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Finding The Right Social Platform For Your Brand

Marketing

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With so many social media platforms out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The key is to find the right one’s for your brand.

According to the Pew Research Institute, in 2016, around 70 percent of Americans had at least one social media account. That alone is a solid reason to start investing in a social media team for your brand. However, there are currently an overwhelming number of platforms with an endless number yet to be created that you may not know where to invest your time and money.

While it would be nice to have a dedicated staff for every social media platform ever created, it’s simply not feasible. Instead of spreading your resources thin, it’s important to figure out where you should be dedicating those resources. Fortunately, a brand only has to focus on a few major players, which vary based on what you are trying to sell.

Facebook

The most important social media platform is, without question, Facebook. The company reports that the site has 2.01 billion monthly as of June 30, 2017. Because 27.6 percent of the world population uses it, Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon. Facebook’s enormity means you can successfully reach every demographic through it. The goal is to create interesting on-brand content to engage your already loyal following. Through the use of eye-catching ads, you can expand your Facebook audience. However, unless you work for major media brand or get hyperlocal with ads, you may not find success with Facebook advertising because you may focus on the wrong audience.

Twitter

Despite being the second oldest popular social media platform still in use, Twitter is no longer the second most popular, but that’s no reason to give up on it. With 328 million monthly active users, Twitter is still going strong. Unlike Facebook where you focus connecting with an already captive audience, Twitter is where you can make a splash by getting creative with its 140 character limit. Wendy’s struck gold when it decided to entertain and actively encourage Carter’s desire for free nuggets. Even when they’re not riding a wave of media coverage, the social media team behind Wendy’s maintains a clever and funny Twitter presence. On October 2, Wendy’s accepted a challenge from Wingstop and dropped some sweet rhymes.

Instagram

While it takes a lot to get noticed on Twitter and build a following, Instagram only requires brand’s to post visually appealing photos. This is why Instagram was initially known for gratuitous photos of food and the “Rich Kids of Instagram.” Popular posts on Instagram range from decadent milkshakes to the quirky to photos that make the viewer vicariously live through their favorite celebrity or daredevil. Find your niche and odds are as long as your photos are compelling, some of Instagram’s 800 million active users will be drawn to your brand.

Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest relies on photos. The difference is that Pinterest’s culture revolves around shopping, recipes, and DIY projects. The platform skews heavily female with women making up 81 percent of Pinterest’s 200 million users, according to Omnicore. If your brand sells clothing, home decor, food, or has a strong DIY ethic, your company will benefit from a Pinterest account. If you’re strictly business, it is wiser to focus your attention and budget elsewhere.

Snapchat

As far as social media platforms go, Snapchat is the new kid on the block, which is appropriate because CNN reports it’s the most popular social network amount 14 to 19-year-olds. Millennials are drawn to Snapchat because of its fun filters and messaging. Snapchat isn’t the place to show the serious side of your brand. Even unlikely brands like NASA have joined in on the fun. If you decide Snapchat is a good fit for your brand, make sure you don’t come across as trying too hard to be cool. People like to be engaged and feel like they are included, not to be pandered to.

Google+

The elephant in the room is Google+. It’s no secret that Google+ was dead on arrival, so don’t worry about dedicating a huge amount of time to it. While it’s true that Google+ has a huge potential audience, just about everyone with a Gmail account has a Google+ profile unless they opted out of it, not that many people are paying attention because the same kind of content is shared on Facebook. As bad as it sounds, this is the only social network where it’s ok to take the easy way out. If you have the time and resources, go ahead and differentiate your Google+ account from your other social media accounts. Otherwise, no one’s going to fault you for duplicating a post from Facebook and scheduling it into Hootsuite. Whatever you do, it’s never ok to program post and forget about an account, even one with a limited audience. Don’t ignore people responding to your content. Engagement is key on social media, even if it feels like you’re talking to an audience of one.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and, yes, even Google+ all have the potential to reach an audience of millions, but none of that matters if you’re targeting the wrong audience. That’s why it’s necessary to figure out which social media platforms jibe with your brand and design a strategy consistent with each platforms culture.

 

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