If you’re yet to discover the wonders of social media, or are wondering which platform is for you, then you are in the right place as we discuss the main social media platforms and their pros and cons.
You can use social media platforms to increase brand exposure, build a following, boost search engine optimisation, create unique advertisements or marketing and ultimately generate new leads.
Social media moves quickly. Like, kid-stealing-from-the-lolly-jar-quick. We’re continually met with new platforms or new features built into the old ones.
So how are you supposed to know which social media platforms will work favourably for your business and which ones are a waste of time?
In an evolving media landscape, it’s essential to be across the different demographic groups on each platform and the marketing opportunities each one presents.
Who is your audience?
First things first: Let’s think about exactly who your primary target market is. You can figure this out with little hassle.
Start with a simple analysis of your current customer base. Looking at aspects such as age, industry, location, hobbies or interests, what do your customers have in common, and who is bringing you the most business?
Once your target audience has been established, you can begin thinking about where and how to begin lead generation.
Where are they?
So, you know who you’re targeting. But do you know where to find them?
Targeting university graduates? Head to LinkedIn.
Mothers? Start scouring the local community and parenting groups on Facebook.
You’ll find a younger audience on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, which are relatively new and modern compared to their predecessors.
Take your time and gather research about your target demographic. Find out what social media platforms they’re using the most, what times they’re using them and what they use them for. This info will all be of great use to your digital marketing team.
Evaluate what your goals are
What results would you most like to see with your social media?
While some platforms are better for creating brand awareness and building a follower base, others are more efficient in lead generation and driving sales.
Think about your goals for your business and what is most likely to bring you success.
A few goals you may want to focus on include but are not limited to:
- Improve communication with customers
- Scope out the competition
- Create paid and organic advertisements
- Increase brand exposure & awareness
- Drive more visitors to your website
- Generate leads
- Educate & Inform
Keeping your goals in mind, you’ll want to establish a presence on social media platforms offering features that will allow you to achieve them.
Platforms and their personalities
‘The Mother Hen’
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes. You can ‘boost’ existing posts to increase their reach or create a separate ad campaign and schedule it to run for a while under an allocated budget.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes. You can create a business page and link your website to it, and include links to your website in posts and call-to-action forms that can be created in Facebook’s Business Suite.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Yes. When managing your business page, you have access to valuable data such as how many people have viewed or liked your page, which of your posts perform better than others, how much engagement your posts are receiving and a lot more.
What is the primary demographic? ‘Women aged between 18 – 24 and males aged between 25 – 34. 74% of high-income earners use Facebook’ (Fiber, 2020).
How many active users does the platform have? Sixteen million monthly active Australian users (socialmedianews.com.au, 2021).
Extra goodies: Something cool about Facebook for business is that your customers can leave you reviews on your business page – advising other visitors whether or not they recommend your service.
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes, but- Facebook owns Instagram. You’ll first need a Facebook page and an Instagram business profile. You can then set up and run an ad for Instagram through Facebook’s Ad Manager.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes. While you can’t include links in Instagram posts, users can include one primary link in their bio.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Business accounts are granted access to their insights, displaying follower count trends, impressions, reach and views.
What is the primary demographic? ‘71% of all users are aged between 18 and 24. 52% of females use Instagram, and 48% of males use Instagram’ (Fiber, 2020).
How many active users does the platform have? Nine million monthly active Australian users (socialmedianews.com.au, 2021).
Extra goodies: Instagram has recently introduced Reels, a nifty feature where users can upload 15-30 second short video clips using fun audio and visual effects.
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes, businesses can create a Twitter Ad account where you can run paid ‘promoted tweet’ campaigns.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes, Twitter allows users to include website links both in the bio of their profile and in tweets.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Yes, Twitter’s analytics measure your follower count and growth, impressions, profile visits and tweet highlights.
What is the primary demographic? ‘36% of Twitter users are aged between 18 and 29. 30% of Twitter users earn more than USD75K p.a.’ (Fiber, 2020).
How many active users does the platform have? Five million three hundred thousand monthly active Australian users (socialmedianews.com.au, 2021).
Extra goodies: We like Twitter because it has a designated space just for trending news and topics. You’re able to view in real-time precisely what people are talking about and can customise your content to align with it.
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes, Snapchat Ads allows you to run image or video-based paid advertisements.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes, Snapchat’s swipe-up link function allows users to attach links to any image or video they upload to their stories.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Yes, Snapchat users can view how many views their stories have and the age and gender demographic of these viewers.
What is the primary demographic? ‘Roughly 61% of Snapchat users are female, and 38% are male. 30% of internet users aged 26–35 use Snapchat’ (Omnicore Agency, 2021).
How many active users does the platform have? 6,400,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (socialmedianews.com.au, 2021).
Extra goodies: You can create Geofilters on Snapchat. Geofilters are a unique overlay you can apply to your snaps based on the location you’re currently at. Businesses can create unique geofilters that users can then use in their snaps to boost brand exposure.
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes, TikTok for Business allows users to run paid ad campaigns in the form of video.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes, TikTok allows users to include a clickable link in their bios, similar to Instagram.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Yes, TikTok Pro Accounts have access to analytics such as individual post-performance, traffic sources and viewership metrics.
What is the primary demographic? ‘41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24. 55.6 % of users are male, and 44.4 % of users are female’ (Fiber, 2020).
How many active users does the platform have? Two million four hundred thousand monthly active Australian users (Business of Apps, 2020).
Extra goodies: The insanely fast growth of TikTok and its opportunity for virality has made it one of the most popular social media platforms of 2021. If you’re trying to go viral overnight, TikTok may be your best chance.
Can I run paid advertisements? Yes, LinkedIn offers Dynamic Ads, which are automated ads personalised and tailored to your marketing objectives.
Can I drive traffic to my website? Yes, LinkedIn allows you to create a company profile separate from your personal profile, where you can include a link to your website and other social accounts.
Can I view my digital marketing insights? Yes, you can view your company insights through page admin view, which gives you access to visitor, update and follower analytics.
What is the primary demographic? ‘50% of internet users with a college degree or higher use LinkedIn. Ninety million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers, and 63 million are in decision-making positions’ (Omnicore Agency, 2021).
How many active users does the platform have? Five million five hundred thousand monthly active Australian users (socialmedianews.com.au, 2021).
Extra goodies: LinkedIn ranks among the top social media platforms for lead generation. You’re more likely to attract prospects who are local to your area and have mutual networking connections.
So there we have it, folks. No matter which platforms you decide to try, there are strengths and limitations to each of them. Perhaps you won’t know for sure which platforms work in favour of your business until you get on there and give them a fair go. But with all of the platforms mentioned above being free to access and use, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest the time to try.
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