We all know how important social media has become for businesses in the 21st century. In order to attract and retain clients, companies have to be where their target audience is. With new social media sites popping up almost every week, it can be hard to keep up and may discourage a lot of companies, especially smaller ones, from being as present as they should.
But here is the good news
You do not have to be everywhere to have a successful social media strategy. That’s right, you need a few key platforms to be where the people you want to attract are! Sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram are not used the same way and do not have the same demographic. Knowing your target and the types of platforms they use can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Yes, sometimes less is, in fact, more.
Use of social media
People use different platforms for different reasons. For example, Facebook serves a very different purpose than LinkedIn or Pinterest.
Facebook is by far the most popular social network; with over 1.3 billion users, it has become part of many people’s daily routine. Users no longer go on Facebook to only connect with friends. In fact, according to Neil Patel, the average user is connected to 80 pages, groups or events, meaning they also have meaningful interactions with companies. This is a great research tool for many new customers, who will read reviews on your Facebook page, so make sure you interact with people that leave both positive and negative comments to show you are engaged and take their concerns seriously.
That being said, Twitter is really where users interact with people and organizations with the same interests. The average user has 208 followers and spends over 2 hours on Twitter daily. Twitter is where you establish brand loyalty. It is the place where you typically connect with current customers rather than acquire new ones. While it is not impossible to generate leads on this platform, most users will only follow brands they already know. According to George Simos, Twitter is especially a good medium if you sell internationally, as most Twitter accounts are from outside the US (that is not to say that this is not a popular platform in the US). Twitter users also tend to make more money on average than Facebook users.
Are you focused on B2B? Then LinkedIn is the best marketing platform for you. Since most LinkedIn users are professionals, most of LinkedIn related activities are related to work – especially considering that a number of decision-makers are users.
Even though Pinterest has the highest revenue per click that does not mean it is right for your business. Pinterest is a highly visual platform. So unless you are selling clothing, food, art, property, vacations or home accessories, Pinterest will not likely advance your social media goals. Instagram is a very visual platform too, but unlike Facebook, your posts will not be shared amongst users. This is more of a direct marketing platform. Most advertiser here try to sell a lifestyle, promoting happiness through their products. It is common to see industries like banking, automotive, food, and clothing manufacturers using this platform.
While social media is often thought of as a medium to reach young people, Baby Boomers are becoming a more prominent presence on social media. In fact, according to Christie Barakat, 1 in 3 online seniors uses social media. This is especially important since Baby Boomers still have the most buying power. In fact, while most Facebook users are still under the age of 30, the demographic is ‘getting older’ considering 49% of online seniors have a Facebook account. Similarly, 1 in 5 Twitter users are over the age of 50. On the other hand, LinkedIn has a pretty specific demographic: college educated professionals, making over $75k, aged 30 to 64. While Millennials still are the predominant social media users, the age gap is diminishing as other generations are integrating it into their lives.
Social media has become an imperative, but understanding the right strategy for your target audience(s) is as critical to your success.