Love it or hate it, social media is vital for all brands and businesses alike.
As lockdowns pushed consumers indoors and online, business owners quickly realized how important it was to have a strong social media presence and a comprehensive digital strategy.
You already know social media is important, but how do you know how to pick the right platform to devote the bulk of your time and energy for your brand?
Here are the current top 5 social media platforms, plus an honorable mention, so you can decide where to focus your marketing efforts.
Demographics: 2.7 billion users aged 25-54, 60% female
Purpose: Building relationships
Best for: Building brand loyalty
Downside: Limited reach
With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is an absolute must for every brand and business alike. With the premise of building relationships, Facebook is the perfect platform that allows you to build brand loyalty. Being consistent, sharing who you are as a company and being personable is what is going to set you apart from others.
One thing to note for Facebook, keep a lookout on who your target audience is and what social platform they are on the most. If your target audience is a younger crowd, you might want to put your focus on Instagram or TikTok instead.
Pro Tip: Join relevant and local Facebook groups to connect with others and share your offerings. Group engagement has gone up dramatically in the last year and many businesses have benefited from joining as they are reaching a wider audience organically.
Demographics: 1.2 billion users, 18-29
Purpose: Building relationships and starting conversations
Best for: Lead generation, retail, art, food, entertainment, wellness, beauty
Downside: Content based (images and videos)
Instagram is another critical platform you should consider as we dive deeper into 2021. As one of the most-used social media platforms, Instagram has over 1.2 billion monthly active users. But thats not surprising, because with new features being added on a daily, it’s a clear hint that the platform has plenty of growing and expending to come.
Instagram is great for building relationships, connecting with others and sharing your services and offerings in a fun and creative way. Your content is everything for this platform. Get creative and step outside your comfort zone to use stories, reels and IGTV.
Demographics: 1 billion monthly users, aged 18-29
Purpose: News and articles, conversations, reviews
Best for: Public relations, announcements and customer service
Downside: 140 characters or less
To be honest, Twitter isn’t the most profitable platform as tweets are only 140 characters or less and have a short lifespan. Unless you are in the media or news business, it’s pretty challenging to keep up with this platform.
So you might be asking, then why is it a top platform I should even consider? Well, one place Twitter absolutely shines in is customer service. It’s often the first point of contact for customers who need a quick response and allows others to see how you handle certain situations.
Pro Tip: Check out brands like Starbucks, PlayStation, Whole Foods, McDonalds/Wendys… they have twitter down pack.
Demographics: 732 million monthly users, 48% aged 18-29
Purpose: Building relationships
Best for: Brand expression
Downside: Video based, very trendy
TikTok is on fire. As the newest social media platform, TikTok already has over 730 million active monthly users across the world. This platform has the most room for growth and is focused of allowing users to express themselves through videos and challenges.
While the platform is very consumer based, the potential for swift organic reach is too good to pass up for brands and businesses alike. Not to mention, the videos are just super fun and you can’t argue with that!
Demographics: 1.3 billion monthly users, all ages
Purpose: Searches, how-tos, reviews
Best for: Brand awareness, podcasts, vlogs, service industry
Downside: Resource intensive
YouTube is really more of a search engine than a social media platform at this point — the second largest search engine in the world actually, but no big deal. YouTube’s SEO-friendly tags, descriptions, queues and titles make it an especially friendly platform for brands and businesses with an excellent video marketing strategy.
Throughout the past year, we saw a rise in the use of YouTube, and video marketing in general, for vlogs, how-tos and foodies. If you can think of a question your target audience would ask that relates to your business or service, you should make a video about it.
HONORABLE MENTION: LINKEDIN
Demographics: 800 million monthly users, aged 25-49
Purpose: News & articles, conversations, networking
Best for: Business development, B2B businesses, jobs
Downside: Limited interactions
With business to business (B2B) audiences surging online and millions of people in need of a job, LinkedIn users skyrocketed in the past year. Microsoft reported that LinkedIn revenue even increased by 21%. This business-friendly platform has even started incorporating more consumer-centric features like stories to keep the platform up on some consistent trends.
Think of LinkedIn like a business card exchange or networking event. It’s still a great platform to utilize and share how you are the expert in your field.
HOW DO YOU PICK THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Picking the right social media platform for your brand or business is always going to be a gamble. And to be honest, it’s different for everyone. It might take you some time to see what platforms give you the most bang for your buck.
The key is to develop a flexible digital marketing strategy that allows you to pivot based on where your audience is AND what type of content is going to catch their attention.
Remember, building a successful business takes time. You got this.