Every small business has a specific voice and audience. Knowing where your audience is online can help you reach that group with little to no cost on your part. Thoroughly understanding the top seven social media platforms and their typical audiences enables you to navigate the best options.
Marketers should never stretch their social media marketing efforts to every channel. Instead, narrow your efforts to the sites with the majority of your target audience and directly market to them there. That way, you can focus on reaching the right people and spend less time on a platform that will prove to be more harmful than helpful in the long run.
Advertising on Facebook is nothing new and is one of the (if not the) most common forms of social media advertising today. Roughly 2.8 billion active monthly users are on Facebook. As 2020 came to a close, Facebook accounted for over 60.5 percent of monthly social media visits. Facebook is massive, making it beneficial for companies to reach a significant portion of their target market.
Some other benefits include:
- Getting basic information to your consumers
- Giving users insight into your company and employees via video and pictures
- Communicate and interact with current and potential customers
- Getting real-time feedback
- Directing traffic to landing pages, products, or your website
Facebook ads allow you to advertise through their platform to people who aren’t visiting your page. Their ads have a simple setup and can be tailored to your specific goals. It also has analytics capabilities for you to measure your success and target your specific audience.
With approximately 740 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, they're the world's largest professional network. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for press releases, promoting to the industry, and developing yourself as a thought leader for personal branding.
LinkedIn’s focus on professionals particularly benefits B2B companies since they can advertise through the platform. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic system for finding top talent for growing your company.
Twitter currently ranks as one of the leading social networks worldwide with nearly 192 million active monthly users. The platform gives you a direct line to engage with your customers and personalize your interactions with them. You can join relevant conversations to get your name out there and (hopefully!) go viral while you're at it.
Twitter ads are also incredibly underrated as some of the highest performers among social media platforms. Engagement rates for Twitter ads are regularly between 1% to 3%, which is incredibly high. For comparison, Facebook ads have an average click-through-rate of 0.119%. People spend 26% more time viewing ads on Twitter than other leading platforms.
Instagram was a huge success almost immediately upon its launch. It’s a fantastic platform for reaching your younger audience since 75% of users 18-24 and 57% 25-30 use the app.
With its expansion into video content, it’s only gained further momentum, considering 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Instagram also moved directly into eCommerce so their users can purchase items directly from the app instead of going to a different site to make purchases.
Not to mention, there's a lot of value to putting visuals to your brand. It’s a fantastic way to build your brand's creative personality to resonate better with your target audience.
Pinterest's current demographic trends towards younger women, but that’s steadily changing with its growing base of men joining the app each year. Specific focuses on this platform include lifestyle trends like home decor, crafts, and other artistic endeavors.
However, the main benefit of Pinterest is that it has some of the highest return on ad spend of any platform. Businesses can regularly expect to get a $2 return for every $1 they spend on advertising. Not to mention that 52% of Pinterest users find items to purchase through the app.
Reddit is an odd pick for social media, but it is a fantastic source for market research and getting to know your audience on a more personal level. Due to the segmented and engaged nature of subreddits, you’ll be able to reach some of the most involved members of your audience. While Reddit does allow some advertising options, promotion isn’t as much of an option. Instead, you can use it to engage with your community and audience to learn about new trends quickly or subtly promote yourself by posting finished projects to their relevant users.
Depending on your industry, you can offer expertise to people looking for advice on doing home construction, crafts, or even professional leadership. Giving advice feels more organic since it isn’t primarily a sales technique.
YouTube's massive viewer base and Google backing make it an incredible tool for knowledge as much as entertainment. Instructional videos or how-to video searches are increasing by 70% per year. Educational videos demonstrate significant expertise in your industry. More than 100M hours of how-to content have already been watched in North America in just a year. Google’s SEO searches also apply to YouTube, making content highly accessible.
There are different benefits to posting videos on YouTube and using their advertising. Posting videos can help provide consumers with helpful and entertaining content, while advertising can help get your brand out there to the right people. In the end, you'll want a mix of the two.
Find the Right Ones
While all these platforms have their key advantages, it's best not to be on every social media platform. Instead, focus on the few where you know your customers can be reached rather than putting so much time, effort, and money into trying to reach them on channels they aren't likely to see. When you work with a media partner and narrow down your efforts, you increase local awareness and foot traffic more efficiently.