The concept of Social Media has brought a revolution. It rapidly altered how we cover our social needs, setting aside physical boundaries that restricted us in the past. These virtual worlds act as places to socialize, interact and learn. They are like our second home.
But people like you and I aren’t their only habitats. Brands consider these platforms as the perfect way to personalize their presence, creating accounts to interact with their audiences.
Thus, Social Media for business was born.
Of course, they aren’t there for the likes. They use them as a tool to address current and potential customers. If you have something to sell, you should go there, too.
It’s time to create your own social media strategy. But where should you create a profile?
There are a lot of networks to be in. However, with limited time and resources, you can’t be present in every single one of them. Not in a way you need to, at least.
So, which ones should you pick? Let’s review your options, to discover the right Social Media Channels to include in your strategy.
FYE (For Your Entertainment): Every option is portraited as the members of your stereotypical high school class. Enjoy!
Facebook: The Social Media (Old-Timer) Teacher
Facebook is the pioneer of social media, beating MySpace back in the early days. Founded in 2004 from Zuckerberg’s dorm, the giant has since been paving its way to success, with no signs of stopping anytime soon.
1.47 billion (!) people log in to the platform on a daily basis. For many, Facebook is used for interactions and communication, with over 200 million Americans being part of meaningful social groups. It also doubles down as a powerful media news outlet, as 42% of Americans get their news from there.
With an active advertising reach of 2 billion people, one can assume that everyone’s here. Chances are that you will find the majority of your target groups as well.
Maintaining a Facebook page is almost mandatory, and can be seen as the most common social media activity. Advertising is the close second, but costs for ads are on the rise, due to higher competition (Facebook, Inc topped 16.6$ billion on its last quarter of 2018, alone).
What you mainly get here is quantity, but remember; it’s a crowded place, and that has a lot of downsides.
Lastly, another serious factor to consider before spending your budget through this channel is age. If you care to appeal to older people who recently created their profiles, go ahead and include this medium into your digital strategy. But for millennials, there are better options. According to The Guardian, teens are rapidly ditching their newsfeed, turning their attention to other alternatives.
Instagram: The Flashy, Popular High School Girl
It draws all the attention, as one of the fastest growing social networks. It’s image-based, all the celebrities are there to follow, lots of easily consumed content. What’s there to hate?
With 1 billion active users each month and tons of interaction (95 million posts, 500 million users on stories and 4.2 billion likes each day), it’s easy to see why Instagram is on fire.
Its user base is fairly young, with over 71% being under the age of 35, evenly broken between genders. That makes it an incredible place to showcase your offerings, if you want to appeal to younger crowds.
Instagram needs top-notch visual content. Prepare to create tons of quality images and videos. If you lack the resources to do so, your performance will suffer and you may even end up hurting your brand. Proceed with caution.
Twitter: The Gossip Girl
Breaking News! Twitter’s short posts (up to 280 characters) and quick updates have proven to be one of the easiest and faster ways to inform the public. Many people rush there to post their opinions, life updates, experiences and such.
Twitter’s considerable active user base (326 million) posts a lot of content, pilling up to half a billion tweets per day.
The platform offers a great way to communicate with customers. Tracking your name on Twitter can save you some bad reputation, as its an infamous nagging space about bad customer experience. Using it for damage control, communication and, most importantly, feedback, can provide your business with valuable competitive advantages. If, of course, you are eager to actively listen to the (sometimes angry) tweets.
Advertising on Twitter is another solution. Its best quality lies in its targeting options; you can even select specific hashtags you want to appear. If you find out that your audience uses the network daily, why not give it a go?
LinkedIn: The Genius That Already Booked a Place in Harvard
LinkedIn is all about being professional. It focuses on networking and sharing useful content with your peers.
With 260 million monthly active users, the social media channel has a considerable user base. Adding the fact that its one of the most effective ones in lead generation, according to Hubspot, makes it even more approachable.
Ultimately, it’s a true haven for B2B marketing. If your business is B2B oriented, or if you want to establish your presence as a though leader of your sector, you have to be there. Also, as more than 44% of LinkedIn users have an annual income of over 75.000$, it’s a clever place to promote your top-notch/luxurious offerings, too.
Pinterest: The Creative Artist
Another image-based platform, labeled as the “internet’s catalog of ideas”, according to its CEO, Ben Silbermann.
He is probably not overstating; with over 3 billion boards, it daily inspires its 250 million monthly active users.
First of all, like Instagram, you need to be able to create crystal-clear visuals. Without them, you jeopardise your online presence.
If you sell products that are based on their appearance, pay the platform a visit. Pinning products is a great way to showcase what you offer, right when your target groups search for it. A whooping 93% of the network’s user base uses Pinterest to plan their purchases. Showing how your goods can help your potential customers here generates a lot of leads and, ultimately, profit.
YouTube: The Gamer/Streamer
One of Google’s most successful acquisitions, YouTube, is the world’s go-to place for video content, hands down. And it is big, gargantuan big.
According to YouTube, Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users (50 million of which being creators, who constantly feed the platform with content) visit this medium. Daily, more than 1 billion hours are spent on watching videos. Demographics-wise, 62% of them are male, and 4 out of 5 are outside from US.
One can quickly understand that YouTube is one of the most important, yet difficult social media channels to master. There are lots of opportunities here, but to capitalize them, you need quality content that hooks up users.
Advertising here happens through Google Ads, and with the average viewing session lasting up to 40 minutes, it’s probably a good idea to do so.
In the end, it comes down to you. Which ones to choose?
Still confused? Here is a quick rule of thumb to help you out. Choose Social Media Channels that meet most of these 5 criteria:
- Your objectives can be achieved through these mediums
- Most of your target audience is active
- You have the capability to create quality content, tailored for the platform
- You have the budget to advertise there properly
- Identify that you have the necessary skills & resources to have a great presence for the specific channel
And there you have it. Are you ready to take over the digital world?
Additionally, here’s a general list of the most popular social media platforms, combined with their user count. (Source: BrandsWatch)
- 4Chan: 22 million
- Airbnb: 150 million users
- Facebook: 2.320 billion users
- Flickr: 90 million users
- Google+: 111 million users (RIP)
- Instagram: 1bn users
- LinkedIn: 610 million users
- MySpace: 15 million users
- Periscope: 10 million users
- Pinterest: 250 million users
- Reddit: 542 million users
- Snapchat: 186 million daily users
- Twitter: 326 million users
- Wechat: 1.12 billion users
- Weibo: 600 million users
- WhatsApp: 900 million users
- Youtube: 1.5 billion users