Everyone thinks they know the social media platforms inside and out. While spreading your advertising across all the major channels may offer more in terms of potential visibility, how much of that effort goes wasted? Are you pouring the right resources into the social media platforms your target audience is using?
What’s the Difference Between Social Media Platforms?
The first step to understanding the differences between platforms is acknowledging which ones are the most important. To that end, the biggest social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest. They all serve different purposes, they all have vastly different audiences, and they all require time and effort invested into strategy in order to produce results.
Instagram: Great for storytelling and branding by way of imagery. The top 50 brands post, on average, 4.9 times per week. Interestingly, more than 30% of IG users have discovered, and purchased, a product found on Instagram.
Facebook: The largest of all social media platforms, with over 2 Billion active monthly users. Unsurprisingly, Facebook has the most features and is the most heavily monetized among brand marketers.
Twitter: The ideal outlet for microblogging insightful or humorous content. Twitter users are three times more likely than Facebook users to follow a brand, and almost three-quarters of Twitter survey respondents purchased from a brand after following them on Twitter.
Snapchat: An evolution of Instagram with a younger audience. Snapchat encourages more “in-the-moment” interaction and captures more emotional range than the other platforms.
TikTok: Further evolution of in-the-moment video sharing that fosters creativity. TikTok encourages its users to use music and video to create.
LinkedIn: The most utilized platform among folks aged 30-49. Given its narrow focus, LinkedIn, is best suited for lead generation, networking, and recruiting.
Pinterest: Brands use Pinterest to inspire people with ideas that make them want to act. New recipes, travel destinations, and decorative trends are hot topics on Pinterest.
How do you decide which platform is the best outlet for advertising your brand?
Who do you want to buy your product or service? Who is already buying your product or service? Analyze the type of customer with whom you do business and think about where he or she spends his or her time on social media. Develop a content strategy and select the channels most appropriate for communicating the right messages.
How to Select the Right Platform(s)
Once you’ve established which platform is right for you, how do you make the most of your content strategy? The best practice is to focus on two or three platforms and focus your energy and resources around building a library of valuable content for your audience.
Remember, it’s important to treat each platform differently. While that might require developing unique content for each channel, the effort is worth the expenditure. For CMO’s who measure effectiveness, the average ROI on social media advertising is a whopping 95%.
Brands use social media to engage their audiences, generate leads, drive sales, and build brand loyalty and identity. Once you understand why your customers are on social media, you can find common links to deliver the most valuable, engaging content.
Start Making Connections
Social media is not magic, and as such, there is no magic wand you can wave to generate interest in your brand. Through a more in-depth understanding of both how social media works and how your customers think, you can develop a more insightful strategy to drive leads, create buzz around your products or services, and build brand loyalty.
If your small business isn’t on social media, you’re missing out on a cost-effective opportunity to attract new customers, offer valuable insight into who your brand is, and engage with your audience in a meaningful, personalized, way.