Which Social Media Platform Suits Your Business?

The social media game is no longer as simple as Facebook & Twitter. With technology constantly changing, users demanding greater connectedness and online businesses looking to evolve; we now face the issue: which social media platform (out of the many that there are) is right for me?

Whilst the list of social media platforms could go on forever, I want to keep it short and informative, outlining the pros and cons of the top 6 social media networks for businesses. I’m a fan of lists and tables, so here they are:

Facebook

Pros

  • Ability to reach a large audience – Facebook has over 1 billion users
  • Easy and effective tool for relationship building – customer interaction, brand loyalty
  • Easy measurability
  • Interactions often have a snowball effect (potential to go viral)
  • There’s a variety of paid marketing tools available
  • Different levels of targeting available
  • Increases website traffic

Cons

  • Difficult to identify ghost and fake users
  • Time requirements – potential high workload to maintain a Facebook page
  • High amounts of spam/irrelevant content
  • Ineffective for B2B – Facebook is designed primarily for socialisation
  • Little control over platform
  • Vastly varying conversion rates
  • Ad targeting has the potential to go to the wrong demographics

Tips

  • Add a CTA in your cover photo
  • Customise your Facebook page with apps, and organise the tabs to suit you
  • Promote both lead-gen and non-lead-gen content (healthy balance between advertising and socialising)
  • Monitor and respond to comments quickly
  • Promote the page (in both free and paid ways) to get more likes

 

YouTube

Pros

  • YouTube users are loyal, frequently visiting and spending time on the site
  • Customisable interactive content such as cards are available to complement the video
  • Very little content restriction, allowing free reign on ideas (keep in mind Copyright etc.)
  • Videos aren’t restricted in length
  • Sharing videos is easy for users
  • Affordable advertising through Google

Cons

  • Easy to lose viewers to the competition (suggested videos may show your competitors’ content)
  • Videos need to be marketed in order to be seen – organic growth is possible, but potentially difficult
  • Risk associated with posting content – it will either thrive or fail
  • The YouTube community is full of negative reviews and comments
  • Be warned – viewers may like the video, but not you or your value proposition
  • Lack of channel customisation
  • Targeting relies on accurate tags, which may be grouped with unrelated content
  • Users have short attention spans

Tips

  • Constantly upload new videos
  • Get interactive with viewers
  • Create effective titles
  • Utilise categories and tags
  • Include CTAs
  • YouTube is about content, don’t blatantly advertise or self-promote
  • Consider collaborations with other YouTubers

 

Twitter

Pros

  • It’s the second largest online social network
  • Events happen in real time – all content being posted as it happens
  • Paid advertising available
  • Affordable pricing structures
  • It’s easy to build your audience/follower base with the right posts
  • You have the potential to go viral
  • Twitter is a very open community, and promotes discussion (both positive and negative)

Cons

  • Network has stagnant growth, and continues to decline due to lack of understanding (eg. How do I use Twitter?)
  • Twitter is full of spam and bot automation
  • Occasionally, targeting may reach the wrong audience
  • There is so much content posted every minute, there’s a high likelihood of your content (paid or not) getting lost
  • Limited reporting features and tools
  • The network isn’t suited to all users (and therefore not all businesses)
  • Difficult ROI tracking

Tips

  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Use powerful visuals
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags (don’t use too many)
  • Ask questions and run polls
  • Retweet and reply to relevant Tweets
  • Avoid automation

 

Instagram

Pros

  • Simple, easy to use platform
  • Instagram is a relatively positive social network
  • Businesses are easily contactable with business profiles available (in settings)
  • Business profiles have access to insights and measurability reports
  • Paid solutions are available which include targeting options and visible/actionable CTAs
  • Instagram is a visual network – making it easy to build your brand identity and showcase products
  • It’s a fast growing platform
  • Location tagging and hashtags allow greater reach

Cons

  • Instagram algorithm means organic posts from businesses are likely to get lost
  • Large budgets may be needed to ensure your content is visible
  • Being a “business” on a photo sharing “social” network may not suit your business depending on your industry
  • Minimal room for additional content – captions don’t allow links and shouldn’t be too long
  • Sending people to specific locations can be difficult due to the inability to add links in captions
  • It’s easy for brands to forget purpose of Instagram (and get consumed by the social aspect of the app)

Tips

  • Show what you do in a creative way
  • Try Instagram Stories
  • Take followers behind the scenes
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags (don’t use too many)
  • Collaborate and mention/tag others
  • Build anticipation and offer exclusivity

 

Pinterest

Pros

  • Targeting – skewed towards females
  • All boards are public
  • Long half-life of pins
  • No need to leave comments to engage with others
  • It’s a visuals based network like Instagram – making it easy to engage with users
  • Allows for market research (upcoming trends)
  • Easy to drive traffic to external sites
  • High conversion rates
  • User base steadily growing

Cons

  • Target audience may be too specific
  • Copyright issues everywhere
  • Not business oriented
  • The original content has the potential to be lost after constant pinning
  • Difficult to automate
  • Requires a large amount of content to get noticed
  • No control over the path of your content – it may be used/pinned in ways that conflict the business

Tips

  • Content is more likely to be shared if it has more colours
  • Red images get more repins than blue images
  • Best image ratio is 2w x 3h
  • Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins
  • Don’t use it for self-promotion

 

LinkedIn

Pros

  • Isn’t overly cluttered – the network has specific purposes
  • Precise targeting – main user base is business professionals
  • Depending on the campaign/business, it may be the “perfect match”

Cons

  • Inactive community
  • There is spam throughout site, and there are plenty of… odd… individuals who use the site for different purposes
  • High advertising costs
  • Low click through rates

Tips

  • Plan your campaign carefully – ensure that this is the right audience
  • Keep profile up to date with as much relevant information as possible
  • Post updates and articles regularly

 

Social media services like Snapchat are also worth mentioning, but I’ll outline whether or not you should set up Snapchat for your business in a later post.

Have questions? Please leave a comment below, or contact me using the contact form.