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Which social media platform for which business?

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You’ve heard it being blasted all over the place: “If you have a business you need to be online”. Truer words were never spoken. However, the question is… How present on social media do you need to be and do you need to be on every social media platform?

This post is the first of a three part series which will help you make better strategic decisions when trying to understand your audience and define where you should put your marketing efforts to better communicate to it.

What’s your problem?

If you’re like most business owners and marketers, you’ve equipped your shiny website with all the social media icons from Facebook to Pinterest. Problem is, it’s crickets and tumbleweeds on those accounts.

You’re not disciplined about posting regularly and when you do, your posts get less attention than the wallflower at a party… so what’s the deal? Well, you’re not taking your audience into consideration.

Think about it. If you spend every day agonising over the perfect Instagram picture, when the bulk of your audience is on Facebook, you’re doing yourself - and your business - a disservice. So make sure you’re using the right medium for your visibility. How do you do it? It all boils down to three magical words…

Attention, Intention, Engagement

Stick those three words up there like a mantra. Here’s a breakdown of what these terms mean (you can also read this article for a more in-depth overview):

Attention: Where is my audience’s attention focused? Which social media are their eyeballs and ears glued to everyday? Intention: Why is my audience on this platform? Are they interested in sharing photos of their recent family outing, or do they want to showcase their art to the world? Engagement: How do I make my audience engage with my content knowing that engagement is by far the most important metric I care about? (and no - “fans” of your page do not count as engagement).

Let’s focus on Attention.

Attention is knowing which platform attracts your target audience. To make it clearer we’ve broken down a few social media platforms by their audiences and spelled out their best use.

Facebook:

Who:

  • Millennials (approximately 20-35 yrs old) and Generation X (approximately 40-54 yrs old)


Best used for:

  • Strengthening relationships with your clients
  • Generating new clients
  • Marketers using a blend of images, videos and text for their ads


The mother of all social media. To better understand this platform it’s useful to look at its history and realise one thing... Facebook isn’t as cool as it once was. Remember all those years ago when it wrestled the social crown from myspace and friendster? Well, that means that many of its initial users are now well into their 30’s and since everyone and their dog is on Facebook, it has lost a bit of its sex appeal for the younger crowd (namely generaztion Z born in mid 90s onwards).

But it’s still thriving and there’s a reason for it.

With the ability to display text, images and video and with one of the largest audiences out there (approx 2.38+ billion monthly active users as of March 2019), Facebook is a super powerful tool for marketers.

With the staggering figure of more than 1.56 billion daily active users (as of March 2019), Facebook is a great platform for brands trying to strengthen their relationship with their client base, generate new clients and grow their business.

Instagram

Who:

  • Generation Y (approximately 20-35 yrs old) and Z (approximately 13-24 yrs old)


Best used for:

  • Marketing products which have visual impact
  • If your campaigns will make use of influencers


If Facebook is for the “oldies”, Instagram is where you will find the Gen Z’s and younger millennials happily posting their yoga poses and latte art. Focused on visuals, Instagram lends itself very well to business’ that have visually striking products such as beauty, clothing, food, art or furniture. Instagram Stories is one of the biggest platforms for live/temporary content (as it’s disappearing after 24 hours) right now, bigger than Snapchat even. So get your content creators in one room now and get them to come up with interesting ideas on how to leverage it for your business.

Keep in mind that the fact that it caters to people who are into visuals says a lot about this audience and provides a good indication on what type of products may attract them.

Linkedin

Who?

  • Business professionals, recruiters, job seekers and students


Best used for:

  • B2B lead generation
  • Branding your B2B business
  • Personal branding of your top executives


Linkedin is not the first social media that comes to mind for marketing a business. However, being the largest professional network in the world, it works exceptionally well for generating B2B leads, strengthening your professional brand image (to clients and other businesses) as well as finding potential job candidates.

Twitter

Who?

  • Gen Y (approximately 20-35 yrs old) and Gen Z (approximately 13-24 yrs old)*, educated and affluent


Best used for:

  • Building brand awareness and leverage a very active community
  • Businesses that can leverage the power of live tweeting
  • Customer Support and interaction


Twitter isn’t just for boisterous American presidents. With 126 million daily users (as of the 6th of February 2019) on the platform businesses that are prepared to put effort into their branding are guaranteed a good return from this platform. The nature of the platform means - more than any other - that immediacy is key. In other words, marketers with their finger on the pulse of current events can leverage Twitter for marketing campaigns in general and RTM (real time marketing) in particular.

Also, the limited character count means that crafting the perfect line of text to make it as witty and impactful as possible takes a bit more thought than usual. And, as most of this platform’s users are more educated, it pays to make sure what you’re putting out there resonates with them. If you believe your business can keep up the pace and cut through the clutter, then Twitter is an excellent platform for you.

YouTube

Who?

  • Popular with all demographics, worldwide, especially millennials (approximately 20-35 yrs old) and Generation X (approximately 40-54 yrs old)


Best used for:

  • Showcasing products that can benefit from “how to” videos
  • Building a community. If done right, users will tune in to your channel like it's their favourite TV show. Having said that, even a few successful videos will have an impact on your brand’s awareness
  • Businesses catering to niche audiences


YouTube is the ideal environment for skilled Content Marketers to flex their marketing muscle. With a staggering 30+ million active users per day(as of July 2018), there’s plenty of potential out there to carve out a niche audience and many businesses are doing a great job of it.

It does however take more work than your average social media (scripting, filming and editing videos takes more time than working with images and text), but if you can tap into your audience’s needs, you can be sure they’ll “tune-in” whenever you post something new. And that’s true for 99% of brands out there, no matter what they’re selling. Don’t believe us, then check out these channels from guitar dealers, toy manufacturers, or design agencies. Yes you can find anything on YouTube.

Final words…

There you have it, an overview of which audience is on which platform. Success for your company or personal brand might mean sticking to one of these, or blending a few. The trick of “Attention” is understanding where your audience gathers and meet it there. Keep in mind that we’ve focused on the major platforms in this article. Though they’re not mentioned here, it’s worth looking into how other platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest or Snapchat, can help your brand.

Watch this space for more information (you can also subscribe to our updates to not miss the next one!). Or drop us some comments to let us know what you would like to know about it.

Till then, happy marketing!