Which Social Media Platform is Right for You?
To some, social media still has that new car smell to it, even though it’s been around for nearly a decade – finding its way into every facet of our lives, whether we like it or not.
Chances are that by now, you have figured out that NOT having your business active on some form of social media is…well…bad for business. But the sheer amount of social media platforms out there can be overwhelming. In most cases you probably just need to be active on one or two channels at the most, but deciding on which ones are right for you can be tricky. The good news is, your audience is somewhere out there. Now, you just need to figure out where.
Facebook: Facebook is still the largest network out there, and it’s growing. It appeals to audiences old and new. It’s easy to setup and use; this will be your best place to start. If your business has a wide base and your primary audience is not under 25 you should be on Facebook. You can get away with posting once a day or a few times a week, as long as you take the time to interact. Reply to comments, share reviews and pics! The wildly popular site is losing a bit of traction with the younger crowd, BUT potential clients join every day. You can interact with your customers and reach out for more. Some features do require money, especially if you are trying to reach a specific audience, but the basics can be used for free.
Twitter: If a slightly younger spectrum is your thing, Twitter is a good place to be. Especially if your business is information or topic based. If you do decide to tackle Twitter, remember that multiple posts a day are best, the key is to stay in the moment. Maybe you have an employee that can communicate anything with 140 characters or less, or maybe you hire one? Either way, if you are trying to reach a wide audience with an emphasis on a younger, information consuming crowd, Twitter is for you.
Instagram: Instagram appeals to its audience in a visual way. So if you are selling visually appealing products or services, then this platform was made for you. Food, clothes, photography, design and real estate are all perfect vehicles for use on Instagram. Chances are you can find something in your business to showcase as well. There is also a large overlap between users on Twitter, so choosing one or the other, if you are strapped for time and resources, may not be a bad idea. But unlike Twitter, you can get away with fewer posts. Instagram is growing in popularity across the globe, but right now it’s still most popular in urban areas.
Pinterest: Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual, but the audience here is a little more niche. Crafting, recipes, party planning, travel, and more would attract a large audience here. The typical Pinterest user is likely to be female and creative or aspiring to be creative. This platform is being used by more businesses every day, you may have to be creative but there are potential customers to be found.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn works best if your business is other businesses. Many professionals list resumes and skills here and are typically looking for business connections or possibly their next job. LinkedIn is trying to branch out and broaden their user information but most users are in work mode on the site. It’s perfect for peer networking and industry-specific information, but LinkedIn’s thought leaders feature is truly unique. Thought leaders allow users to follow their industry’s most influential thinkers. LinkedIn users can then engage with mentors they may never get access to in person.
Snapchat: Most Snapchat users are under the age of 25, so if this is your audience, chances are they are here. Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat is instant AND temporary. Companies can use Snapchat to create daily stories that only last 24 hours. There are over 1 billion views of Snapchat stories everyday and Snapchat knows its audience is growing; they’ve started experimenting with news and ads. On the app’s Discover tab, you’ll see big names like ESPN, Comedy Central and even McDonalds.
YouTube: This is probably one you may not consider right away, but it can be incredibly useful to your audience. Businesses that become part of the YouTube community can use YouTube as a tool to share and engage with customers in creative ways. You can use this platform to demonstrate new products or features, show your clients how to use your product, or answer common questions. YouTube also offers an opportunity to show your brand’s personality, let your clients get to know you!
Most businesses only need one or two of these platforms to launch a branding campaign. The key is to know your audience and your product – when you have a handle on these elements, social media will help bring them together. Remember, the point is to have a conversation, interact and connect. Be sure your social media platform is a two-way street for your brand; answer questions, comment back, keep your content fresh and the followers will come. To keep on top of the latest branding trends subscribe to the Razor Branding Blog.