There is no denying that in order to function as a business in the current digital landscape, you are almost required to use social media. With the amount of available traffic flowing through all of the social media sites, you would be crazy not to want to take advantage of this rich audience.
However, despite the fact that social media is a bastain of easily targeted advertising, not every social media platform is built the same. Your business might have much more success on one platform than another just based on how the audience in each platform behaves. In order to create the perfect mix of which platforms to put your time and advertising dollars into, it’s important to consider what makes each one unique.
Here are a few considerations that are worth thinking through before diving into each platform…
The most obvious consideration is demographics. Social media platforms undergo a very specific shift of demographics as they age. For the most part, the younger audiences discover social media platforms, popularize them, and then the age group starts to shift to an older crowd, once the kids have figured everything out. You can see this over the course of many different platforms… with the exception of LinkedIn which was always an older skewing audience due to the nature of its professional content.
What age does your audience generally skew towards? If your product addresses teenagers, you can use Tiktok and Snapchat. If your business focuses on people between 18-34 years, Instagram will be a good option. For people between 30-40 years, Facebook and Twitter are a good option. Also for people over 30 years, LinkedIn is a good option.
One thing to note is that this is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s good to keep your pulse on the general audience of any network that you decide to advertise on.
TYPE OF CONTENT
As you would imagine, certain types of content do better in some places than others. Text doesn’t really make sense on televisions, just like videos don’t make sense in a book. If your business is primarily producing video content, you’ll want to find a social media that is really primed for such content. However, sometimes it’s not that simple because although video content is available on most social media platforms, the length and topic of your video content can also play a large role in whether or not that social media platform is right for you.
Some basic guidelines however, are as follows...
- Instagram is best for photos. It began as a photo sharing tool and photographers generally gravitate towards this social media platform. Instagram gives you a few easy tools to make even standard pictures look amazing, so if your brand is visual, this is the platform for you. Of course Instagram has evolved now to house video content as well, but pictures are still the main source of content.
- Tiktok & YouTube are best for video. That one is pretty obvious! However, like I mentioned at the beginning of this section, Tiktok does not allow for longer videos, so if you are shooting instructional guides, and interviews, you are much better off going with YouTube than Tiktok which houses quick and fun videos. Either way, if you are making video content, you should always remember, that shorter is better. Attention spans are short for the average user, and 15 minute explainer videos are rarely ever going to get watched even 50% of the way through.
- Twitter is great for text and photo. Twitter began as a quick, bite sized, headline of whatever you were thinking. Writers and comedians very quickly jumped to Twitter because of how easy it is to communicate something short, quick, and funny. Although pictures and video are also a large part of Twitter, if you are a business that primarily deals in quick simple tips, Twitter might just be the way to go.
- Facebook is best for photo, text, and video… with a focus on photo and text. On Facebook you can get a little more long-winded with the text content, you can post entire albums as opposed to just one or two pictures, and that is why Facebook is very much the gold standard of digital marketing as far as social media is concerned. Again, Facebook does have video capabilities, but the audience of Facebook is less likely to watch videos that are long, as opposed to channels like YouTube, where your expectations are that some videos will be long.
- LinkedIn is best for sharing articles and professional content about your industry. LinkedIn is a very specific social media platform as it has a very targeted audience of people who are in the corporate or professional world, either sharing their work or sharing their perspective. LinkedIn is not a place for frivolity and silly content because it stands out in the professional network. LinkedIn should be treated like a formal networking event, sharing knowledge and industry insight with other professionals.
WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE?
The kind of business that you have is also a very important consideration when it comes to social media networks. Depending on your product or service, the kind of audience you seek might be located in a very specific place. One of the major advantages of digital marketing is being able to target very specific groups of people, but before you jump into setting those audiences within the social media network, you should probably understand a bit more about the top-down view of who is even there to choose from.
- B2B = LinkedIn and YouTube: Although I’m sure you are not surprised to see that if your business is primarily marketing to other businesses you should be on LinkedIn… that makes sense! LinkedIn is a whole platform of business interacting, it’s the best place for any B2B brand. You might be a bit surprised to see YouTube here, but if you consider how many training videos are housed in the YouTube platform and how much learning takes place on their network you’d be less surprised. By targeting audiences watching very specific industry training videos, you can really pinpoint other business gatekeepers and market directly to them with your B2B offerings.
- B2C = Facebook and Instagram: Facebook and Instagram are filled with consumers, both content and products. Although so many people share their annoyance with in-feed advertising, this advertising works because in the end, Facebook supplies each consumer with exactly what they are interested in. This social media platform is perfect for reaching the casual person with your product, and they offer a multitude of tools that make this easy for you to do!
Of course this list is not exhaustive, it is merely a starting point in your own research, but if you walk away with anything from this article, it’s that you should always be conscious of where you are spending your marketing budget. Just because a social media platform works for some business does not mean it will work for yours. Take these tips into consideration when you launch your next ad campaign, and always work hard to continue learning about each of these platforms and how they change with time, in order to always stay on top of who you are advertising for!