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Social media is quickly becoming the preferred way to interact with customers. With 70 percent of the U.S. population using at least one social networking site, social media is a marketing avenue you can’t afford to ignore. The social landscape gets more diverse by the day, but you can’t afford to keep up with every platform. The best marketing strategies are keenly focused on platforms with access to the right audience. Take some time to explore the social media landscape before you decide where your business fits on the map.
Image via Flickr by Sarah Marshall
Facebook is by far the most versatile choice for social media marketing. You’re not confined to a character count or required to come up with an image, so you can showcase your marketing campaign in its best light, making ample use of your creativity. Facebook also offers a well-rounded suite of analytics tools that will give you valuable insights into how your audience engages with your business.
Seventy-nine percent of internet users are on Facebook. As of December 2016, the platform reported an average of 1.23 billion active users each day, giving you an impressively broad reach. What was once a networking platform exclusive to college students now engages 62 percent of online adults age 65 and older and 72 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64.
The drawback to this deep pool of users is that it’s teeming with marketing sharks eager to take a bite out of the potential profits. Facebook is a powerful option for social media marketing, but you’ll need outstanding content and a streamlined strategy to keep pace with the competition.
Instagram is essentially a giant online photo album. Posts are primarily composed of square snapshots or short videos with only a brief caption to go with them. If you can make a photo speak more than a thousand words, Instagram is the place to do it. You’ll find that 32 percent of online adults use Instagram. This platform is particularly popular among the younger set. Fifty-nine percent of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use the platform.
If you want to reach this young mobile audience, Instagram is a powerful resource. Enlist a content manager with an eye for photography and a head for hashtags, and you can make a big impression on Instagram.
Pinterest is a highly visual social media site that users typically visit for inspiration on their future purchases. If you’re marketing home decor, craft supplies, apparel, or fitness products, a stunning Pinterest account is essential. Thirty-one percent of all online adults use Pinterest, including an overwhelming 45 percent of women who spend their time online.
The act of pinning is easy, but developing a successful social media marketing strategy for Pinterest is a bit more complex. While you can pin direct links to products, you should intersperse these links with pins to relevant blog posts, such as decorating tips that include your line of light fixtures or beauty tutorials with your makeup products. How-to and DIY ideas are overwhelmingly popular on this platform, so if you’re strong in these areas, pin away!
LinkedIn is best known for its professional appeal, with 50 percent of its users who have college degrees. You can reach 29 percent of online adults with this social marketing channel, but it’s not right for all companies.
LinkedIn is ideal for making business connections, and this platform is where you need to be if you’re in the B2B space. If you’re marketing to stay-at-home moms, however, you’re in the wrong sphere. With its highly specialized focus, LinkedIn is the obvious choice if you want to show authority in your industry, make corporate contacts, and build professional relationships.
Nearly a quarter of online adults use Twitter. Thirty-six percent of these users are between the ages of 18 and 29, and another 23 percent are between 20 and 49. Although tweets get restricted to only 140 characters, this limit doesn’t necessarily make them easy to craft. With so few words, think carefully about what you’re going to say. You don’t have room to explain yourself further, so you need to be crisp and clear with your first go.
One of Twitter’s best features is its prolific use of hashtags. With an inventive hashtag, you can easily follow and engage with your marketing campaigns. Twitter is also handy for offering tips or help in bite-size posts. Its greatest weakness is its brevity and fast pace, so you need to post often to stay relevant in this landscape.
While you shouldn’t overtax yourself when you’re crafting your social media marketing strategy, you don’t need to restrict yourself to a single platform either. Many marketers choose to use a carefully curated choice of social media platforms to complement their marketing strategies. Facebook’s versatility and popularity make it a first choice that’s often complemented with other platform profiles.
Of users who are on Facebook, 39 percent also use Instagram, 36 percent use Pinterest, 33 percent are on LinkedIn, and 29 percent have a Twitter account. Sixty-five percent of Twitter users are also on Instagram, while 57 percent of Pinterest users turn to Instagram as well. Don’t overload yourself with active profiles on every social media platform that exists, but don’t hesitate to keep a presence on the top two or three. A bit of diversity will help you broaden your reach in the social landscape.
Social media profiles are something that every business should maintain in some form. From the all-encompassing landscape of Facebook to the eye-catching posts on Instagram, you’ll find plenty of places where you can edge your way in and begin making valuable connections. Analyze your options carefully to make sure you’re working with the right platforms. Develop smart marketing strategies that cater to the strengths of your chosen social media platforms and make sure you post often to keep your presence relevant. Soon, you’ll be reaping the marketing rewards of the social media space.