You may not understand it, use it or even like it, but your clients do, and that is why you’d better learn to love it and make it part of your daily routine. Social media isn’t going anywhere, and if you have jumped on the bandwagon by now, you are missing out on hundreds of thousands of contacts, points of communication, and touches with your clients on a yearly basis.
Whatever industry you are in, whatever business you are operating, whatever widget you are selling, regardless of running a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, if you are not on social media in some way, shape, or form – you do not exist in today’s digital world. You may not like it, but that my friend is the cold hard truth.
There is no doubt about it – social media has become essential in building brand awareness, generating leads, connecting with your clients and potential clients and ultimately selling your products and services.
When it comes to social media, there are a lot of platforms to choose from, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, just to name the big guys. It’s no wonder that the social world can seem huge and confusing – overwhelming even. The good news is – you do not need to exist on all of the platforms to be relevant in today’s world!
Each platform is different, and the audience you attract will differ, so it’s important to pick the right platform for your business. We know that it can be challenging to figure out your best social platform, so we’ve put together a list of pros and cons of some of the most viable choices for your business.
With nearly 1.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is hands down the most popular social network in the world. Used almost evenly among men (47%) and women (53%), Facebook is a great place to start your social media journey. You can easily inform your audience, increase your brand awareness, tell stories, share ideas, videos, images and so much more.
- An extensive reach and a diverse audience.
- The app is popular among mobile users.
- Content lifespan is longest on Facebook with the most views and interactions coming in the first 90 minutes.
- Offer some of the best targeting options for advertising to customers and potential customers alike.
- Content, including articles, videos, and images, can easily be shared and promoted.
- It’s a hot platform for “Live” video.
- Facebook ads work well with AdWords.
- Provides a strong platform for providing quick and timely customer support though messenger and comments.
- Regular updates and evolutions of the platform to create new ways to leverage content on the site.
- Organic reach is a thing of the past. Facebook is now a pay-to-play platform If you do not sponsor the occasional post or buy some Facebook advertising, your content basically goes nowhere.
- You need to work hard at standing out. With so many people in the game; the status quo just isn’t enough. Posts must be regular, engaging, and timely.
- Teens and millennials prefer other networks; although they still use Facebook on a regular basis.
- People expect an instant response from you when they message or comment with questions. You must be prepared to interact on demand and pay close attention to your feed to monitor and respond in a timely fashion.
Coming in as the second most recognizable social platform in the world, Twitter has just over 690 million registered users, Like Facebook, it’s split almost 50/50 between the sexes, with 53% female and 47% male users. Twitter operates differently than other social media platforms and in recent years has become more of a news source than a traditional social media platform. This works well for businesses who rely on news and current events to sell products and services but is less useful for those who don’t.
- Increasingly being used to provide on-demand customer support.
- Great for B2B branding.
- Engagement revolves around conversation, current events, and news for the most part.
- Audience participation is fast.
- Great platform to test headline content.
- Best place for breaking news, current events, trending topics, memes, gifs, announcements, product launches, and conversations.
- All of your posts reach your followers by getting into their feed, but this doesn’t mean that all of your posts will be read.
- There are 350,000 Tweet per minute!
- People often share content without actually reading it
- Tweeting must be done often and consistently to generate a following. Because of the sheer volume of tweets, the average lifespan is only 18 minutes.
- Requires, at a minimum, 5 posts a day just to be relevant.
- Lower purchase intent from Twitter Traffic.
- Advertising can be more expensive on Twitter than on other platforms.
- User growth is stalling, even though they are ranked #2.
- Followers require the same on-demand response, so you need to be prepared to monitor, maintain and engage on a regular and timely basis.
- This is a fast platform. Troll and irritated tweeters can quickly give your brand a headache making response time critical.
In a nutshell, LinkedIn is a platform specifically designed for professionals; connecting businesses with potential employees and customers. Again, this platform is used almost evenly between men and women. Linkin is great for networking, bringing a more serious, professional audience together to generate leads or establish yourself as a thought leader.
- Reliable, steady B2B platform that is ideal for establishing yourself as an influencer and industry leader.
- Highly targeted, professional audience.
- Perfect platform for developing, growing and connecting with your network.
- A great research tool for your target industry, market, and competition.
- New website retargeting, email contact retargeting and account targeting has opened new doors for advertising opportunities.
- Smaller demographic than Facebook or Twitter.
- Requires time and commitment to providing a regular flow of information that brings value to and engages your audience.
- Not the place for silly stuff; people on LinkedIn are looking to get smarter or better at their jobs.
- It may not be a great platform for selling B2C products as it is designed for B2B interactions.
- Advertising is expensive, although if you hit the sweet spot, you can achieve a high-quality engagement.
With 600 million users, Instagram has taken the social media world by storm. What’s most appealing about Instagram is that more than 90% of the users are under the age of 35. If you have amazing, trend-worthy, entertaining, or stunning visual content, then there is no better place for you to be than Instagram.
- Instagram is groiwng fast.
- Follower engagement is 10 times more than Facebook
- Can connect you with a younger audience.
- It is the best visual branding tool – designed to share images and videos.
- Great images and videos can spread like wildfire.
- Follower base can quickly grow with proper implementation of hashtags.
- Direct sales are not as effective on Instagram as on other platforms.
- The audience is limited to a younger demographic.
- You need strategic, professional, and compelling imagery.
- It is built for mobile and can’t really be managed on a desktop.
- It is run by Facebook, and as that is now a pay-to-play platform, Instagram could easily go the same way as more advertising occurs on this platform.
Considered THE online corkboard, Pinterest is another great place to share visual content and how-tos. Pinterest isn’t really about creating content; it’s more about sharing content by building specific, themed boards that join people together though interests. With around 70 million monthly users (80% women), Pinterest is the do-it-yourself inspirational go to hot spot. If you are selling food, fashion, crafting, do-it-yourself, creative based products and services this is the place to be.
- The Pin It button is everywhere making your content very easy to share.
- Content shared is hyperlinked to your website, quickly generating traffic to your pages.
- All of your Pinterest boards and pins are public and available to everyone.
- Perfect for showcasing products by using high-quality images.
- A great place to showcase B2B infographics.
- A Buy button can be added to allow for direct sales of products to your audience.
- It is fun and addicting.
- It can be difficult to figure out how to use this platform to your marketing advantage.
- If you don’t have high-quality, professional images, this platform is not going to be effective for you.
- Regular maintenance of your pins is required to ensure all the links are live and working. Your followers will lose interest if too many of your pins lead to dead links.
- Unless you are targeting a female audience, your reach will be limited.
Once you figure out a plan that implements the use of one of these platforms, you’ll be well on your way to generating followers and increasing your sales! All you have to do is put yourself where the people are!