Finding the Right Social Media Fit for Your Marketing Plan
They say, “variety is the spice of life,” but when it comes to choosing a social media platform to promote your company, variety can be a bit confusing. Today, thanks to a plethora of social media platforms to choose from, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc., you can increase your reach and help more people learn about your product or services in a much faster and more cost-effective way. But is every platform going to bring you the same results, and if not, how do you chose the right social media platform(s) to promote your business?
Where to Start with Social Media
The first step to marketing your business wisely with social media is understanding the purpose of each social media platform, as well as knowing as much as you can about your target audience. Ask yourself these questions to get started: what’s the average age and gender of my target buyer? Where are they located? What’s their average income? Are they homeowners? What problems do they want solved?
You’ll also want to consider how active your audience is on certain platforms. For example, while younger adults often have Facebook profiles, they’re often more active on other platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram.
Other important things to consider: What’s your primary business objective for having a presence on social media (i.e., driving traffic to your website, increasing followers, building brand awareness, etc.)? And is your company B2B or B2C?
Let’s breakdown the unique attributes of some of the most popular social media platforms to help you decide which one (or ones) best meet your business goals.
In addition to your web design, your Facebook business page is a useful tool for establishing your company as a reputable authority. There’s been a shift, however, in the demographic of users in recent years. Although Facebook has approximately 2.2 billion users, it’s no longer the platform of choice it once was for younger generations (18-24 age group). In fact, only 10% of teens say Facebook is their most-used online platform.
Instead, women and men between the ages of 25-54 make up 32% and 29% of Facebook users, respectively, with Facebook being more utilized by those ages 35+. When it comes to growing your business, Facebook is a useful tool, but most useful if your company targets a slightly older market. It’s also a good platform for building the loyalty of your existing customer base.
With a reported 500 million daily active and 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. This photo-heavy platform attracts a wide range of ages, but in general, you’ll find a large millennial audience as well as Generation Z and younger.
A look at some Instagram usage statistics boasts: 71% of 13-17 year olds use Instagram, followed by 64% of 18-29 year olds and 40% of 30-49 year olds. Beautiful photos and short video clips (with a 60-second time restriction) can be instrumental in helping to convert passive shoppers into confident customers. Visual-based businesses, such as art, food, retail and beauty can reap the benefits of having an Instagram presence.
A little tidbit to keep in mind for Instagram: although videos are a popular outlet on the platform, photos still take top prize as being the most liked and shared.
Pinterest is the popular visual social media platform that people go to for inspiration and ideas on everything and anything from party planning, recipes, fashion, DIY crafts, décor and so much more. If your products and services are geared toward women, Pinterest is definitely the right social media platform for your business. That’s because it’s far more popular among women than men.
In addition, unlike other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is popular across several age brackets: 34% are between the ages of 18 and 29; 34% are between the ages of 30 and 49; and 26% are between the ages 50 and 64. While people often browse Pinterest boards for inspiration, they also are ready to shop. In fact, 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on Pins they saw from brands.
If your products fall in the categories of art, flowers, food, home and garden, clothing and apparel, health and beauty, and wedding venues, Pinterest is the way to go to drive traffic and sales to your business.
Twitter is a platform that’s all about speed and sending and receiving small snippets of information. One of the main benefits of Twitter is that it allows you to have a direct dialogue with your customers in real time, to answer questions and even troubleshoot product issues. It also allows you to break news about your products and services.
Are you hosting a pop-up shop or having a flash sale? Why not send out a tweet to alert your followers? The process of “retweeting,” where your followers repost or forward your tweets, can also help build your brand by “word of mouth.” Twitter caters to the younger demographic —ages 18-29 (40%), followed by ages 13-17 (32%).
Thanks to its fast-paced feed and real-time conversations, Twitter is great for the following industries: news, SAAS, technology, music, electronics, games, coffee shops, fashion and food.
LinkedIn is the networking platform for those who’re looking for opportunities to connect with other professionals and for new opportunities to expand their careers. It’s also an effective way for B2B (business to business) companies to build their online presence.
With about 500 million users, this platform allows businesses to reach out to real people based on mutual business connections. It’s a great resource for B2B lead generation and general networking, as it’s the place where users go for business-specific, industry-related information. Thirty-three percent of 30-49-year-olds use LinkedIn, followed by 29% of 18-29-year olds and 24% of 50-64-year-olds.
Before someone buys a product or service, they’ll want to know how it’ll benefit them or solve a problem. YouTube is a powerful video marketing tool that allows you to demonstrate how your product might be used in ways that can’t be captured in a photo or with words.
In addition to creating educational and how-to instructional videos or troubleshooting videos, you can create brand videos showcasing your business and your core values. People will feel much more connected to you if they can see and hear you. Service industry businesses, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, e-commerce stores and technology and computing industries can largely benefit from having a presence on this platform, as can just about every business, as video grows in increasing popularity.
Advertising on Social Media
Once you’ve found the platform that gets your brand in front of the right people, advertising on those social media channels lets you grow your sales and fanbase. The cost of advertising varies, depending on the platform, types of ads, competition and your quality score. Here are some different types of ads that these social media platforms offer.
Facebook is the king of social media advertising, with an audience network that rivals Google in placements. Though both have their place, Facebook ads allow you specific targeting that can help you reach the right audience at the right time.
Facebook offers a wide variety of ad options, including photo ads, video ads, carousel and stories ads, as well as ads aimed at specific Facebook platforms, like Messenger and FMarketplace. There are a variety of options for advertising on Facebook, and as Instagram is a Facebook owned company, advertising through Facebook allows you access to Instagram users as well.
There are five main types of Instagram ads that allow you to increase customers and drive awareness and sales: Stories Ads (complement your feed content with ads on Instagram Stories) Photo Ads (share your brand’s story with an image and caption), Video Ads (share videos up to 60 seconds long in landscape or square format), Carousel Ads (allow people to swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad) and Collection Ads (visually inspire and help your audience discover products through video, images or both).
Pinterest offers a few types of ad options to promote your brand, including Promoted Pins (paid ads which run on a cost per click (CPC) basis), Promoted Video Pins (the use of videos to inspire people to try new things, and engage their imagination) and Promoted Carousels (contain multiple images for Pinners to swipe through).
Twitter offers three types of advertising options: Promoted Accounts (your Twitter account is suggested to people who don’t currently follow you, but may be interested in following), Promoted Tweets (tweets are prominently featured on Twitter to a targeted audience in highly visible locations on Twitter, including the top of user timelines) and Promoted Trends (your topics and hashtags appear at the top of Twitter’s Trending Topics list).
With LinkedIn ads you can reach your ideal customers through a variety of ways, including Sponsored content (promote your company updates to targeted audiences on desktop, mobile, and tablet), Sponsored InMail (send personalized messages to prospects to drive conversions with targeted product and service promotions), Text Ads (add an attention-grabbing headline, description and a 50×50 image; set your own budget with pay per click (PPC) or cost per impression (CPM) pricing options). LinkedIn also offers self-service solutions that let you launch your own targeted campaign.
YouTube offers several types of video ads, including: TrueView (standard type of video ad; advertisers only pay when viewers watch or interact with their ad (click on a call-to-action), Preroll (in-stream ads that cannot be skipped and play before or midway through a video) and Bumpers (ads that play for six seconds before a video begins).
Achieving Success with Your Social Media Campaigns and Advertising
If you’re having difficulty narrowing down which platforms are best for your business, or if you find yourself overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a business and dedicating the required time to social media, consider handing over the baton to us. Your followers are the lifeblood of your business, so without content via social media platforms, both you and they are losing out. Big Gorilla Design can help you plan both your content and your social media marketing and advertising strategy that will enhance your overall success and improve your return on investment. That’s what we’re here for and we can help! Contact us today.