When creating social media accounts for your brand or business, you should consider who your target audience is and what platforms they are most likely to be on.
It only makes sense to be active in the same place as your audience.
However, you can’t be everywhere at once and as social media content creation can be time consuming, here are some pointers to help you figure out which social media platforms are right for you.
Facebook: Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated
According to statista.com, there were roughly 3.6 million Facebook users in the Republic of Ireland as of July 2021 with 24.2 percent of those users aged between 25 to 34 years.
While Facebook is like newspapers to the younger generation, it can still be hugely beneficial for companies whose customer profile is a match with the typically older Facebook users.
The ability to include links in Facebook posts should also not be underestimated as it allows you to drive social media traffic to specific product or services pages on your website more effectively than from, let’s say, Instagram.
The Ads Manager might also be a reason to favour this platform as audience growth is hard to achieve organically (without paid ads) on any platform once it becomes established. With Facebook being around for a long time now, the Ads Manager has been constantly developed over the years and is quite sophisticated.
However, you should note that since the iOS 14 update, Apple users have the option to opt out of data sharing every time they download an app. As advertisers rely on this data both for paid search and paid social to make ad targeting decisions, the playing field has changed significantly.
If your product or service is suited to an older demographic, then the sheer number of Facebook users in that age bracket mean that this social media dinosaur is not yet extinct.
Twitter: Keeping it real ( time )
One of the top benefits of Twitter for business is that it lets you share information quickly and start conversations with your target audience in real time.
If your audience find your Tweets of value, then they may like, engage or share quickly and live conversations can begin between many people.
This makes the platform great for any business scenario where there is some level of immediacy.
So if you were holding a live concert, business event or webinar and wanted real time feedback and engagement following each speaker or presentation, Twitter might be your social media platform of marketing choice.
It also provides event organisers with the option of creating a hashtag around the event which people can use to follow the conversation. And with enough conversation around a hashtag, you may even get it trending thereby increasing your reach and audience further – excellent for awareness and brand building.
Twitter is also great for expressing brand personality which helps increase engagement and awareness.
The conversational nature of a Tweet allows you to establish rapport with your audience which can help with growing your audience.
This can make it very suitable for individuals who are very strongly identified with their own brand and where there is a lot of overlap between the person and the brand.
Entrepreneurs, artists, journalists, consultants, commentators on any industry can all build a personal brand following effectively on this platform.
The real time nature of Twitter also makes it suitable for customer service and support.
The platform makes it easy for customers to reach out to brands and provide their feedback or ask for help. Brands can then use this as an opportunity to not only collect vital feedback to improve their products or services but to also deliver the support their customers need.
Instagram: A picture is worth a thousand words, a reel is worth a million
People respond to and remember visuals so when it comes to marketing a brand, Instagram’s all-visual design makes it perfect for very many industries.
In fact, about 40% of customers respond much better to visual content than to written content. This is why Instagram is highly favoured for marketing opportunities.
For industries with good photo or video opportunities such as fashion, food, travel, property, hospitality and many others, Instagram is a great social media platform to leverage.
According to Facebook Ads data from January 2022, Instagram is now used by 2.6m Irish people, compared to 2.7m people here using Facebook. However, the Instagram figures are up 500,000 on six months ago, while Facebook’s user figures have not changed in that time, so if you want to be on the platform which is still growing, the answer is clear.
Achieving the blue tick verified Instagram account helps you establish trust in your brand and also gives your account access to the coveted Swipe Up feature.
Even if you don’t have products which lend themselves to photos, Instagram is great for showing your internal company culture which can also be useful for acquiring new staff.
And while it’s more current than Facebook, you still have the Ads Manager to help manage your promoted posts.
TikTok: It’s more than just dance routines and lip-syncs
I know, I know…
“TikTok? For business? Really?”
However, those exact same words were previously said about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and almost every other social platform.
And it’s not hard to understand why. New social media platforms regularly launch, some take off while others fail. The ones that take off tend to grow exponentially as they are generally providing some kind of new user social media platform experience which differentiates them from other platforms. This in turns creates an early adopter buzz and new users flock to the latest thing.
The platform developers at some point then want to monetize this new audience, if not for themselves then to pay back their venture capitalist investors.
And so not before long, ad options start appearing on the platform and advertisers who would like to reach the demographic who are using the new platform jump on the opportunity to target them.
This might involve having to create content in a different way than before but if that’s where your target audience is, you just need to figure it out.
Organic audience reach tends to start being throttled back at the same time as ad options appear as the platform owners want to you to pay them to reach your audience. Which is why it makes sense to jump on a platform early as it gives you an opportunity to grow an audience organically and quickly and save yourself some ad spend.
TikTok numbers indicate that there’s between 1.5m and 1.8m users per month in Ireland with up to 1m of these female users. So if that’s your target audience, start thinking about how you might work with this platform.
LinkedIn: Perfect for networking
If you’ve decided to focus your attention on just one of the social media channels above to promote your products or services, then choosing to use LinkedIn as a second platform makes great sense.
LinkedIn was built for business networking which makes it perfect for connecting with people in your industry, for finding and approaching new hires as well as identifying potential partners and clients for your business.
LinkedIn Premium will allow you to reach out to potential contacts more directly in a way that is less possible using other platforms.
Depending on your industry, the uptake of LinkedIn by your peers will vary but if that’s where your own desired network spends time online, then you need to be there too.
Like Twitter, the personal nature of your account can help with establishing one-to-one connections.
Company profile pages can also be created but there’s the double-edged sword whereby you are almost providing head-hunters, recruitment agencies and your competitors a ready-made list of all your key personnel for them to target.
Most of us have limited resources and so you need to use them effectively. Your audience is online and so you can’t afford to not have any presence on social media at all.
Hopefully by following some of the direction above, you can identify where your audience is and then decide which platform(s) makes most sense for you to focus your attention on.
By allocating your resources to the platform that should yield the best results depending on where your audience hangs out, you’ll be able to play the social media game and win!