According to the Pew Research Center, around 70 percent of the public are using social media to interact. Those numbers tell you the number one reason you can’t afford not to use social media marketing for your business. What these numbers don’t tell you is that you shouldn’t be using every social media network for your marketing efforts. It’s smart to invest in the channels that reach out to your ideal audience. The Basics of Social Media Platforms
- Facebook is still the largest social media network hands down, in terms of total number of users and in name recognition. Facebook has almost 2 billion (yes, billion) active users, making it a marketing medium that will connect you to people across the globe. Business pages, groups, Facebook Ads (paid), live streaming video, images/infographics, and live chat should be areas of focus for businesses.
- Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is an image and video-centric, almost exclusively mobile app network. Instagram features over 600 million active users (and growing daily) who share posts mostly related to fashion, beauty, travel, art, food, and other similar topics. Video-editing, stories, photo-editing, Instagram Ads (Facebook driven), Instagram for business, and direct messages are your avenues for business marketing. Fred Harrington has some excellent advice regarding Instagram marketing.
- Twitter has over 325 million active users and is considered one of the top 10 sites in the United States. It allows you to quickly share short text updates, videos, links, images, and other content for your business. Retweeting, videos, Twitter for business, hashtags, links, media, images, and short posts are the vehicles for successful marketing.
- Pinterest is a female and image-centric, niche, social media channel where users create digital bulletin boards and share pins to their categorized boards with other users or for their own private use. Most users on Pinterest share pins related to recipes, arts and crafts, DIY, photography, beauty and fashion, and other similar subjects (much like Instagram). Rich pins, Pinterest for business, industry niches, location/geo/maps, product details, links, and board organization are the essential elements for marketing.
- Snapchat is a mobile-exclusive, visual-centric social media platform known for disappearing content. Over 150 million users send photos and videos to one another that are available only for up to 10 seconds at a time. It’s also used to post content using public Stories that vanishes after 24 hours. This channel is best used to reach out to the under 25-year-old crowd, with a few older users. As long as you update regularly, the marketing essentials are Snapchat for business, Stories, chat, media content, messaging, and image storage.
- YouTube, now owned by Google, is probably the most popular video social channel on the web. Creative videos, tutorials, DIY content, entertainment, educational videos, and other creative content are the main focus on this channel. YouTube for business, vlogging, video editing, creative commons, Google AdSense, sharing, commenting, and liking content are the primary marketing methods. Additionally, AdSense offers another avenue for revenue.
These six social media networks are a good place to start your business marketing because they are the most popular and have the broadest audience reach on the web. Knowing their specific demographics will help you take your business marketing and brand awareness campaigns to the next level.