Spring is a great time to take stock of your marketing efforts and with the social network world changing and evolving so quickly, this might be an ideal time to take stock of the channels you are currently on as well as consider some of the emerging channels being used by businesses today.
As marketers, we need to stay on the cutting edge of social offerings as this medium continues to influence buyers online. Be mindful of the fact that some of the original platforms have changed since they were launched, and just because Facebook reached your clients 3 years ago, does not necessarily mean it reaches them today. I’ve outlined some top level information about the key platforms to help you evaluate whether these platforms still align with your marketing activities and better focus your social media efforts.
Originally developed in a college dorm room, Facebook was thought to be a social network for young adults to reconnect and keep up with friends by posting statuses, pictures and general life updates.
Currently, 87% of adults aged 18-29 use Facebook, while the next highest age range is 30-49 year olds, with 73%. The percentage of adult users decreases as their age increases. More and more businesses are using Facebook to promote their brand and have a presence on this site. The ability to provide reviews and feedback is crucial for businesses as it acts as an outlet for customer interaction. Some new Facebook features include live video and instant news articles. Facebook is still trying to improve with updated services.
Although Facebook originated from a personal sharing outlet, it has now evolved into a site for businesses and individuals. There are advertising opportunities, and even a source for breaking news.
Established as a business-focused social networking site whose main purpose is to allow professionals to network, LinkedIn has grown to be much more than that.
With the majority of users being between the age of 30-49, it serves as a professional social networking website, and is now the number one site for business development. The second largest group of users is 50-64 year olds. The target for LinkedIn is clearly a much older age range than Facebook. There are LinkedIn Groups, LI Pulse, (which is a daily news feed powered by the professional world) and it also has advertising and strong recruitment capabilities.
There are lead generation tools, advertising opportunities, and various other fee-for-service business opportunities worth investigating for your business development activities.
Today it was announced that posting pictures on twitter would no longer count as 25 characters like it did previously. This shows how social media platforms are constantly changing, as pictures have increasingly become more common on Twitter. Twitter is known as a micro-blogging platform. The majority of users are adults 18-29, with the second largest group being in the 30-49 age range.
As a more conversational and timely platform, Twitter requires a serious commitment to tweet at least twice a day, ideally more. Businesses can get lost in Twitterverse or have very limited engagement without this type of commitment. Remember to have social media protocol here because if a potential client tweets at you, you need to ensure you have the ability to respond instantly.
Originally a personal image sharing platform, Instagram is evolving to cater more to business- driven objectives with Instagram ads and other features. With over 150 million users, 90% of these users are under the age of 35, but the 30-49 demographic is starting to catch up. If your audience skews younger, and your product/service can best be displayed visually, then this might be the platform for your business.
Instagram, like Twitter, is an instantaneous feed that’s updated often, so you’ll need to be active on a regular and planned basis for your content to be noticed.
While the above social media platforms are considered the most popular, Snapchat and Pinterest are also frequently used social media platforms and continue to grow.
Evidently, each platform has a specific audience and purpose it serves. As it seems most platforms are gearing to suit business purposes, I advise you to consider all the platforms out there and make sure you know which one is right for your business.
Be mindful of evolving channels, changing demographics, and your customer needs, because as each social media channel evolves, so too must your marketing efforts.