There are so many social media platforms out there that it can be hard to decide which platform is best for your business. Here’s the run down on four popular social media platforms to see which one is the best fit.
With 1.55 billion users, Facebook is the largest social media network. Since Facebook has become such a large platform, it is hard to find someone who isn’t on Facebook.
Facebook’s functions include posting statuses, website links, photos and videos. Your posts can generate popularity through people “liking”, commenting and sharing your posts.
- Facebook is a good entry point into social media marketing.
- Facebook allows you to post important business information such as contact information.
- The Pew Research Center has found that of all internet users, 72% are Facebook users. This is a huge portion of the online audience.
- Facebook paid ads are highly targeted so you can reach a very specific audience.
- Since Facebook has been around for a while, many people have moved away from Facebook to newer social media options.
- Facebook is limited in its ability to talk with others because you can only comment on posts.
- Facebook chooses which posts show in the feeds, so if your posts are promotional, they may rarely be seen.
Twitter was created with the slogan “what’s happening right now?” Twitter serves as a constantly changing list of updates from the network’s 320 million active users.
With Twitter you can post just about anything— text updates, pictures, videos, links and polls — as long as you stay within the 140 character limit. Your “tweets” can then be “retweeted” by other people to increase exposure.
- Twitter is good for breaking news, quick updates, promotions, contests & constant feedback.
- Twitter can be used to create dialogue with customers through customer service functions.
- According to the Pew Research Center, Twitter has experienced a huge increase in users that are younger than 50 and college educated. In 2013, Twitter held 18% of the entire adult internet population. By 2014, Twitter gained hold of 23% of the adult internet population, drawing more attention from audiences under 50, and individuals who are college educated.
- Tweets are 140 characters, so you are limited in what you can post.
- Many tweets get added to people’s feeds every minute, so your message can get lost in the clutter.
Instagram is a visual social media platform with 400 million active users. Instagram allows you to post pictures and video with captions, and other users can “like” and comment. One unique feature of Instagram is the platform’s photo and video editing options.
- A huge portion of the pictures on Instagram are food related, so Instagram is a good way to market the food industry and food-related companies.
- Instagram is almost entirely mobile so this platform is a way to connect with your audience via their cell phone.
- Like Twitter, hashtags can be used to gain extra impressions.
- Using only pictures and video may limited the ways you reach your audience.
- Instagram does not allow for scheduled posting, and you must post on mobile. That could make posting more difficult.
- Because Instagram is so mobile-focused, your audience is restricted to technically-savvy individuals.
- Instagram users are heavily weighted towards younger audiences. The Pew Research Center has found that 53% of users aged 15 to 29 are on Instagram compared to only 11% and 6% of users aged 50-64 and 65+ respectively. If you are marketing towards an older demographic, Instagram may not be for you.
Pinterest is a unique social media platform because it consists of a digital pin board where you can save and post content from across the internet. You can “pin” pictures, videos or articles— with all pins being displayed visually.
- A large portion of Pinterest pins are food related— companies in the food industry can utilize Pinterest as a marketing tool.
- Due to Pinterest’s new “buyable pins“, you can now use pins to directly increase sales.
- Pins are visual so this could make it difficult to get across a written brand message.
- Pinterest users are not evenly distributed with a greater tendency for the audience to be women. Marketing to men? You’ll only find 8% of men on Pinterest so this platform may not be for you.
While these are four very popular social media platforms, this is not an exhaustible list. There are more social media options available for businesses such as LinkedIn and Snapchat. LinkedIn is good for business-to-business marketing and explaining your company.
Another option—Snapchat—is relatively new but gaining in popularity. Snapchat allows you to send pictures and videos to friends or followers that can only be viewed temporarily. Snapchat is good for creating buzz about your company or company events.
Now that you have an idea of the benefits and limitations related to these four social media platforms, you can start making decisions on which one is best for your company. You have to ask yourself an important question— What are my business goals for social media? Whether you want to reach out to your target audience or focus on developing a brand image, different social media platforms are better at accomplishing certain goals than others.
Craveity offers various social media services such as a social media assessment and creation of social media profiles. No matter if you’re new to social media or have already developed profiles, Craveity can step in to help you improve.