There are so many social media platforms out there and it can be overwhelming for new or established entrepreneurs. Often people make the mistake of either jumping into all of them or not using any.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, some social media presence is necessary. However, it doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them!
The biggest determining factor is WHO is your target market? This will lead you to decide WHERE they are. Also, WHAT is your business. This again will also determine which social media platforms are the best to promote your goods and services.
Snapchat was originally created for sexual pictures. The fact that pictures and videos disappear right after you view them helps significantly for this. However, many also use this to share funny pictures of themselves or foods they are eating.
Snapchat is still very much present in social media, but the user base has changed. It used to be Millennials, but as they grew and got older, they have shifted their attention away. Now, Gen Z (born after 1996) are quite dominant on this platform.
From a business perspective, Snapchat is a good platform if you are targeting younger adults or teenagers. However, the marketing content needs to be more challenges and content that will only last a few seconds.
The businesses that prosper with Snapchat are more magazine type companies that have their own section in the “Discover” part of the app. Here, they can post stories about different pop cultural events and celebrities. Some bigger international brands also have a section such as fashion companies.
In regards to which social media platforms you should use, for the average small business owner, however, I do not suggest putting effort into the app for your business.
The demographics of Pinterest is mainly women. If your target market is women, and specifically moms, this is the platform you should be on.
The concept of Pinterest is pretty simple: think scrap book. There are “pins” or photos with information on them that allows the viewer to click on it and be taken to the site that created that pin. For example, if the pin has information about the best baby clothes, the viewer can click on the image itself and be transferred to the baby clothes company.
Pinterest recently changed its algorithm so that new pins are worth more. So the more new pins you can create and post the better. There are a variety of scheduling tools that can help you determine when your pins will be seen and keep track of analytics.
In regards to which social media platforms you should devote time into, this platform is great for any type of blogger or businesses that have a blog and cater to women. If this is your niche and target market, go for it!
Facebook used to be the King of all social media, but now I would say it is more a parliamentary or congressional system. Even though Facebook does own Instagram and Whatsapp, it not longer reigns over everyone’s lives as it used to.
This being said, there are many people still on Facebook, but the main demographic are more older- Gen Y and Baby Boomers. They still use it for what is originally was created for being connecting with family and friends.
Groups and Marketplace
For the rest of the ages and including Gen Y and Baby Boomers, Facebook has turned more into a casual Linkedin meaning that it is being used for more business purposes. People go to Facebook to check restaurant information and reviews or they join groups to network for business or support groups. No matter what you are looking for, there is a group on Facebook for it.
On top of this, Facebook also has Marketplace, which allows people to sell items in their area such as used desks or clothes. In some countries, Facebook has even rolled out a dating function, but with major competitors like Tinder and Bumble, I personally and professionally doubt it will be a success.
In regards to business, having a Facebook page is good when displaying information and gathering reviews from the average consumer. However, pages are no longer the place to get engagement from your target base. Just like Instagram, engagement is now what people aim for and what these social media algorithms love.
In addition to groups and pages, one big thing you can do on Facebook is do Live videos of yourself or your company. I recommend doing lives in groups, but you can do pages as well! It gets you connected with your community and they can see and connect with you in return!
If you are an expert in your field, my recommendation is to start a Facebook group funneling in people that could be your potential client. By giving value to the group and engaging with your members, they will be more likely to purchase your product or service one day or at least refer you to someone who will.
If you sell a product, having a Facebook page helps with your Instagram account. You can connect the two allowing you to create a “Shop” button on your Instagram pictures.
If your target market is the main demographic that uses Facebook, then Facebook ads might be worth the price; however, there is nothing better than engage with customers and creating a word of mouth network. Which social media platforms? How about Facebook?
Instagram has changed its algorithm a lot recently. It has hidden likes and many believe that it will also hide followers soon.
From a psychological perspective, seeing the amount of likes and followers increases your chances to gaining more. The more people see you have likes and followers the more likely they will think you are popular and worth liking and following. The majority of us don’t want to be left out, which is why once Tik Tok started rolling, many people jumped on board relatively quick- to not feel left out.
However, due to people buying likes and the bullying behind it, likes have now been hidden.
Even still, Instagram is a great platform to showcase photos of you, your product, your services, and or your brand! What you post needs to be in line with your brand. If you are a life coach, posting photos of your thoughts, you, quotes that inspire, testimonials, etc are part of you who are and your message- your brand. If you are a fashion company, posting photos of your outfits and accessories is part of what you do.
Engage, Engage, Engage
The biggest advice for Instagram is engage with other accounts, specifically accounts that are in your target audience. If you are a fashion company, engage with lifestyle accounts, fashion bloggers, etc. Comment actually comments rather than emojis are “Great picture” to make an engagement worth it. Otherwise there is no point.
The next big advice, know your hashtags. Instagram penalizes you for using the same hashtags over and over (unless it is a new one you created that is specific to you- many do this for a wedding). Try to switch up your hashtags every few photos and do ones that your target audience would be searching. In addition to hashtags, be sure to include your location as some people search via that.
Finally, tag major accounts in the photo. This will be put in their “tagged” section of their Instagram profile so other people will then see it. That major account might also acknowledge it and give you a shout out too!
All of this to eventually say, the main demographic of Instagram are Millennials with some flow over to Gen Y and Z.
This demographic also has a short attention span so the use of stories is key. These stories are short timed photos or videos that can be interactive. Did I mention engagement is key? Sometimes, viewers only look at stories rather than your postings. And, your account can be found via your stories as well.
You can now save your stories into your highlights so future account visitors can see all they have missed. This is great if you want to save any useful industry tips or special occasion broadcasts.
In line with this and like Facebook, Instagram offers live videos as well via the stories. You can also pair up with another account and do a dual live video which can increase your viewership and therefore prospective clients and followers!
In one sentence for the question “which social media platforms” : Instagram is now all about connections in a personal way between brands and consumers.
The infamous and new kid on the block, Tik Tok! Everyone is talking about it, many are joining it, and the majority seem confused about it in general.
Unlike Snapchat, there is actually a business benefit to this platform. The biggest for entrepreneurs are businesses that specialize in fashion and beauty, food, or fitness. There might be a few others, but unlike Instagram, Tik Tok is ONLY videos. So, your brand has to be video appropraite.
Meaning, can you translate your product or service into a video?
On top of this, the demographic is mainly Gen Z. This means the average age on the platform are 16 year old’s. Is your target audience this younger crowd? If so, then you need to be on this platform!
In regards to the actual video content, these videos are in lined with lip syncing and dancing. There are a variety of trends that I recommend businesses follow. Such as “Flip the Switch” where two people switch clothes and positions in the middle of the video by “flipping the switch” or turning the light on and off to hide the transformation.
This is perfect for fashion or beauty companies because they can show changes in outfits and make ups quickly. Oh, yeah, videos are less than a minute long.
There are some comedy skits there, but again, it has to go along with your brand.
I don’t really consider YouTube a social media platform and more like a search engine. Unlike the other platforms you don’t need an account to watch endless hours of videos.
Most people nowadays look up tutorials and instructions on YouTube rather than reading a manual or blog.
However, there are many content creators that bring you all sorts of news, travel tips, language advice, fashion, etc.
The videos can be longer than the one minute on Tik Tok, but be warned, any video longer than 10 minutes will see a drop off rate in views. People don’t have the attention like they used to.
With any platform, liking, subscribing, and commenting helps your account within the algorithm. But, YouTube is unique in that the more views you have the more money you can make from ads.
While there are Influencers on Instagram, they get paid per post or a commission when they are an ambassador of a brand or product. YouTubers get money per view and or visitor who has watched that video. Major YouTubers can make 100Ks every month based on ads.
In regards to smaller businesses, I suggest not spending marketing efforts in this direction unless your brand and product/service is made for videos, but even still, creating and editing a well done video for YouTube can be a lot of resources.
I also don’t really view Twitter as a social media platform in the sense of Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok. Users do need an account and there are followers, likes, retweets, etc, but it is more for dispersing information such as news or Press Releases rather than sharing branding.
Many bloggers use it as a form of sharing new blog posts, but most users use Twitter to follow major people such as celebrities or politicians, news media, and major companies that might be offering promotions. As well as to complain to companies. Companies tend to have faster customer service when the complaint is in public and not in email.
Linkedin is a weird social media platform. There are a variety of business platforms available, but Linkedin has remained King in this category.
As a good rule of thumb, as a business professional, it is good to have a profile. If you are new to the business world and are starting your own company, I suggest creating a profile anyways at least in your business’ name. This will help you connect with other business professionals that could be your client or help your business grow.
If you are a service that helps other businesses or entrepreneurs, I highly recommend having a Linkedin profile. If this is also your target market, posting consistently and reaching out to people is of the same importance as Instagram and Facebook.
The key with any and all of this, is to know where your target market is and be more active on that platform. In regards to demographics, Linkedin has a wide range of ages and generations, but the big market is business professionals and those helping business professionals.
I hope this helps in creating your online presence for your business! Feel free to reach out for any more marketing strategy tips!