A good place to start is a reminder of the platforms included under the umbrella of Social Media. We focus on (in order of monthly active users):
- Facebook – 2.32 Billion Users
- YouTube – 1.9 Billion Users
- Messenger – 1.3 Billion Users
- Instagram – 1 Billion Users
- Reddit – 330 Million Users
- Twitter – 330 Million Users
- LinkedIn – 303 Million Users
- Snapchat – 287 Million Users
- Pinterest – 250 Million Users
Brands use Social Media Marketing to achieve their business and branding goals. This is generally achieved by posting images, videos or any other content – paid or organic.
Good use of Social platforms can be both a cost-effective and rewarding marketing method, as there are a wide number of opportunities in terms of strategies and formats available to marketeers across a range of platforms.
Why use social media at all?
All businesses want to be careful and educated when it comes to investing in different marketing strategies, especially if it’s the first time using a different strategy.
Social Media is a cost-effective way of marketing, and your customers are on social media. With the wide range of platforms and targeting methods available, the chances are no matter your audience goal they will likely spend time on one of the Social Media platforms listed above. Not only is your audience present, they are active and engaged with 59% of people accessing social media every day or most days, and over a third check social media over five times a day.
In addition to being able to reach relevant new audiences on social, you can also retarget your current customers across platforms. So you can reach users who have demonstrated intent by visiting your site, or specific areas of it.
Lastly, your competition is on social media. No matter your industry or audience, it is very likely that your direct competitors (and some you might not know exist) are already present and active on social media. So, in order to remain competitive digitally, it is key to build a presence for your brand or business on social media.
How to choose a platform for your social media marketing
As Social Media Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all game, it is likely that what works on Facebook, may not work on Reddit and vice-versa.
With this in mind, it is wise to first consider the goals that you want to achieve before deciding on a platform. Facebook might seem like the most enticing option to marketers being the largest social media site in the world with a third of the world’s entire population active every month – but quality doesn’t always equal quantity.
Your target audience may not be present on Facebook (probably quite unlikely!), or, may just not want to engage with the kind of content you wanted to present on Facebook (more likely).
For example, someone browsing LinkedIn is more likely to engage with B2B content and industry related articles etc as they are in the ‘professional mindset’ – whereas the exact same user browsing Facebook looking at content from family and friends will be less likely to engage with your ad in this mindset whilst they are ‘off duty.’
Below is a table with a few notes on pros and cons for the platforms listed above, which will hopefully give you some idea of which platform to use and when:
|Facebook is the largest social media site in the world, the chances are your audience somewhere exists on here!||Job Title targeting is quite limited, meaning that B2B it is more tricky for marketers looking to target this way.|
|YouTube||One billion hours of video is watched every day on YouTube, non-skippable content means it’s harder for users to miss your ads and are more likely to receive your message.||Really only works with video content, which not everyone has accessible and can be expensive to create.|
|Messenger||On messenger you have the ability to set up and utilize chatbots – the benefits of adopting chatbots could be a separate blog post on its own!||Maintaining your messenger inbox could be a full-time job, depending on your business size.|
|Instagram ads are seamless and fit the feel and function so blends into the users feed without disruption. There is also Instagram stories!||Instagram is a creative-led platform, if you are a business that relies on delivering your message via text, this might not be the platform for you.|
|One of a kind platform where you can target very specific ‘subreddits’ and reach really niche audience segments.||This social media site can be tricky for businesses, as the users of the site are infamous for hating marketers.|
|The keyword targeting is a precise method to target specific words or hashtags that relate to your business, and users are talking about in real-time.||Users do use Twitter as a customer support platform, so like messenger, it can be a full-time job to stay on top of the customer messages/tweets depending on your business size.|
|It is a great place to network in terms of B2B. There is also very specific job title/seniority targeting which makes it easy to reach decision makers.||Cost per click is high on LinkedIn, and you don’t have access to as many different audience targeting strategies or as much creative freedom than other platforms.|
|Snapchat||This is a platform dominated by millennials and influencers, and like Instagram, the ads fit the feel of the app so it is a non-disruptive form of advertising.||Video/content focused platform which like Instagram and YouTube, might not suit to a business that isn’t creative-led with their advertising.|
|Pinterest is almost a combination of Social Media and Search Engine by enabling you to show ads that users can connect with, to users that have actively searched for your ‘pin’.||Pinterest is predominately female based (70%) and is very content based. Studies show that Pinterest feeds usually consist of Home Décor, Cooking, Fashion, Beauty and DIY.|
We embrace all things social media marketing
Using Social as a marketing platform is a cost-effective way of driving traffic to site, and also generate leads and utilize different creative strategies. Each platform now has their own fairly sophisticated tracking pixels so you can better optimise campaigns towards actions that are important to your business.