By: Stephanie Carnes, LMC Spotlight
Most companies today have a social media presence, whether that be a minimalist Facebook business page or profiles on multiple sites. 92% of brands say social media has increased their exposure, so a social media plan is important. Beyond Facebook, it can be difficult to decide which, if any, other platforms will be helpful for your business. Time, money, and resources are not infinite, so most small and medium business owners need to evaluate each major platform, determine their target audience, and plan their social media strategically.
Facebook is still the king of social media, with well over two billion active users each month. Traditional businesses pretty much have to have a Facebook profile; people access them for hours of operation, contact information, customer service, and reviews.
Facebook is constantly changing its algorithm, usually in ways that hurt the organic reach of businesses. If you are willing to invest in Facebook ads and other forms of Facebook marketing, you can still be very successful on the platform.
All ages use Facebook, with a very slight majority being female.
Instagram’s one billion users frequently use the platform to shop, which makes it a great outlet for e-commerce companies. More traditional transportation companies should use Instagram if they can produce high-quality photos of the vehicles they provide or the locations they serve. Instagram is extremely image- and video-centric.
More than two-thirds of Instagram users are women, and the majority of users are in the prized 25-54 age range.
Industries such as journalism and entertainment are heavily represented among Twitter’s 330 million users. Using Twitter well requires a lot of interaction; you should tweet multiple times per day and comment and retweet to gain a following.
Twitter skews young, with most users in the 18-29 age bracket. If your target audience is made of Millennials, or, even more so, of Gen Z, you need to be on Twitter.
With “only” 250 million monthly users, businesses may overlook LinkedIn, but it is essential for B2B companies and beneficial for others. Use it to generate leads, join groups to network and to reach your target clients, and post your company’s job openings.
Like Instagram, most LinkedIn users are between the ages of 25-54, but men and women use the site in similar numbers.
Many business owners see Pinterest as a wedding-planning or recipe curation site, but it is remarkably good at driving people to your website or your blog. Recent studies show that Pinterest is almost four times as effective in generating sales as compared to other types of digital campaigns.
Pinterest is the most female-centric platform, though men are starting to join in larger numbers. Most of its 291 million users are between the ages of 15-40, and they tend to earn higher incomes than the users of most other platforms.
You might think of YouTube as a place to watch funny clips or to find videos to help you fix your dishwasher. However, with 1.9 billion users, YouTube is second only to Facebook in terms of its reach. If you can produce high-quality videos that show your customers how to do something or how to solve a problem, you could make good use of YouTube.
YouTube’s age demographics are broad, with users spread out among all ages. It is the most male-skewing social media platform.
If you’d like to compare the platforms, you can use this chart:
Choosing your social media platforms is only the first step. Once you set up your profile, you’ll need to start posting engaging content. GGTI is offering a free social media content calendar for all of its members. Start using it in January to get 2020 off to a good start!