The ultimate guide to social media platforms: do you need to have a presence on all of them?
Social media continues to be a large part of any successful online marketing campaign. But with new social media apps entering the playing field, how do you know which platforms are the most important for you to have a presence on? While it’s important to be where your target audience is, there are other factors you’ll also want to consider. Here’s your ultimate guide to each platform and whether you need to be present on them.
Now considered the OG of social media platforms, it’s hard to remember a time before Facebook was such a big part of online marketing. These days, you’re missing out on a large portion of potential leads if you’re not on Facebook. With an estimated 25 million Australians using the platform, it’s a market you simply can’t afford to ignore. The platform gives you the ability to share media in the form of photos, videos and stories, as well as post updates instantly. Your audience can also leave a review of your company and services for others to see. These reviews can then be shared with their own personal community, thus extending your reach. Having a company page on Facebook gives your existing leads the ability to follow you and stay up to date with what you’re doing, instantly.
So, do you need to be on Facebook? The short answer is yes, you should be. Having a Facebook page is almost as important as being listed on Google given how many Aussies are using the platform to discover new brands.
While not as old as Facebook, Instagram has a hold over much of the social media market. With new and improved features still being included on the app, such as Instagram Live and the ever-improving Stories feature, the power of visual content has allowed Instagram to dominate. Visual content, especially video, also continues to grow in popularity, increasing engagement on the platform. Instagram has many built-in features that allow brands to create and share short videos with nothing more than a smartphone, making it an affordable marketing tool for brands to increase their awareness and audience engagement. The platform is also one of the most efficient at allowing brands to directly communicate with their audience thanks to their built-in stories features which include the ability to host a Q&A.
So, do you need to create an Instagram account? Well, that depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your online marketing strategy. If you can be visual and you think your brand could benefit from being able to communicate with your audience, you should probably create an account. Instagram is also the perfect platform to explore the opportunities of video content for brands who aren’t sure about it yet.
Twitter is used by an estimated 4.6 million Australians, the majority of whom are aged between 18 and 49. Businesses can benefit from using Twitter by targeting customers and making regular updates. The platform allows short updates, hashtags and visual content which can all be used to develop relationships with audiences directly over a period of time, rather than just in one-off transactions. While many Twitter users are on the platform for updates from the media or brands they follow, it is also a commonplace for users to ask brands questions about their latest promotions or things they’ve heard about them. It can be a powerful marketing tool in improving your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
But, is Twitter the place for you and your brand? Twitter gives you the opportunity to create a personality for your brand and directly interact with your audience so it can be incredibly effective in improving your brand’s credibility and engagement. In saying that, the platform is less creative and innovative than Instagram and Facebook and tends to lend itself more effectively to corporate businesses or the hospitality industry.
While it’s a more professional platform, LinkedIn does have a place in the social media marketing world. The majority of brands in Australia use LinkedIn for their own employees as a way to create and foster a digital community for their brand. LinkedIn is a great tool for finding new employees and networking with others in the same industry as you. In the context of careers, it is essential that your business is known in your industry as your social capital and influence come from your network. Potential employees will always prefer brands they know and trust over those they don’t know.
So, should you create a LinkedIn profile? Yes, but your approach to your social media strategy here should focus more on your past, current and future employees, rather than clients. whether or not you gain new leads will depend on your approach to your LinkedIn strategy. LinkedIn can be incredibly effective in connecting you and your brand to the right person for a job and cementing your place as a brand to trust in your industry.
Snapchat was threatened with the introduction of Instagram stories but the mobile platform has managed to stay alive thanks to its appeal to younger users. In fact, 82 per cent of all Snapchat users are 34 years old or younger. The premise of Snapchat is sharing short-lived photo and video media that disappears after just 24 hours. The app connects users with brands and content creators and is designed to be playful, casual and fun. One of the most appealing features for businesses is the sponsored filters which allow brands to create a filter for users to create content with.
But, do you need to be on Snapchat? That depends on the age and interests of your target audience. While Snapchat usage has declined worldwide, it’s continuing to grow in Australia. That said, it’s a very creative app and offers fewer opportunities to engage with audiences directly compared to Instagram and Facebook.
The new kid on the block, TikTok, enjoyed a huge surge in users during the Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide, especially among celebrities. TikTok allows users to upload 60-second videos to the app, using tagging and hashtags to connect with other users. The mobile app is designed for users to create and share compelling, funny and relevant video content so it’s not going to be for every brand. Whether TikTok is right for your brand depends also on the industry you’re in and what your brand identity is. Many businesses are yet to experiment with video content and jumping on the TikTok bandwagon could be the best way to do that. TikTok videos can be saved and shared to your Instagram and Facebook pages and stories too so you can measure the engagement across these social media platforms.
While you don’t need to be present on all of these social media platforms, you do need to be where your audience is. Remember to always focus on quality over quantity. You could be present on every social media app in the list above, but there’s no point in using the time and energy if your audience isn’t there, to begin with.