Faye Valentine, senior social media executive at Pixel Kicks, on the importance of choosing the right social channels for your business
Social media has grown to become a central pillar of most peoples’ everyday lives. We turn to it for news, inspiration, ideas, gossip and so much more. It has also become an essential part of the marketing mix regardless of a company’s size or sector. The impact that social media can have on a brand’s success is monumental – whether you’re operating a small independent shop or a global conglomerate.
The sheer choice of platforms can be daunting so it’s vitally important to choose the ones that are right for you and that they are integrated. With over 200 social media channels, and new ones such as Clubhouse, popping up left, right and centre, it can be confusing and overwhelming to decide on what to post and where. Never mind the amount of time it takes to create the content and engage.
One questions that we get asked all the time is: Should I be on every social media channel? The simple answer to that is a definite no. As tempting as it may seem, there’s no point as you can’t effectively manage that many accounts. It should be a targeted process that is driven by extensive market and social media channel research. You need to know who your audiences are and which platforms they actually use. Only then can you choose the right ones that will benefit your business and add value to your customers. Below is a brief summary of the key social media channels which you should be considering.
Instagram was launched in 2010 and was once known as the ‘square-photo sharing app’. However, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, recently announced that Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app and will be heading in a new direction, focusing on four key areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. Even though Instagram is shifting its direction, it’s still one of the most visual social media channels on the market and is known amongst marketers as being a great B2C platform. Most Instagram users are aged between 25 and 34, closely followed by 18 to 24-year-olds. It’s a platform that evolves and changes quickly so just be sure to factor any new changes into your strategy. Being a visual social media channel with the majority of its users being in this age range, Instagram is the perfect channel for businesses in the hospitality, retail, or entertainment industry.
Facebook is often considered the king of social platforms thanks to its staggering 2.74 billion monthly active users. The largest demographic on the platform is between the ages of 25 and 34, but it is also used more extensively by older age groups when compared to Instagram. It allows you to share a variety of content, from photos to videos, or even sharing a location. One of the key features for brands is the ability to create community groups and events. It also allows you to create targeted ads, based on your ideal target audience, so it can be a quick and easy way to reach your customers.
With over 300 million monthly active users, Twitter is used by brands to inform their customers of company updates, new product releases, events, and more. Many B2C businesses also use Twitter as a customer services platform as it allows them to reply to tweets and sort customer issues quickly rather than going through traditional emailing and phone processes. Because of its live-updating feed, Twitter can be very fast-paced so may require more attention and activity than other channels. But if you have the time, you can jump on trends as quick as media savvy brands like Pretty Little Thing and engage with your followers in real time.
TikTok launched in the UK in 2018 under its original name musical.ly and has grown rapidly to become the leading video platform. It has been downloaded more than 2 billion times and has a younger demographic – its average users are aged 18 to 24. Its quick-paced videos make it perfect for brands that want to demonstrate a product to their customers. If, for example, you have a bicycle business aimed at under 30s, are willing to try something new, and want to show off your bike in all its glory, then TikTok is your place.
It is, of course, true that you can upload videos to most socials. However, TikTok’s algorithm is great at working out what its users want to see. It’s able to show your target customers your video even if they might not be following you which is a game-changer. Also, TikTok’s post shelf life lasts a long time so you might have a video suddenly go viral even though you posted it six months ago.
The platform has also recently announced that it is piloting a new ‘stories’ feature, similar to Instagram and Snapchat, right after Twitter had recently shut down its version of the feature called Fleets. It’s currently unknown whether TikTok will release it for public use, but my view is that the introduction of stories would be great as it would allow the user to give rapid updates to their followers, rather than spending a large amount of time editing videos to a song. The feature will also give Snapchat something to worry about - especially as they share the same audience demographic.
LinkedIn should be top of the list if you’re a B2B business as you are able to sell your products or services with straight-to-the-point messaging. It has 100 million monthly active users who are making professional connections, sharing experiences and knowledge all the time. Although some may say LinkedIn caters to an older audience as their largest age group is aged 46 to 55, millennials still make up one-fourth of the channel.
It recently introduced a “creator mode” for users’ profiles. This allows members who share content with their professional community to create engaging conversations about ideas and experiences, whilst demonstrating their expertise.
Social media can be overwhelming when you first start out. So, after you’ve done your research into the different channels and how they align with your audience, you should only join the ones which are relevant to your business, rather than wasting time on those that may not be. If you’re still struggling, take a look at your competitors and see what channels they’re using. Just don’t ignore it. It’s never too late to start.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Pixel Kicks .
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