Great guest post by Gus Ryan. This post aims to help you choose your social media network. In reality however, you’ll probably need to pick more than one. This post follows on from an earlier blog post The State of Social Marketing in 2016 from Simply Measured. In this post I look at some social networks in a little more detail.
I’ve also included a fantastic infographic from the good folks over at HubSpot, which outlines some pro’s and con’s for some social networks.
Choose your Social Media network carefully
Social media plays a huge role in Content Marketing and Community Building so it’s important choose your social media network carefully.
In reality, you’ll probably need to pick more than one. This will come down to your audience, post etiquette and the ability to cross post and re-purpose content across networks.
Some command more attention than others but just because they are big doesn’t mean they are the right ones for you.
As a starting point you should consider at least one or maybe two of these four…
Facebook – The Alpha Channel
Facebook has approximately 1.65 billion Monthly Active Users (MAU), making it the dominant social network. Your customers are undoubtedly on there so as a minimum you need to have a presence here too.
In addition to size, Facebook is feature rich and multi-functional. You can post text, images, links and video as well as create groups (open and closed), events, live stream video, run ad campaigns and re-target your website visitors using the Facebook Pixel.
There are more women (77%) than men (66%) on Facebook but don’t underestimate how many men use their partners account. Regardless, the penetration among adults is massive.
- 87% of adults 18–29 use Facebook.
- 73% of adults 30–49 use Facebook.
- 63% of adults 50–64 use Facebook.
- 56% of adults 65+ use Facebook.
Source:- Sprout Social
Twitter – Owns the ‘Now’ of Social Media
Twitter has recently re-categorised itself in the Apple App Store as a news channel rather than social media. Regardless, Twitter is a fast paced, succinct way of publishing and consuming information, updates and creating conversations.
Of all the channels Twitter owns ‘the now’ in social media. Typically, people turn to Twitter to follow a breaking news story. The use of hashtags means you can follow multiple sources in one timeline.
The phenomenon of ‘live tweeting’ events gives a tremendous opportunity to engage in the moment.
Though it has less than one fifth (320 million) of the MAU of Facebook, Twitter users are very engaged and check the channel multiple times a day.
Twitter’s greatest strength is the ability to use external tools to help automate processes and analyse your audience and activity.
LinkedIn – The Professional Network
LinkedIn is a great place to establish credibility. Quite often the first social network people will look for you after a meeting or an encounter is LinkedIn; a social media background check if you like. It is still viewed as your online CV even though it has many more uses now.
LinkedIn has almost 400 million subscribers and about 100 million of these would be MAU.
The biggest differentiator between LinkedIn and other social networks is the demographics; LinkedIn is definitely not for the kids.
It also lends itself well to B2B lead generation.
- 30% of adults 30–49 use LinkedIn.
- 30% of adults 50–64 use LinkedIn.
- 20% of adults 18–29 use LinkedIn.
- 20% of adults over 65 use LinkedIn.
Source:- Sprout Social
Not the place for selfies, LinkedIn is a great place to re-purpose content from your website.
Google+ – to keep Google happy
An article on Forbes Magazine website in 2015 highlighted the biggest problem with Google+ is – 90% of the people with profiles on Google+ had never posted publicly.
G+ is the one most popular social network that no-one cares about.
Google has seven services that have 1 billion users or more – Gmail, Search, Chrome, Android, Google Play, Maps, and YouTube. As a result Google+ gets bundled in with other services leading to profiles being created that nobody wants.
Figures vary between 100-300 million MAU’s. While you can dismiss G+ as a non-essential there are definite SEO benefits to having a G+ and/or Google My Business profile.
It is a surprisingly good generator of website traffic and because some have dismissed it as a social wasteland, you probably won’t encounter as much competition as on Facebook.
2nd Level Channels to Consider
It makes sense to concentrate on one, some or all of the four above but you should also consider having a presence on some secondary levels channels.
For example, though the channel itself is has limited functionality Instagram is massive with approximately 400 million MAU’s.
Snapchat is the hot property right now and has really high engagement rates with younger audiences.
Here are some more to consider
- Instagram – (best viewed on mobile) 400 million MAU, owned by Facebook, #1 platform for image sharing.
- Snapchat – (best viewed on mobile) 200 million MAU, the Ghost was once entirely ‘for the kids’ but has been embraced by marketers and brands. Creativity is a must.
- Pinterest – 100 million MAU, for the creatives, big favourite with female users (approx 80%)
- Periscope – (best viewed on mobile) live streaming video platform, requires a Twitter profile to set up
- Medium – blogging platform, great for re-purposing/re-sharing text content
- Tumblr – 550 million MAU, blogging platform, great for re-purposing/re-sharing text content. Has had a resurregnce in 2015/16
- SlideShare – Owned by LinkedIn, blogging platform, great for re-purposing content as presentations
- Quora – Q&A platform, great for re-purposing text content
Social media is a hugely valuable marketing tool. It takes time and testing to get it right. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… And if that doesn’t work you can either get some training or try another channel.
Whether you want to build brand awareness, generate leads or connect with influencers in your industry it can all be achieved through social media.
You might want to take a look at this post on optimizing your Social Profiles.
Or this one, on how to construct a Perfect Social Media Post.
If you’re still up for reading, take a look at this one on Social Media Automation.