Imagine you’re starting your own business, and you decide it’s time to start promoting it on social media. You want to reach as many people as possible, so you create profiles on every social media channel you can think of — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You plan to use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to simply cross-post all of your content with a click of a button. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?
Not necessarily. See, not all social media channels are created equal. Contrary to popular belief, most businesses don’t need to have a presence on every single platform. In fact, this may result in spreading yourself too thin, ultimately hurting your social media strategy. We recommend being a little more selective with your channels and only choosing the ones that make the most sense for your brand. Where is your audience? What platforms are your competitors on? What type of content will you be posting? Where would your brand shine the most?
Today, we’re looking at each platform to help make your decision easier. Let’s get started:
This is the big one. Generally, we recommend every brand to have a presence on Facebook, but here are some statistics anyway.
Facebook is the most-used social media site. It has 1.71 billion monthly active users and 1.13 billion daily active users, on average. Users are pretty evenly split between male and female (56% and 44%, respectively), and although it has a reputation for being more popular among older generations, 82% of 18 to 29-year-olds online in the U.S. are on Facebook.
Facebook is also great for targeting people in your audience with boosted posts, as well as gathering insights on your audience and which types of content are working best.
Tips for Posting on Facebook:
Keep it short, sweet, and engaging. People are less likely to read an entire post if it is over three sentences, and especially if they have to click “See More” to read the rest of the post. Always include a photo of some sort and ask a question at the end of your posts, when appropriate, to stimulate engagement.
With over 500 million active monthly users on the app and 59% of those users checking it every single day, Instagram is a huge platform. Unlike Facebook, Instagram isn’t for everyone. Most users are between the ages of 18 and 29, so if your brand is targeting millennials and the younger generation, Instagram might be beneficial for you.
In addition to thinking about your audience, consider your industry when trying to decide if Instagram is a good fit. Are you part of a more visual industry, like fashion, food, cosmetics, or travel? Remember that Instagram is a visual platform, so if you don’t have beautiful photos and/or videos to post, it might be best to skip this platform.
Tips for Posting on Instagram:
Make sure your feed is as visually-appealing as possible. Start with choosing a color scheme and sticking to it. Use relevant hashtags in the comments to increase post reach and engagement, and use Instagram Insights to see what’s working and what’s not.
With Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, you want to be mindful of how often you post to make sure you’re not spamming your follower. For Twitter, those rules don’t really apply. Twitter is great for sharing content like original blog posts, curated content from other sources, and industry news. It’s also great for businesses that have merchandise to sell. Twitter’s “Buy” button feature makes it easy for your followers to purchase your products.
Twitter has 313 million monthly active users that send more than 500 million Tweets every day. Like Instagram, Twitter caters to a slightly younger audience than Facebook — 37% of users are 18 to 29 and 25% are 30 to 49. So, if your target audience is aged 60+, you may want to stick to Facebook for sharing articles and such; however, if you’re targeting the younger generations and can keep up with posting regularly, Twitter might be a good choice for you.
Tips for Posting on Twitter:
The shorter the message, the better — which is easy because you only have 140 characters to work with. Make sure every tweet has an image with it so it’ll stand out on your followers’ timelines. Also, don’t be afraid to recycle content. That old blog post from six months ago? It’s not off-limits to share again. Also, if you sell a lot of merchandise, like a clothing boutique, use Twitter’s “Buy” buttons to drive people to your website to purchase your products.
Pinterest is a super-popular content sharing platform that, like Instagram, is highly visual. Pinterest works best for businesses in particular industries like food, travel, crafting, beauty, and fashion. However, if you aren’t in one of these industries and feel like Pinterest could be beneficial to your business, go for it! We have managed successful Pinterest accounts for businesses in industries like finance, where we shared blog posts and money-saving tips. Just get creative!
Although more men are jumping on the Pinterest train than ever before, it’s still a female-skewed platform, so it’s a great channel for targeting women. In addition, it’s an effective way to drive traffic to your site. If you have products to sell, you can leverage the power of buyable pins that direct users straight to your site to purchase the product. If your business has a blog, you can throw up a Pin with a little graphic and a link to your blog post.
“Is anyone actually on Google+?” We get this question often. Back in 2014, Google+ was actually ranked as the third most popular social network; however, a lot of those users weren’t active. So, yes, it is kind of “dead” as far as active users are concerned.
We typically recommend our social media clients to be active on Google+, though, and here’s why: having a Google+ presence will boost your rank on Google. Because we are SEO nerds, we want to do anything that can improve a business’s rankings in any way, and being active on Google+ does just that.
Tips for Posting on Google+:
Since the goal is really just to stay active, this one’s easy. Basically all you need to do is cross-post your Facebook posts to Google+.
LinkedIn is the place for all things business. While many people think of LinkedIn as a networking channel for professionals, it can actually be beneficial for your brand. LinkedIn is a great place to share industry news and business updates like new product launches. The platform is best for B2B marketers, but don’t completely rule it out if you’re a B2C business. If you have industry news to share and desire to become a thought leader in your field, LinkedIn could be a great way to boost your brand.
Tips for Posting on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn shared that the most successful brands on their platform do these three things: they continually update users on industry news, they release new and engaging content tailored to specific audiences, and they add their voice to relevant conversations that their audiences care about.
Choose Quality Over Quantity When it Comes to Social Media
Unless you’re a part of a huge corporation that has time to devote to every social media channel, it’s better to be selective with where you post so you don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick a few channels that make sense for your business and devote your energy to making them as good as possible.
Should you need further help in choosing the social platforms that are best for your brand, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask!