There are currently 3.48 billion social media users in 2019 – an increase of 366 million since January 2018. Social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy but it’s important you do not jump on all the platforms available before carrying out research. There is no point spending time prioritising certain platforms, creating engaging content and maintaining an active presence, if they are not relevant for your business.
There are currently over 2.38 billion users on Facebook between the ages of 18-54. With so many users on the platform, it is highly likely that your target audience is on there. Although the range is broad, the most popular demographic groups are males between 25 and 34 years old (19%) and females between 18-24 (16%). Facebook is usually one of the first places people will search for a company. If you are not there, it is likely that you will lose them. The recently announced redesign of the platform is putting a greater emphasis on the community side of the platform. The social media platform could already have a community of potential customers in one of the many ‘Groups’. With the new updates coming, there is going to be an even greater emphasis on the feature.
Facebook is great for B2C companies. 53% of users follow a brand’s page whilst 77% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. The messaging service also allows companies a faster level of customer service to their customers. With auto replies and bots available, customers are able to get replies 24/7. Adding a Facebook shop to your page allows you to list your products on your page. They can then be linked to the products on your website for customers to buy.
However, the organic reach from Facebook pages is very low and it’s highly likely that you will need to boost posts and create ads to grow your audience. Facebook currently favours engaging video content and its algorithms are filtering out basic images with simple text.
As of the first quarter of 2019, Twitter has averaged 330 million monthly active users between the ages of 18-29 years old. The social media platform is great for companies that want to engage with their customers and be involved in conversations. Spending time on the site responding to customer’s questions can improve customers’ perceptions of your company. It also allows you to find some insightful market research about your target audience. However, for companies that do not have the time to respond, customers could feel like you are ignoring them.
Unlike Facebook, when you post a tweet it will be sent to all of your followers’ timelines. However, the last time it was announced how many tweets were sent every day was back in 2014, with 500 million tweets. With so many tweets being sent, depending on the number of accounts your followers follow, it’s likely that your posts will be missed. Hashtags are a great way to get your message out to a wider audience. Creating your own brand hashtag or including relevant popular hashtags can gain your exposure for your company. With the ability for users to retweet your posts to their own audience, your reach can be increased further.
Instagram has 1 billion monthly users with more than 500 million using the platform every day. The primary audience of Instagram is Millenials and Generation Z who enjoy sharing their photos. The social media platform is the most visually appealing with profiles laid out in a grid. It is great for companies that have high-quality, visually stunning images and videos to post. If your company doesn’t, Instagram isn’t for you. By posting poor quality images or stock photos, you will be wasting your time as no one will be engaging.
Instagram only allows one link to be added on your profile page and doesn’t allow you to add links to your posts so it should be looked at increasing your brand awareness. However, Instagram is improving their features for businesses, most recently announced the testing of their ‘Checkout‘ feature which allows users to buy products directly through the social media platform.
As Facebook owns Instagram, they share ad targeting options. If you decide to create an ad through Facebook’s Ad Manager, you also get the option to post the ad through your Instagram page as well as on Facebook. However, unlike Facebook, your posts are seen by your followers. Given you post at a time that they are online. Like Twitter, hashtags are very useful to get your content seen by users who are not following you and are used by a lot of users to search for relevant content.
By the end of 2018, LinkedIn had 590 million users and two professionals are joining the platform every second. 91% of B2B marketers use the social media platform with 65% having acquired a customer through it. LinkedIn is very business-focused so the content you post on other social media platforms is likely to not be relevant. Posting more insightful content can help you stand out and show to other businesses that you are an industry leader.
LinkedIn is a great way to be able to engage directly with business owners and decision makers. People are always posting for recommendations and by building relationships, the platform can generate a lot of referrals for you. If you are referred to, it’s likely that they will search for your company page to find out more information.
YouTube is currently the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google – who own them. 1.9 billion logged in users visit the social media platform every month, watching a billion hours of video every day. 87% of marketers are utilising video as part of the content marketing strategy in 2019, up from 67% in 2017.
The video-sharing platform is great for e-commerce companies. Users don’t visit the platform to be sold directly but for entertainment, ‘How To’ video or educational videos. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos make them more confident in online purchase decisions. Creating videos can take time in planning and recording and for them to be successful, you need to post regularly.
Once you have decided the platform/s that you will be using you need to ensure that you maintain a presence. There’s nothing worse than going to a company’s social media page and see they haven’t posted in over a year. People might even be wondering if you are still in business. You’ll then likely lose these people to a competitor. There are tools available to help. SEMrush, Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to schedule posts on the social media platforms in advance and also offer analytics.