18 Dec Social Media Marketing: Where To Start
When it comes to using social media to market your startup or small business, all of the options could be overwhelming. Social media sites and applications pop up all the time. It could be hard to keep up. In 2017, various social media platforms totaled 2.8 billion users globally. That’s 37% of the population of the world using some form of social media. The ability to reach users on these platforms is too good to pass up. It’s no surprise that in 2018, social media will be a vital part of every business. Going social with your business improves brand awareness, bumps up conversion rates and boosts traffic to your beautifully designed website. Overall, social media marketing simply allows more people to connect with you and your business, improving the experience of your customers entirely. The question isn’t whether or not you should be using social media to market your business, but rather, how you should go about doing it.
When it comes to social networks, the landscape is ever changing. The big names you used to hear might not be so relevant anymore. Remember MySpace? Me either. But even the giants like Facebook are being phased out by younger demographics. The first rule of marketing is to know your audience. So, where should you focus your social media efforts? We’ve prepared a review of the leading social media networks to help you decide which would be the best fit for your business.
Probably the most well known platform- everyone’s heard of this one. Facebook opened to the public in 2006 and since then they’ve become the leading force in the market. They allow users and brands to intertwine seamlessly with one another. Facebook allows its users to share updates, photos and videos, play games, stream live video and procrastinate everyday. They’ve truly become a juggernaut in the industry and they provide many, easy to use, social media marketing campaigns to get your brand in front of more users.
This past year, Facebook celebrated two billion active users. That means your parents, your childhood friends, your old bus driver, your local grocery store and your mailman are all there. Of the 2 billion active users of Facebook, 1.32 billion use it everyday. That’s a whole lot of potential eyes to get your brand in front of. However, the age demographic of Facebook users is shifting. It was recently reported that teenagers are leaving Facebook for other platforms ( the ones they won’t find their parents on, most likely ).
Benefits of using it
- Even with the declining teenage demographic, it’s still the largest and most popular social media network in the world. Being on Facebook is vital to any business looking to improve their online presence.
- Their paid social media marketing tools are advanced, in-depth and extremely easy to use.
- There’s hundreds of different features built into Facebook. Allowing you to experiment with different marketing strategies to see which works best for you and your business.
- Facebook offers an analytics program to track your content and easily determine which of your strategies is gaining the most traction with your audience.
Summary: Basically a must have for anyone looking to grow their online presence.
Given that Twitter is President Trump’s preferred social media platform, you’ve probably heard of this one already. Fortunately for us, Twitter has a character limit of 140 characters. The limited amount of content being shared on Twitter is one of it’s main benefits. Videos are limited to 140 seconds, only 4 photos per tweet and the character limit make Twitter a more fast paced, direct way to connect with users. Everything you publish should be short and to the point.
Twitter reported more than 328 million monthly active users that tweet around 500 million times a day. Twitter is the leading platform for live updates and breaking news. The fast paced environment their post limitations create makes the platform more appealing to younger crowds. More than a third of the 18 to 29 age demographic in the U.S. uses twitter.
Benefits of using it
- It’s easily one of the fastest and simplest ways to reach potential customers and existing users directly.
- Brands can provide quick and painless customer support.
- The use of hashtags allows you to reach new audiences by jumping on trending topics.
- Twitter provides analytics programs to easily track and evaluate content performance.
Summary: Get right to the point with your customers. Quickly and directly.
A relatively new social media platform, rapidly growing in popularity among the younger generations. The whole benefit to Snapchat is being able to immediately snap a picture or shoot a video and share it with friends and followers. “Snaps” sent out can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before they disappear forever. Other than that, you can add text, emojis, drawings and the most popular feature, filters on top of your snaps.
Snapchat was founded in 2011 and they already have 300 million monthly active users. More than 1 million snaps are sent and more than 10 billion videos are watched daily. Snapchat is the place to be if you’re aiming your social media marketing campaign at a younger demographic. As far as numbers go, 71% of their users are under 34 years old, 30% of US millennials use it regularly and they’ve reported their user penetration of the 12 to 17 year olds in the US as high as 83%.
Benefits of using it
- If you’re looking to introduce the youth to your business, Snapchat’s the go to option.
- There’s a good selection of paid ad formats to promote your brand. Video ads, sponsored Geofilters and sponsored Lenses to name a few.
- You can increase your social media presence on mobile devices. ( Snapchat is exclusively available as a iOS and Android app. )
- It’s the perfect platform to do smaller ad campaigns. Things like “behind the scenes” documentation or office tours fit well with Snapchat.
Summary: If you’re looking to reach a younger demographic, Snapchat’s your most direct option.
Instagram’s main idea is very similar to Twitter or Facebook- it’s a social platform made for sharing photos and videos. Instagram’s claim to fame was it’s famous filters that’ll make your Kraft Mac-N-Cheese look like a five star meal. Instagram offers hashtags, allowing users to easily put their posts into the mix with others using that hashtag, similar to twitter. After seeing Snapchat’s success, Instagram introduced it’s own Stories feature that allows users to post photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours.
Instagram has 700 million monthly active users that have shared over 40 billion photos. More than two thirds of the users are female and the majority of them are between 18-29 years old. One thing to keep in mind when planning your social media marketing campaign for Instagram though, 80% of their users are outside of the US.
Benefits of using it
- Instagram users engage with brands 10 times more than Facebook and 84 times more than Twitter.
- Build your brand visually and convey your message through the use of graphics and images.
- Hashtags allow you to get in on trending topics and reach more users regularly.
- Their offered social media marketing paid ad campaigns are easy to use, simple and aimed at generating user engagement.
Summary: More than a platform for showing off your food, it’s a great way to promote your business. Especially if you own a restaurant.
Where should you begin your social media marketing campaign?
First thing’s first, you’ll need a website. There’s no better way to inform users about your brand than a site built entirely around it. If you don’t already have a site, give us a shout and we’ll get you ready to start bringing in new customers.
The most obvious answer would Facebook, given it has the largest number of active users out of all competitors. However, as a business owner you’ll need to decide which social network appeals to your target demographic. If you’re not spending money on paid ad campaigns across all platforms, you should at the very least have an account setup with a somewhat active profile. Put your brand’s name out there as much as possible and get it in front of as many people as you can.