Raise your hand if you are a social media marketer and you have heard one of the following at least once in your professional life:
- “Have you heard about this new social media platform? Why don’t we have an account there yet?”
- “I’ve seen the numbers and XYZ is becoming more and more popular. Let’s prepare a content marketing strategy for it.”
- “What do you think about ABC platform? Should we focus on it in the next quarter?”
Does any of this sound familiar? Trust us, we know the feeling. You probably work in an agency, maybe for a brand, and are constantly flooded with questions about social media. You want to stay up-to-date and feel pressure to know everything about each platform, including those that have just popped up.
But the question is: is it advisable to be everywhere? Of course not! One of the most common mistakes brands make is creating an account and then just leaving it without publishing a single post. You need to choose the platforms that fit your overall marketing strategy and that will connect you with your audience, guarantee optimal reach and engage the target group in meaningful conversations. You should choose social media that fits with your mission and vision, rather than compromising your brand in order to fit with a platform.”
In this article, we’ll talk about the distinct features of each platform, so that you can expand your knowledge before making an essential decision for your brand. If you want a more in depth look at the topic of proper strategy, check out our previous post.
A quick note: to back up our arguments, we have taken a look at some numbers from reliable sources: Social Blade, Sprout Social, HootSuite and OmniCore. So, let’s dive in!
“If you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist” – this is probably an exaggeration, since we know some people who handle life without social media pretty well. But of course it can’t be denied, when it comes to statistics, the social media giant can flaunt its number of 2.5 billion active users monthly – and it keeps growing! And if you think that only old people use Facebook anymore, you’re actually wrong – 24% of users are aged 18-24, and the most dominant group (35%) are 25-34.
Have you ever looked at Facebook’s mission statement? If not, here it is: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
This is very true when it comes to the recent changes and updates to the platform. Facebook favours groups, and pages that run at least one see the benefits in terms of engagement. The platform encourages users to create personal events and invite friends and family to join or participate. Whenever you scroll through your news feed, you will probably notice a message that says, “You see this post, because XYZ commented on it”. In terms of organic content, we mostly see what our friends do, so keep that in mind when you prepare your brand’s strategy!
A huge advantage of this channel is definitely the variety of post formats you can choose from. You don’t have to start with high-quality graphics or polished videos. You can create a status post or a simple GIF poll and see how it goes. Whenever you feel like exploring more, you can start creating posts in 1:1, 16:9, 2:3, or 9:16 ratios, or combine them and have multiple different formats in one post! Not to mention the carousel, favoured by so many e-commerce shops, which allows them to display all kinds of products. Remember that each post should present the audience with some kind of call-to-action, whether a reaction, share, vote or comment. Otherwise you will just be posting for the sake of posting, and we all know that this doesn’t work out well…
Oh, and in terms of comments, there are more than 5 billion monthly comments on Facebook. Pretty impressive, right?
One of the fastest growing platforms, Instagram is fan-favourite among people aged 18-24 (currently 35% of its global audience), but businesses have also recognized its potential – in the U.S. alone, 75% of firms have a verified account.
Integration with Stories, multiple new features and updates have all made this platform well-liked among companies and marketers, especially the use of hashtags to influence organic reach. By the way, people love using hashtags, seven out of ten of which are actually branded, so keep that in mind when you prepare a strategy of your own.
What is crucial is how much Instagram has changed. At the very beginning, it used to be a place where people focused on posting the perfect photo with an adjusted filter, with the goal of creating a “better reality” and gathering the most likes possible. This model is long gone. Instagram has already noticed this toxic trend and announced the removal of likes ( in selected countries, this has already happened) as well as the mission to promote well-being and mental health. The social aspect of this platform is crucial as well. Looking at the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement, you can readily appreciate how many people decided to express their opinion and show their support via this channel.
This virtual space is also the most popular area for Influencer Marketing. According to the data, there are more than 500,000 influential Instagrammers, who mostly promote fashion, fitness, healthy habits and general lifestyle. If your brand wants to collaborate with a recognizable person to increase brand awareness, build reputation or boost sales, Instagram is definitely a solid choice.
And don’t forget social commerce: 130 million Instagram accounts click on a post with a shopping tag just to learn more about the product each month. If your brand sells online and does not use Instagram as a sales channel, what are you waiting for?
Although some people might not agree that Stories are a distinct platform, we see it differently. Ephemeral content, such as can be found on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Messenger, is added by more than 500 million users daily, which is pretty impressive! This volume is mostly because Stories are perceived as more “real”: people tend not to focus so much on perfecting their short-lived content and let it be more authentic, as opposed to a regular post.
Stories allow us to not only capture an audience’s attention for fifteen seconds, but also provide opportunities for longer engagement though interactive stickers, such as polls, slide polls, Ask Me Anything, quizzes, live videos or even tags for your online shop’s products. And you should really focus on using these tools: according to the data, stickers enhance performance by 83%.
There are brands that focus even more on Stories than on general posts, creating regular series with interviews, Q&A sessions and peeks behind-the-scenes. Take this as a source of inspiration!
You might be surprised, but Messenger IS actually a social media platform. Although most brands just treat it as an extension of Facebook and as a way to answer clients’ questions and complaints, it can serve as a powerful tool when you combine it with a chatbot (there are currently more than 300,000 of them on Messenger) or a “Sponsored Messages” campaign, which can take the form of a newsletter.
Have you ever wondered how many messages are sent via this app? It’s actually 8 billion…per day! It seems like people really like to stay connected, so why not use it as part of your brand’s strategy? It’s worth considering!
Google’s giant is definitely the number-one reason why video content is so popular: on YouTube alone, more than 1 billion hours are watched per day! This number could suggest that some people actually prefer using the social media platform to regular old TV – and, as a matter of fact, it’s true. Millennials, one of the most dominant generations of our time, prefer YouTube two-to-one over traditional television.
What kind of content resonates the most on this video platform? Well, we have live streams of sporting events or concerts, make-up tutorials, interviews, fashion shows, product testing and even ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos! Recent studies also show distinct gender differences, with men favouring gaming and soccer videos and women preferring beauty tutorials.
If you want to stay up-to-date with current news, then Twitter is probably your go-to platform. According to statistics, 71% of users use this platform to find out what is happening all over the globe.
No wonder this social media platform is very popular among journalists or politicians ( the most followed account is that of a former POTUS, Barack Obama); however, these groups are not actually representative in terms of age: 26% users are 30-49 years old, but 38% are actually much younger, between 18 and 29!
Have you ever wanted to become a millionaire or at least surround yourself with them? Then LinkedIn is just for you! 41% of most well-off people in the world use this social media on a daily basis, and 6 out of 10 users actively use it for valuable industry insights.
Even though many perceive this Microsoft platform as only being used by a more serious audience with goals such as B2B marketing, networking or recruitment ( currently the most common activities), the younger audience – aged 18 to 24 – makes up of 24% of the whole platform, which is no small number.
When it comes to your brand’s strategy, it’s definitely advisable to use this social media platform for lead generation: 80% of B2B contacts come from LinkedIn. In comparison, only 13% are generated via Twitter and 7% from Facebook.
One of the most rapidly growing channels and a must-have among Generation Z (41% of TikTokers are aged 16-24), this video app is very time-consuming! An average user spends 52 minutes per day browsing, watching challenges, reacting and commenting. The last two are especially important if your brand struggles with engagement rate anywhere else – on TikTok the average is 29%, which is very high.
If you are still not convinced about joining this social media platform, just know that currently there are currently more than 800 million users – and trust us, you don’t want to be the last to join!
Last, but not least, a platform that combines the power of its native search engine with appealing visuals. Pinterest is actually a very powerful tool and is quite popular among women – 71% of users are female.
If you think that this channel is just for creating “visual boards” or delivering inspirational ideas,” you are very much mistaken: Pinterest has a very high conversion rate when it comes to sales. 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on the branded content they saw, and 72% of them use the platform to decide what to buy offline!
Combine your organic content strategy with Pinterest’s paid social, and you can get a pretty good sales channel.
We hope you stayed with us until the end and have a clearer picture of each platform! If you want to talk more about setting up a channel for your own brand or company, don’t hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com!