This post was supposed to be up a few hours ago. Wondering about why the delay happened? Because I was busy checking out my news feed. This is the reality of the world we live in. When was the last time you met someone who didn’t have a Facebook profile? We know the answer already.
In this current frantic world where no one seems to have time on their hands anymore, social media perhaps is the only constant. On average, humans spend multiple hours scrolling through their news feeds on a daily basis. The power of social media is immense and it can only rise even further.
Facebook was the one big juggernaut up until a few years ago; however, new players have well and truly entered the market and have taken over some of the shine off Facebook’s cap, but it still is going strong.
Since social media is now playing host to almost everyone on the planet, it has become the go-to option for marketers and businessmen. Now with Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat on the horizon; everyone faces a Sophie’s choice – which platform to pick?
We will now look into the various options and highlight the ones that will benefit businesses in multiple ways:
Facebook’s the daddy of social media. What simply began as a means to stay in touch with your close people has now transformed into one of the largest marketing tools known to mankind.
Quite simply and ruthlessly, irrespective of the nature of your business, you ought to have a solid Facebook page for your brand. Due to the sheer numbers involved and the estimated reach, this is something you just can’t afford to pass up on.
Even though it is free, it allows you to serve to territories following a paid format. You can showcase your ads on a national and international scale as well. The biggest USP is the fact that you can streamline who you’re serving – the age, the sex, industries they’re working in, basic education, interests and more. You can even filter out to look for individuals who have travelled abroad in this past year. That’s the level of filtering involved. Imagine that?
How will this help you ask? For example, you have a brand which serves hi-end clothing and your target audience belongs to a certain niche i.e. upper middle class bare minimum. Hence, filtering your customer base in such a way allows you to target people who you know will be able to afford your products.
Knowing your audience is one of the foremost steps in business, isn’t it?
Facebook nearly has 1.15 billion active daily users which certainly makes it a force to be reckoned with. Even if Facebook doesn’t seem relevant to you right off the bat; you ought to have a business Facebook profile as that is where customers will look for you first.
And first impressions are only made once, aren’t they? You need to have a basic profile which showcases your brand in good light. It is a place where you’ll get reviews (visible to all) and comments; hence you need to take this seriously.
Ever since Facebook has acquired Instagram, this platform has never looked back. Now you might have the most stable eCommerce website design services, but it just won’t click if you don’t market your brand well on Facebook and Instagram.
It started as a simple image sharing platform in a real time manner. However, it now has a good business spin and was recently introduced to the paid marketing domain as well. Many parameters are similar to Facebook though; so you only need to know how to manage either one.
The difference between Facebook and Instagram is the fact that Instagram is purely image/video based and is used on mobile phones only. You can’t share bits from a page you’re following and so on. Also, hashtags make all the difference here unlike Facebook.
And given the decrease of the average attention span of customers, Instagram has well and truly risen to prominence. Who doesn’t like to see beautiful images; ask yourself. You’d be surprised to know that more than 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram ever since its inception back in the year 2010. 40 billion! You heard it right.
A recent study suggested that no less than 32% of all active Internet users are on Instagram. Also, 18-29 seems like the magic audience age as that number rises to 59%.
Another interesting spin provided by this platform is that unlike other social media channels, Instagram has more number of female users. Hence, it presents a different dynamic like no other.
Especially if you possess a brand where you can express picturesque serenity effectively, Instagram should be your favourite bet, much before Facebook. And its not that hard to manage either; just a simple picture-upload and a few relevant hashtags would do.
Yes, it still exists. And yes, it still is relevant on the lines of business. Instagram might’ve dealt a huge hit to its potential but it is potent all the same. In fact, for many domains, Twitter is suited much more than Instagram; Facebook being a common entity for all.
The 280-character limit allows brands to be creative and quirky. It’s sort of a challenge which creative minds love to take on. And marketing is all about understanding your audience and being creative. Given the size of competition brands are up against, these parameters are often difference makers.
More than 1.3 billion Twitter accounts have been created till date; which is a mammoth number in itself.
Where Twitter stands apart from all the other social media handles out there is the matter of engaging conversations. Customers don’t like to treat brands as ‘brands’ anymore; they want to treat them as individuals. And what do individuals do? They talk, communicate and express.
This is what makes tweets so captivating for every tweet has a story attached. What images are to Instagram is what words are to Twitter. And you can post photos and share videos as well wherever you see fit, which gives it a more balanced approach.
An interesting statistic was released recently which stated that no less than 500 million individuals visit Twitter each month without logging in. This signals that customers don’t necessarily want to tweet themselves but stay updated with what their close ones and brands are talking about; good old social listening if you will. Unlike private messages and regular chats, tweets are there for the entire world to see.
Well, this is kind of self explanatory. Not every business is suited to this international video platform. So you need to put in research and figure out how it can be beneficial for your business, if at all it is.
Now, if you don’t have a brand wherein you can make some good videos out of it, opting for YouTube is a waste; as simply following other channels wouldn’t do you much good. The basic points of having an international audience, massive numbers, good screen time, engagement are all relevant here as well.
LinkedIn is a place for professionals and brands which has now grown to become a cut-throat marketing platform. It isn’t only meant for rolling out jobs or seeking them, it is a highly polished platform which allows you to indulge in domains which interest you minus all the clutter.
Since it doesn’t follow an adding-friends approach, you can choose what you see at will and be interested in whatever floats your boat. It is older than you think, having gone live back in the year 2003. Ever since then, it has acquired 332 million members with 2 new users joining every second.
And why I keep on stressing on the fact of relevance, is because this is what allows it to stand apart. This is evident from another statistic – the average session time per user on LinkedIn is 17 minutes. This is an incredibly high and respected number.
Brands can forge strong relationships with other brands using LinkedIn and indulge in fruitful peer-to-peer activities.
The listings below are now as effective as the ones listed above; however, can be of some use depending on the stature and the nature of products and services on offer:
Don’t form opinions without giving it a shot first. Every social media platform has something or the other on offer. Don’t be afraid when it comes to researching and asking around. The more you know, the better it will be. One thing’s for sure; social media is here to stay, at least in the near future.