Not every social media network is suitable for every business. Plus, it is really difficult to manage them all. You can help yourself with social media management tools with that, but is it really necessary to be present everywhere? And how to decide which to choose, according to what you do, what is your business about, and your goals and missions? We are here to help.
I am sure we can agree that every business must be present on social media and it must be its part of the marketing plan. Those networks are expanding and developing every day. That means new opportunities for promotion and sales. What you have to decide is what will award you with the biggest return on your time and effort invested in managing social media?
We made a simple chart to give you glance at how it looks:
Facebook is still the most popular and largest social media network worldwide. Its basic purpose is to help you connect and share with friends, colleagues and family online. It allows you to post content and send messages, but also to preview other people posts, like it, comment, reshare etc. It is an opened membership network, nowadays integrated into all respectable websites. (That means you can sign in to other pages using your FB account.) Your posts can be public (for anyone to see) or shared with your friends. You can add friends by sending a request which needs to be confirmed. It is designed to be more open and social than any other tools that were used before Facebook, like email.
To find out more about Facebook marketing click here.
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing network. Your content is shared with your followers or a selected group of friends. The following doesn’t need to be mutual, although you can decide if you want to accept someone to be your follower or not. Also, your profile can be public and then your posts are visible to anyone (even non-users), or it can be private in which case content is shared just with your followers. They can view, comment and like your posts, but reposting is not allowed if you don’t get permission to use it. Instagram is a visual platform.
To find out more about Instagram marketing click here.
Twitter is a so-called “microblogging” social media network that allows you to post short (up to 280 characters) messages named “tweets”. Those posts can include links, hashtags, and lately, more and more photos, videos and GIF-s are posted within tweets. Twitter users can follow other users (and not necessarily be followed back) and then they will see their posts in the personal feed. You can create your own tweets or retweet others content. The messages are short and clear, and Twitters feed is moving faster than in other networks.
To find out more about Twitter marketing click here.
Pinterest is image and video sharing social media network designed to discover, save and share ideas. Those ideas are stored in the form of pinboards. It is mostly about discovering recipes, home and style inspiration, and similar. You can organize your pins and boards as you want, to be able to find them easily later. It gives you the option to follow people, brands, topics and boards you like. Pinterest is a visual platform with a unique style.
To find out more about Pinterest marketing click here.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest employment-oriented social media network. It is focused on professional connections, so it may help you to find a job, connect with important people and learn new skills. It is also great for building connections for freelance work, creating a customer base and finding potential partners. LinkedIn has a free and premium membership. When you create a profile, where you can add your experience and skills, you can invite anyone to connect.
How to choose the right social media network?
In order to decide which network is best for you, it is essential to answer three questions: who is your audience, in which way you can reach them and what are your marketing goals?
If you are running your business for some time, you probably already know who is your audience. If not, this is where you need to start. First, by determining the age of your typical customer, you will slightly narrow your choice between platforms.
Here you can see the highest percentages for every platform, sorted by age groups. Even Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have an audience of similar age group, people who use Pinterest and LinkedIn are a little older. Yet, this is just one fact. Next thing is to determine which gender is your typical user. Let’s see how that looks:
There are plenty of statistics you can use to narrow your choice, such as income, level of education or demographic if that is important for your business. One of those questions should also be what are their hobbies and interests in life in general? This will help you connect them with the type of content you create.
How to reach your audience?
This is the point when you need to define what you want to achieve. If you just started with your business, maybe you are deciding which social media network to choose to attract new customers. Or, you’ve been there but you are not getting any results, so you want to try a different approach. Whatever it is, this is what you need to figure out by yourself.
There are businesses which use social media to improve their customer service. If this is your case, Instagram may not be the best choice for messaging with your customers. Or, you might want to reach to new followers, so then you will choose the platform that has the best ads features. See where are we going with this?
One of the most important things you have to do is to determine which networks your existing audience is already using. The most simple way to do this is to create a survey. Another way is to research statistics.
Determine which type of content do you usually create (and do you want to change that). For example, if your thing is podcasts, you will not post them on Pinterest for sure. Are your posts filled with words and descriptions, or you ground them on photos?
After you go through all of these questions, there should be one or two results left. That should be your priority. Once you selected your network, read some of our posts on how to get the best out of your marketing.