This article is for all of you Social Boomers! Here’s the question you ask me all the time: “What social media platform should I be active on?” My answer is always, “It depends,” and I’ll tell you why. There is no 1 right social media platform for everything. That’s right – the social media platform that is right for you may be very different from the one that is right for your friend!
This is key. Brand yourself, not your products. You want people to get to know, like and trust YOU. If they are following YOU, and not whatever product you happen to be selling, the transition becomes easy if you start a new business or sign up with a new company. You may not have to start all over from scratch again. Almost every platform will offer you a way to connect with your followers through paid advertisements. With some work and time investment, you can engage with your audience organically – for free.
Know Your Audience
Who is it that you are marketing to? If you’re selling skateboards, you probably aren’t selling them to retirees. Likewise, if you’re selling a medical alert device, you are probably not selling to millennials. You need to drill down and figure out who your perfect customer is. Defining your target market takes work, but it is well worth the effort.
Choosing Your Platform
Don’t feel like you have to be on every social media platform there is. Really, you only need to be on the ones that your perfect customer is using. Once you know who your perfect customer is, then you need to figure out where they spend their time socially. Take some time to study the different platforms. Look at how other people are marketing themselves and how they are engaging with their followers. You’ll see some that are successful and some that aren’t. Take a good look at how the successful ones are running their campaigns differently from the unsuccessful ones.
Here are some of the popular social media platforms. I’ll provide you with some information that may help you make a decision about whether or not they are right for you. You can find tons of statistics from this article on Hubspot.
Facebook is the most widely used platform across all age groups. There are 1.13 BILLION active users every day. That is a HUGE number. There are 7.5 billion people on earth! So about 1/7th of the population of the world uses Facebook every single day. That’s about 70% of Facebook users who log in daily. This means that about 70% of the people that follow your page will login every … single… day. 63% of users say they get information about news and events outside of family and friends from Facebook. Posts with pictures or videos get more engagement than those without (and livestreaming rocks!).They are 40 times more likely to be shared. Facebook is a great platform that, when used right, can give you some pretty darn good exposure.
Instagram is now owned by Facebook. One of the cool things about Instagram – you can link it to both Twitter and Facebook and crosspost on these platforms with one click. This platform is image and mobile based. Authentic, in the moment pictures do well on Instagram. This platform gives you the opportunity to really connect with your followers. You can give them a glimpse behind the scenes, let them know who you are.
Over 95 million photos are posted and shared on Instagram every day. 59% of Instagram users log in each day. There are 500 million active users on Instagram every month. 59% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-29. If your marketing efforts lend themselves to great images, Instagram might be a platform to consider.
LinkedIn users are more likely to be in the 30-49 age group than the 18-29. I’ve sometimes heard it referred to as Facebook for professionals, but it’s more than that. It’s a great way to connect with prospective employers or employees. You can highlight your work history, publish articles, and set yourself apart as an expert in your field. 46% of adults who are college graduates use LInkedIn. 32% of employed adults have a LinkedIn profile. Only 25% of the 450 million members log in monthly. This is definitely a specialized platform that is not right for everyone.
Snapchat is a platform popular with Millennials. 30% of Millennials use Snapchat regularly. This is another platform that is image based and used on mobile devices. There are an average of 166 million daily users on Snapchat. Active users will open the app about 18 times a day and spend 30 minutes using it. This platform is definitely geared toward younger users. While it’s not super friendly for marketing a small business, if your target audience is the younger crowd, it could be worth your time to research the way other companies may be using it.
Twitter is a fast paced platform that lends itself to conversations. Celebrities, major brands, and regular people all use Twitter. You’re limited to 140 characters to get your point across, so the use of pictures and video helps. 24% of all online users use twitter and 36% are between the ages 18-29. 30% of twitter users are under 50. Twitter accounts for 16% of referrals to longer articles from social sites. There are 4 times as many users internationally than just in the US. If you’re looking for a global reach, this might be an excellent option for you.
This is by no means an all inclusive list of platforms. Pinterest and YouTube are two more very popular social media platforms. Your marketing efforts may be best spent on more than one platform. There’s a handy chart here that tells you what platforms are most likely used by the same people. What is your favorite social media platform and why? Let us know in the comments!