How to choose the right social network for your business
“You’ve got to be on social media…”
How many times have you heard that in a business seminar or training course? I know I have. It’s quickly becoming a cliché.
And to be honest, it’s almost good advice. Almost. It just needs one small amendment: “You’ve got to be on the right social media for your business.”
But what does that actually mean?
Many businesses fall into the trap of deciding to go social and signing up for every network under the sun: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok… While communications professionals like us are used to updating dozens of profiles every day, when you’re new to the game it can be pretty overwhelming.
It’s vital to consider your target audience. What social platforms are they using? If you’re a professional services company targeting senior decision makers, they’re unlikely to be on Snapchat… likewise, the latest mobile app aimed at teens will probably struggle to gain traction on LinkedIn.
Our advice is to pick one or two to dip your toe in the proverbial water; think about what you want to achieve and choose wisely. Then, when you’re feeling more condiment, you can add another to your arsenal. But start small, get it right, and you’ll soon see the benefits.
Facebook has almost 2.5 billion active monthly users. Let that sink in. That’s just under a third of the world’s population, connected by one social network. It’s mind blowing.
Despite sometimes being branded a social network for mums and dads by sarcastic teenagers, it’s the 25-34-year-olds who are most active on there, followed by the 18-24s.
That being said, it’s also the social network you’re most likely to find your granny on.
So Facebook is the best platform for reaching a broad range of ages from 18 upwards – users 13-17 tend to be found elsewhere – and if you want to target a very specific audience with sponsored post, the scarily accurate Facebook Ad Manager is second to none.
Twitter has 330 million monthly active users. That might seem like just a drop in the Facebook ocean, but often a smaller – but more engaged – audience is far more valuable.
Twitter has become the go-to for customer service (with many users expecting a reply within an hour) but it’s also a very powerful marketing tool. Two thirds of B2B businesses use Twitter in their digital marketing strategy, and a poll shared by Twitter themselves shows that 77% of users feel more positively towards a brand if they get a response on the platform.
Couple that with an older demographic – 63% of users are aged 35-65 – and it soon becomes apparent that Twitter is moving away from the random short thoughts once shared towards a more mature platform of news, debate and – most importantly for you – marketing potential.
If you’ve ever been to a trendy restaurant or hipster bar, you won’t be surprised to learn that 71% of Instagram users are aged under 35. The platform is rife with photos of artfully position plates of food. But it’s also a hotbed of influencers and trend-setters.
Over half of the platform’s one billion monthly active users use the service every single day. It’s behind only Facebook and YouTube in terms of usage. And if that doesn’t deserve your attention, nothing does.
Insta-worthy photos of restaurants and hotels do well on the platform, but there are other anomalies. A haulage company might not consider this a worthwhile venture, but you’d be surprised just how many lorry enthusiasts are on there liking and commenting on bonny photos of the latest trucks.
Some people think LinkedIn is just a glorified CV, but those people are wrong. It’s so much more than just a list of what you’ve done with your career. It’s a valuable networking tool for businesspeople across the globe and a must for B2B work.
With 260 million active monthly users – and over 40% of those accessing the platform every day – this is one to really consider.
There are two ways to use LinkedIn – as an individual and as a company – but the best approach is to combine the two.
Be seen as a though leader by sharing insightful articles about your industry and your influence will stretch far beyond your own connections. And keep your company profile up to date to ensure your clients – and, more importantly, potential clients – can see your successes and triumphs.