It’s impossible to do any kind of marketing without social media these days. The main problem that most businesses have doesn’t involve whether or not to include social media in their marketing plans, but which platforms to focus on.
There are many different social media options out there, each with their own pros and cons. Some attract various target markets as well. Although some companies choose to focus on many different social media endeavors, this can be tough when you’re running a small business and have a limited amount of time to get things done.
Instead, you need to pick the best platform and essentially “run” with it. Here’s what you need to know about each form of social media.
Twitter is one of the oldest and most popular forms of social media. Although the platform started off by only allowing people to make posts that were 140 characters long, that has since changed.
Now, they allow for double to space. People can also “tweet” photos, videos, and links to other platforms, making it much more functional than it was in the past.
According to the experts, if you want to use Twitter in order to promote your business, you need to post updates several times each day.
In addition to this, Twitter brings in younger audiences. This is ideal if your target market consists of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) or an even younger generation.
On top of this, there are hundreds of thousands of Twitter users who are older than this, so you have the chance to reach them as well, even if they are less prevalent on the platform. It all comes down to what your goals and products consist of.
Snapchat is one of the newest social media platforms out there. It does have millions of users, many of which belong to a younger demographic who like the fact that their updates, known as “snaps” disappear within 24 hours.
This makes it tricky to understand how to work their algorithm, as you have to keep updating your account repeatedly in order to get the attention of your target market.
For this reason – as well as the younger audience that Snapchat draws in – many businesses tend to avoid this platform. It just doesn’t work as well as the others. However, if you want to directly target the generation that comes after the Millennials, then you might be able to find a way to make it work for you.
Facebook won the war between themselves and MySpace around ten years ago, and ever since, Facebook is the best place to market your goods and services to an older generation of people. Yes, those who are 40 and older have embraced Facebook as their platform of choice.
Because of this, as well as the overall nature of this social media platform, you only need to update your account or page (many businesses have what are called Facebook Fan Pages) once a day in order to have your content continually boosted to the top of your follower’s feeds.
On top of this, you can create Groups on Facebook, which are smaller segments of your fans. Many companies use these Groups in order to reach their die-hard fans, and they are quite useful as a place to receive feedback on new products.
One of the very best things about Facebook is the fact that you can post all sorts of different things, from photographs to videos and even text updates. You can also integrate your Shopify store with the platform as well if you have one.
Facebook is the most versatile of the forms of social media.
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Businesses need to use LinkedIn very carefully. This social media platform was developed so that people can connect with one another and share their virtual resumes. Because of that, it hasn’t emerged as a good place for companies to share their marketing campaigns (unless they showing off their professional accolades or seeking feedback.)
For example, you can’t use LinkedIn as a method of promoting your business unless you are actually marketing to other businesses, such as a service that can help them find employees. Just posting content hoping that it will go viral simply won’t work on this platform. It was designed for business connections.
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YouTube is a video platform that gets millions of views a day.
Plus, they have an international reach that extends past those of the other forms of social media. YouTube Videos are a great way to share information about your products, post commercials that can be shared, and more.
Since it is a functional site that allows these videos to be shared on other platforms, YouTube extends your overall reach.
On top of that, since YouTube draws in people from multiple demographics, it’s very useful when developing marketing campaigns. Ideally, you should use this platform along with at least one other one, like Twitter or Facebook, since they pair so well together.
Instagram is a hugely popular social media platform. For a while, it was second in line to Twitter, as it was marketed as a photo sharing network.
However, users can add captions to their photos, as well as hashtags to help share their content, so you can help spread the word about your products in a more detailed manner. On top of this, you can purchase ads on Instagram – which you can also do on Facebook – making it a good way to ensure that your content is viewed by your target demographic.
There are two main groups of people who use Instagram frequently. They are women of all ages, and people who fall into the Millennial Generation.
On top of this, the platform has a worldwide reach, which means that you’ll be able to take your campaigns nationwide. It’s even better if you’re able to create short videos and upload them to the Instagram stories function on your account since that’s one of the most popular features.
Finally, there’s Pinterest. This social media platform is quite different than the others.
You use it to create a pinboard filled with pictures, also known as pins, that contain links to various things, such as the goods that you sell on your website (if you’re an online shop owner.)
The pins are then shared with other people, who add them to their pinboards, thus spreading the word about your products. Pinterest’s audience is mostly women, many of whom fall into the coveted 25 to 40 demographics.
Overall, Pinterest is a good accompaniment to the other forms of social media. It shouldn’t be used by itself.
About the Author
Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats, and research your competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.