful, we recommend posting 3-6 times a week.
When people think LinkedIn, they do not necessarily think social media, but LinkedIn is still a great way to promote a business, especially to professional career type people. However, the content on LinkedIn is very different than your typical social media posts. Although, you can share fun social posts most content is educational, professional or motivational by nature. It is a great place to share information on products and services, posts articles, external links, success stories, and share promotional information. You can also post long-form blog type articles. LinkedIn is a great global network because 70% of users are outside of the United States. If your business is targeting an international market we recommend using LinkedIn. LinkedIn has an ad feature that allows you to push content that is important, such as promotional information. When it comes to LinkedIn it is hard to think of a posting schedule. We recommend 1-3 times per week, but that is only if you have high quality content to post. People on LinkedIn still view it as a very professional site, and you do not want to bombard followers with too much information.
Twitter is a platform used to post text, pictures, links, and advertisements. It is meant for shorter text, because there is a character limit of 280 on each post. It is also very news and public content type of content due to its rapid-fire nature. Keeping tweets short and to the point on this platform is the best method to getting users attention. 34% of Twitter users are female, and 66% are males. 38% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29, 26% users are 30-49 years old. Twitter is a great platform for reaching a male audience, and a young adult audience as well. We recommend posting to Twitter a couple of times a day. 500 million tweets get sent out every day. People are constantly posting on this platform, filling up user's timeline. Your tweet could get pushed to the bottom of the users feed because of the constant flow coming in. To avoid this, making sure to tweet a couple times a day will ensure you are taking up different spots of the users feed, so you do not get pushed to the bottom.
Pinterest has around 360 million monthly users, according to Statista. Similar to Instagram and YouTube, it is strictly a visual platform. Users create boards and can pin different content to these boards that can be organized into different categories. It’s considered helpful for search engine optimization (SEO). 71% of users are female on this platform. The age demographic that uses Pinterest the most is ages 30-49. The most popular categories on Pinterest include travel, health and wellness, DIY home projects, style, beauty, food and drink, and motivational quotes. It’s often compared to print catalogs and people do a lot of shopping on this platform. If your business matches one of these categories, make sure to join this community. We recommend posting on Pinterest 1-3 times per month, at a minimum. Make sure this content is educational and engaging, because that is what users look for on this platform.
YouTube has 2 billion active users. It is completely unique because your only post option is a video and it’s the second-largest search engine in the world, after Google. It’s owned by Google. YouTube also reaches a large demographic with 73% of U.S. adults using YouTube and 81% of 15 - 25-year-olds using YouTube. YouTube also has a very large international demographic. YouTube is full of a lot of educational content and “how to” videos. It can also be a great place to release new products, new features, and new services. We highly recommend using YouTube as an educational and promotional tool for your business. You can create a company branded YouTube channel for your company and host your videos there for no cost. There is no real content schedule for YouTube since it is exclusively videos. You should aim to put 1-2 videos on YouTube a month, however the videos should be high quality and have good information in them.
Snapchat was created less than 10 years ago and is a different type of social media beast. In terms of content to post it should be quick videos and pictures that you can share with followers. The content you post will disappear after 24 hours so it should consist mostly of promotional content that you want users to see at that very moment in time. Snapchat has a very young demographic. About 69% of people between the ages of 13–17-year-olds have the app and 62% of 18–29-year-olds have the app. Businesses are able to establish a Snapchat Business account in order to push advertisements. However, these ads are expensive, “Snap Ads, which is Snapchat’s mobile video ads offering, start at around $3,000 per month in ad spend”. If you do not have a big ad budget, we do not recommend using their ad features instead consider using Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads. To keep up with this demographic and the time parameter established by Snapchat you should aim to post to the app at least once a day.
We know grasping social media marketing and social media campaigns can be hard. We are here to help! If you need help with your social media marketing, creating content, or creating a social media campaign please contact us!