One of the hardest decisions as a start-up or small business, is how to direct your limited cash and manpower to better market yourself. Knowing which social media platform is best for your marketing needs may seem bewildering – but with a little insider knowledge, you’ll be just fine!
Some homework done up front can save you a lot of wasted time and costs. Zebra 360 Online walks you through the merits of the best known social media channels, so you can select the best social media platform for your brands marketing.
This is easily the biggest of the ‘Big Three’ of social media platforms. Although, if you’re hunting a millennial audience bear in mind that stats tell us that a little under 10% of their users are under 24. It is, of course, highly recommended to maintain a strong presence here regardless of who, or what industry, you’re targeting. Think at least a well-designed and informative company page, and their advertising platforms get undeniable views and results too, so if you’re looking for somewhere to start, this has to be it!
Why does Facebook work for social media? It has both number of users and an entrenched place in people’s daily lives and pop culture to thank for that. It ranks highly in search engines, gives your brand an approachable, human face and great advertising opportunities you can tailor to specific demographics. It also, of course, encourages organic interaction with your happy clients. It’s a must-have for any company, but advertising campaigns are particularly useful to those aiming for a slightly older market.
Tip: Claim your page’s vanity URL for better visibility (and remembrance) among customers
Another one of the ‘Big 3’ social media platforms, Instagram has fabulous international potential reach – think 500 million users and climbing daily. At first glance, the lack of ability to post external link may seem like a problem, but it’s nothing a solid marketing strategy can’t conquer. It’s an amazing brand builder, has its own influencers who may be harnessed in your favour, and its visual appeal allows for true creativity in your social media marketing. It’s also ‘where all the cool kids are at’, so a perfect way to capture the attention of younger demographics. Although, don’t get us wrong – what with its ever growing popularity – the we’re seeing more and more ‘older’ people ‘hitting up the Gram’ in 2018 – so it’s another must for 90% of the brands out there.
What’s Instagram’s allure? Like Facebook, it’s now part of pop culture. It’s a quick & simple, daily check-in for the young and happening. There’s no denying it appeals to the very visual orientation of human nature either – we like to post, share and save images that inspire us and harnessing that for your brand has amazing power. BUT remember – it’s all about the beautiful images and video content – so If you have the capacity to post beautiful content easily, Instagram is a must for you.
Tip: Make sure you switch to a ‘business’ profile rather than a personal one. It’s easier for clients to get in touch and you get extra analytic tools to see what’s going on with your content.
Do you have a story to tell? Instagram launched the ‘Stories’ feature as a challenge to Snapchat… and won hands down. Social media already gives brands an intimate connection to their followers that traditional advertising can’t provide- stories takes it a step further. Allow digital storytelling to boost your brand and draw your clients into a better, more personal connection with you. Broadcast multiple pics as a reel or slideshow through the day, and customise them with your brand personality through doodles, masks, filters, stickers and more.
Even better for businesses, Instagram Stories allows you to tag and link profiles, driving traffic for you. If Instagram is the right demographic for you, then you simply must get in on the stories action to take it a step further. The stories disappear after a day, so allow you a space to explore more informal, humorous and fun situations that you don’t necessarily want on your profile forever, but which can draw your potential clients into feeling comfortable with your brand – a critical key for a Millennial demographic.
Tips: People frequent Instagram to feel part of a community and to be an engaged member there. Help your customers communicate with your brand with this in mind.
Once nothing more than a glorified CV sharing service, LinkedIn has grown and grown. Now with 380 million users (growing daily), it can be considered the largest professional network globally. With a more formal tone than many other social media platforms, and access to great resources as well as the ability to drive a slick corporate image, it may well have exactly what you need. It’s the perfect venue for the more serious side of your business, and companies with a traditional corporate flavour that want to connect with other professional markets.
LinkedIn allows you massive scope for engagement and allows you the perfect space to keep people updated on company news and updates, future events and so much more. Connect with the influential professional in your industry and meet future customers. It’s also easy to tailor your wanted target audience for more advertising specificity. When it comes to lead generation, LinkedIn is king, so it’s well worth consideration all around.
Tip: LinkedIn should be a team effort for your company. Get employees, colleagues and clients alike to help boost your visibility, start conversations and keep you in the public eye.
The last of the social media ‘Big Three’, Twitter is the ultimate social media platform for starting conversations. It’s not without its issues, with trolling, however, so don’t hop on this one randomly and engage pointlessly. Used as part of a proper marketing campaign, however, it can be priceless.
Twitter stands out simply because it’s a great point to engage with your clients and generate interest through its short-form message service. You have blow-by-blow access to your clients and those who are speaking about your brand, and the perfect opportunity to engage, shape perception, drive conversation, sway people to your brand and even entertain them.
Tip: Don’t be too tempted to hop on popular #hashtags for the day just ‘because’… it’s backfired for a few companies over time! Rather focus on your niche audience and what’s trending among them before engaging with a ‘special day’ hashtag – or any hashtag at al, for that matterl.
Like Instagram, YouTube offers your brand something utterly unique – making it another worthwhile social media platform for your marketing. This video content sharing service allows you to offer in-depth glimpses into your products, your service ethos and anything else relevant to your industry to the man at home. Show clients how to use your products, get influencers to unbox and review them, provide simple tutorials and fun takes on your industry, and watch your followers rack up. It’s links to Google via ownership don’t hurt either.
YouTube offers you a way to stand out from the crowd, and the perfect platform to entertain your clients as well as make them feel they have a real place in your business ‘world’. YouTube are spending heavily to reinvent themselves as the new alternative to TV, and streaming is becoming easier and easier everywhere. Consumer demand for video content is rising, and there’s a perfect (marketing) storm brewing here, so this is a hot new arena for clever marketing to capitalise on and get themselves noticed first.
Tip: Video is the ‘next’ big thing. So, you need to stand out! Always try and pique the interest of consumers with unconventional, attention attracting content.
Inspiration boards have long been part of our motivation strategies. Pinterest took this idea, digitised it, and made something truly special out of it. Now you can add it to your marketing toolbelt, too. Another perfect platform for creative, interest- and awareness-driving visual media, Pinterest has a special allure it’s well worth considering.
If you’re in a female-focused industry Pinterest may well become your secret weapon, as it has significant reach in this demographic. The numbers are somewhat evenly split between old and young, too. For fashion, art, home décor, food and other image-vivid posts, Pinterest is a great source of target traffic. Add to that the new ability to drive direct purchases via a buy button, and you could be onto a brand-boosting winner.
Tip: Although there is no advertising opportunity in South Africa just yet – actively working on your content can greatly boost your profiles visibility. Apply for ‘rich pins’ by verifying your site, so you can better display content to attract attention.
Matching your specific needs to the service and its demographics is key to determining the best social media platform for your marketing. It can be a difficult process if you’re unfamiliar with how to sort their actual pros and cons from the hype around them, though. You can rely on Zebra 360 Online to help you focus on the right areas for your business, so why not get in touch today and let us help you drive the results you want?