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Which social media channel

Social media is a part of every business today. It’s not a fad or a trend. For many companies, social media is such an essential part that it warrants its own department - something that did not exist a few years ago. There are numerous social media platforms available for businesses today that it can be overwhelming to most small businesses. In this blog, we take a look at the different social media platforms and how businesses can find the perfect social fit for them.

Facebook is the social media platform where your mom is at. The platform has lost traction with younger users who are gradually flocking to newer platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Is Facebook on its way out to join platforms of the past, Friendster and MySpace? Don’t close your accounts yet. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in terms of the number of users. To date, it has more than 1.4 billion. Most users use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family. The platform may not be the most effective medium for your B2B message. If you are looking to build a community or leverage your audience’s circle of influence.

Linkedin is the only social media platform whose majority of users are 30 - 64 instead of the usual 18 - 29. Linkedin is a professional network. It is a channel where users seek to connect with business contacts and share industry-specific information. Most users on Linkedin are those that belong in the high income and education demographics. With the right message, you can target industry-specific demographics and decision makers on Linkedin.

Twitter has seen a significant increase in its number of users. According to pewinternet.org, 23% of online adults are on Twitter in 2015, a leap from 18% in 2013. The majority of Twitter users are under 50 and college educated. Twitter is effective medium when treated as a two-way platform. This means that since is a fast paced channel where users can reach out to businesses real time, there is an expectation that businesses must be engaging and quick to respond.

Instagram is a visually driven platform. According to pewinternet.org, Instagram has seen a significant increase in the proportion of users. It is popular among young adults, where 53% ages 18-29 use the platform, Hispanics and African-Americans. Brands advertise on Instagram through users who have a wide following. What celebrities (and Instagram celebrities) are wearing, eating and travelling to are popular posts on Instagram.

Pinterest is another visually driven social media platform. Its dominant audience are women. 42% of women internet users are on Pinterest compared to male users' 13%. Popular posts on Pinterest are quotes, DIY images and guides, inspiration boards. If you are a company who seeks to inspire and carry products that are can be visually represented, Pinterest is a channel worth looking at.

Out of the box platforms should not be left out of the consideration. There are many emerging social media platforms that are becoming more and more popular to its target demographics. For example, Tumblr and Snapchat has a strong pull on the younger audience. If this is the demographic your business serve and if you are looking for creative ways to present content, these up and coming channels are a fresh way to promote your brand.

Now that we have had a look at the different social media channels, how do we pick the best one for your business?

Describe your ideal customer

Create a description of your ideal customer - age, gender, interests and other factors that are essential to why they need your products and services. This description gives you an insight into their buying habits and which social media channels they are typically signed in to.

Discovery

Take a closer look at each of the channels. Click buttons and explore its pages. Discover its functions. Get to know other brands that use the platform. See what they are doing, what they are posting and how they interact with their audience. From here, you get an idea on how you can use each platform to promote your brand.

Exploring these social media platforms should go beyond the channels, read resources and learn the best practices on how to use the channels in an effective and profitable way.

Goal setting

What are your goals for your business’ social media channels? What do you want to achieve? the goals that you set is an important factor in choosing the channel that is right for you and how you can use them as a medium to achieve it. Here are some of the common goals businesses have on social media:

  • Promote products and services
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Distribute content
  • Use social media as a customer service channel
  • Build the number of your followers

Execution

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. After careful planning, implement your strategy on your chosen social media channels. This brings us to..

Measurement

Measurement is an important step to every business campaign that you embark on. You can extract analytical data from social media channels, your social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer and reports from your website management platform. You can also use third party analytics such as Google Analytics, Klout or Wildfire. Where you get your analytics depends on what is available for each platform and the performance indicator that you want to measure.

Measurement provides you with insights on what determined the success or failure of your social media strategy. Are there steps that need to be adjusted? Are you in the right platform?

There is no such thing as one channel fits all. What works for other industries may not be the best channel for your business. You can also use different channels for different goals. Whichever channel you choose, or if you are using most of what is available, keep a dynamic strategy that is able to keep up with the market.

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About the Author

 

Angelica Manlunas

About Angelica Manlunas

Angelica lives off of coffee and pizza. She spends her time online tinkering on social media, watching short films and poetry slams. Her offline time is devoted to trips to the beach or spending lazy days indoors with a book in her hand. Also, she writes at least 1000 words every day. Email Angelica at angelica.manlunas@transeo.com.au and follow Angelica @ang_transeo.

 


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