Social media has changed the way we communicate with customers and potential customers. While some use social media only for branding and marketing, others find it a useful tool for customer service and engaging with your client base. Whatever your reasons, your company should have at least one social media account.
But which one? There are pros and cons to each platform — and reasons your company should be there or skip it. Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Snapchat, each holds significant weight in today’s ever so digitally-connected market climate. While some companies should be on all of them, smaller businesses should select those that fit their goals and audience. Read on to figure out what platforms matter for your business.
Twitter’s audience is arguably the most highly engaged among the platforms, with users always checking in for new content on their feed. Twitter’s priceless feature of likes, retweets, and comments being shown to others can expand your audience quickly. The demographic, while mostly holding the age range of 18-29, stretches across a wider range of users when compared to Facebook.
The frequent use of hashtags on Twitter allows organizations to organically generate exposure and a brand community, with users posting comments and reviews about their experience with the organization or brand.
Twitter does not have the same audience size as Facebook (2.41 billion monthly active users to be exact), and Twitter’s traffic is less driven to purchase. The content lifespan is short and has the potential to get lost in the shuffle with the feed of other “tweets,” meaning you need a frequent amount of content to stay relevant.
The network has more than 2.41 billion users, so of course, part of its “pros” is that titanic reach. The Mark Zuckerberg giant is bigger than three countries across the world and remains a staple in the social media realm — despite stories that some people are leaving. This network provides many advantages that relate to marketing specifically, such as targeted/engaging ad campaigns, lead generations (acquired from likes and shares), being uniformly fit for both B2C and B2B marketing, and many other aspects.
To successfully maximize Facebook as a business, you will need to spend money. The organic reach just isn’t there. Another downside (really to all platforms) is the ability of unhappy customers to flood your page with negative feedback. Before you get started, implement a social media management plan. Lastly, Facebook is not as much of a prevalent option for the Generation Z market so if that’s your audience, focus your effort elsewhere.
LinkedIn is the premium business social platform, making it the prime standard for B2B communication. This means the audience you are catering to is very specific, one that desires to present their best image to the world because it could potentially result in career advancement. If your goal is talent acquisition, you must be on LinkedIn. But even if it’s not, it’s smart to create a company page so you can present a strong face to anyone looking.
Company pages are far weaker here than on Facebook. People might follow you, but the real focus is on people, meaning you need to get your thought leaders on board with posting to their personal pages. Another negative is the high cost of ads here compared to others. We often don’t recommend it unless you have specific goals or need the LinkedIn audience.
Perhaps the social media platform with the highest accelerating user base, Instagram has been one of the biggest magnets to companies looking to acquire more exposure. Instagram has a high-engagement setting that is easy for businesses to track. The platform reaches Millennials and Gen Z particularly well, plus a few others. If you’re looking to establish a visual identity for your brand, get an Instagram account.
Another feature that allows Instagram to attract so many businesses is that it has the highest standard of targeting options for advertisement campaigns. The use of hashtags, just like with Twitter, allows organizations to generate exposure and a brand community organically
The biggest drag of Instagram is the demanding task of generating visually appealing content consistently. Even if you have products to sell, churning out creative photos that look good each day is a grind. The fact that Instagram is enormously popular, yes, sounds like more of an advantage, but it works against itself on occasions in terms of its attractiveness for businesses’ marketing. Getting lost in the clutter can be a possibility when dealing with the likes of Kim Kardashian.
Snapchat has a high concentration of younger people, so if that’s your target, sign up! On a larger scale, of course, Snapchat is great for influencer marketing, as having your influencer take over your company’s account can pay huge dividends.
Consumers sometimes want to get a more in-depth look at an organization’s operations, and this platform allows companies to do just that, as illustrating your company’s culture can be hugely beneficial for your brand.
Video and goofy stickers aren’t for everyone. Plus, a business might find it annoying that there are no archives or history for users to access your old content. After 24 hours, it’s gone. This works great for promotional giveaways and other short-term posts, but many will find this approach limiting — or feel like their content gets lost too quickly. Video chats are also limited to 10 seconds or less.
While brands have proven its value in some cases, the focus here is on branding, not on a specific campaign return.
Which Platforms for Your Business?
Understanding the pros and cons of each platform will allow you to choose and use the ones you need. If you have any questions, concerns, or simply just want to learn more about social media marketing, contact us today.