Social media is a wonderful basis for your business’ marketing and advertising and has great potential in getting your products or services into the palms of your ideal customer. But when done incorrectly, it can be an entire waste of time. So, which platforms should your business be on?
Before you join all platforms and ‘hope for the best’, it’s essential to truly understand who your ideal client is.
- What age are they?
- What’s their disposable income?
- What are their interests?
Once you’ve developed this ideal client avatar you can start to research social platforms to find out where you need your presence. A lot of it is age related so knowing who you’re targeting in terms of an age bracket is the very first step to success.
Isn’t age just a number?
Yes, age is absolutely just a number. But, when it comes to targeting and choosing which platform to be on, it’s the most important number there is.
There are four key platforms that businesses use to promote their brand and their offering. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. The first two are the ‘go to’ platforms. They’re the ones that most businesses set up as soon as they launch and before long, will find themselves generally ignoring their Twitter page. So why waste that time in the first place?
Do your research FIRST
The chart below shows why this initial research is so important. If you’re targeting the over 50’s for example, Twitter and Instagram really aren’t key platforms for you and your time would be much better spent making the most of Facebook. The younger generation are seemingly everywhere and reports state they watch online videos (mainly on YouTube and Instagram TV) for a staggering two hours per day.
See also: What is digital marketing?
So if you’re targeting a younger audience, should you be on all platforms? Well, first things first, you need good imagery. Even if your target audience is the 18-29 group, without good imagery, time on Instagram would be totally wasted. If you have an image-rich brand with beautiful design and must have products, then Instagram is definitely for you.
|Percentage of users|
It all comes down to your audience
The advice I give is very much bespoke to each business. I have quite honestly told businesses to delete their Twitter page or Instagram account if I feel it doesn’t truly work for them. And that’s the thing. Your social platform has to work for YOUR business. Here’s a little run down of what works;
- Facebook - largest audience, great for targeting all demographics and age groups. Great link sharing and use of Facebook groups as well as an incredible Ads Manager.
- Instagram - great for photographers, equestrians, designers, boutiques, basically anything with lots of images! You do need high quality imagery and enough of it to be posting at least five times a week. Stories are a great way to go ‘behind the brand’ with story viewing figures continually increasing. Huge potential with hashtag usage too - you can currently use 30 per post
- Twitter - quite corporate. A tweet lasts seven seconds so ideally you’d want to be posting multiple times per day to have any impact. Hashtag usage dropping off slightly.
- Pinterest - great for designers, clothing brands, interiors companies. It’s all about creating wish lists, inspirational guides and a virtual scrap book of desires. Again, very image driven but hugely powerful when used correctly.
See also: A guide to Facebook
Where do your customers hang out? Use the age chart above to determine which platforms they’re most likely to be on. Wherever they appear to be, is where you need to spend some time. Don’t just follow suit and assume you need to be on all of them. This is wasting both time and money and you’ll soon resent the platforms that don’t appear to be working for you.
At the end of the day, nearly a third of the entire population is on Facebook. That’s too big an audience to ignore. Plus it’s generally the easiest to set up a business page on as the majority of people have a personal page, whereas on other platforms, you might be entirely starting from scratch.
Personally, I have seen great growth on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest lately so would almost advise against setting up a Twitter account for new businesses. It’s a very B2B (business to business) space and there has certainly been a drop off in account numbers, tweets going out and networking hours over recent months.
If you’re still feeling baffled, I do offer a free 20 minute strategy call to help you find the answers and get your social sorted. Just drop me an email to book - firstname.lastname@example.org.