We have officially been in the social media marketing age for some time now. Over 97% of marketing professionals are using social media platforms to engage their audiences. But if you are tasked with starting a social media strategy for your company, it could be maddening trying to decide which platforms to use.
The list of available platforms is growing by the day. Well-known vehicles like Facebook are constantly evolving and adding new functions. With a greater demand for a social presence and an overwhelming number of platforms, it can be next to impossible to choose the proper channels. You definitely don’t want to spread yourself too thin by picking too many outlets. You also don’t want to miss out on opportunities to create brand-awareness.
This article will briefly give some insight into some of the core platforms and the pros and cons of each. Hopefully by the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what type of social media strategies might work for your business.
First let’s take a look at social networking. This is the most traditional type of social media. Within this sphere, you have platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These vehicles work for small businesses like bars, restaurants and companies looking to establish an audience of professionals from certain industries. Twitter is a good outlet to interact within the entertainment industry.
Pros: Most used, apps integrate with other software, have photo/video capabilities.
Cons: Usually puts individual user posts higher than business posts in newsfeeds.
Blogging sites like Tumblr and Reddit allow users to post articles about niche topics like politics and pop-culture -especially for companies looking to write, share and get feedback regarding industry-specific articles and ideas. A discussion site like Reddit allows you to share a link or a post about a specific topic on a discussion board related to your industry and see how many users respond. It’s a verifiable metric that you can use to gauge the success or failure of a post.
Pros: Both allow you to share posts, photos and videos about your business brand and pretty much anything else. Linking to outside sites is allowed.
Cons: Posts take longer to craft. “Downvotes” can mean posts may go unseen.
Photo sharing sites are now the 2nd most popular behind social networking sites in terms of total users. Two of the biggest among them are Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram offers up a visual feed with posts showing photographs of short video clips with captions. Users can also make live videos or create stories that disappear after a day. Like social networking platforms, users can interact with others with tags, likes and comments as well as direct messages.
These platforms work well with any company that has something visual to either sell or promote in a crisp, clean manner. Instagram has become a leader in “influencer marketing” with 94% of all influencing campaigns in 2019.
Pros: Platforms like Instagram help with brand awareness. 60% of people say they’ve learned about products or services through Instagram. Allows experimentation with short video content.
Cons: Requires massive upkeep. Instagram requires posting from a mobile app exclusively.
Video sharing sites like YouTube are fast creating a massive impact in the digital marketing empire. Roughly 84% of all marketing pros say that video gives them a healthy ROI. Most agree that video competition has increased dramatically. Adding a video platform to your social strategy could make your brand look very relevant. It will also keep you up to speed with your competition.
Video can be extremely useful within a wide range of industries. The sky is pretty much the limit here. Virtually any industry and any product or service can utilize video social media outlets for anything from promotion to product demonstration. YouTube and Vimeo are the leaders in terms of long-form videos. YouTube is the leader in this respect with over 2.1 billion users as of Q3 2019. Vimeo’s smaller platform is extremely community driven.
Along with YouTube and Vimeo, traditional social networking platforms have begun to embrace video marketing. In the last few years, Facebook has launched Facebook Stories while Twitter has allowed its users to launch live video streams.
Pros: Full-length videos. Website-linking. Analytics. Monetization through ad revenue. SEO.
Cons: Content takes more money to create.
Before you start a campaign, always consider how much time you have, budget, what your goals are, what resources you have and if you have specific staff at your disposal to maintain your agenda.