By Pei-Ming Tokuda, Marketing Intern at Heinz Marketing
In the age of social media, it’s no secret companies need to be active on these platforms so not to be left behind. One amazing aspect of social media platforms is hey are free and reach millions around the world. As social media continues to grow, it can be hard to navigate each platform and get your brand noticed by your intended audience. At first you may feel inclined to use them all, but each platform can cater to different types of marketing strategies.
Here is a breakdown of the most popular social media platforms for businesses and how to use each to maximize the exposure of your brand.
With over 2 billion active users on Facebook, it’s no surprise that this platform is the most popular for businesses. Every industry is on Facebook, so it’s important that your brand has a presence on this channel. It also deserves its hype, because Facebook has all the social media sharing capabilities such as supporting text, images, and video sharing. Facebook is a great platform to grow brand awareness, engage with your audience and to start online conversations.
Instagram is a popular photo and video sharing platform, so it’s very visually stimulating. As the saying goes “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” so this platform is a valuable tool for building your brand’s identity. For a B2C company, it can be used to show your products and encourage your customers to do the same as a form of advertising. B2B companies can share company culture or company news that is related to their brand’s image.
Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform known for real-time updates. This platform should be used to create a voice for your brand. With just 240 characters allowed per tweet, companies can keep their audiences up to date and engaged. Twitter demands more active participation than other platforms due to the quick pace leading to constant change. It’s important to publish original content on a regular basis to stay relevant and keep your audience’s attention. Twitter is most useful for businesses related to entertainment, sports, politics, or marketing, but other businesses will thrive on Twitter, as well.
LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals. It’s most useful to B2B companies but that does not mean B2C companies cannot find it useful. LinkedIn is like Facebook where you can connect with individuals but also share text, images, and videos to a wider audience. Companies can also use LinkedIn to find potential employees or reach out to B2B prospects. LinkedIn also has a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.
Although it may not seem like a social media platform, YouTube has over 1 billion users around the world and it can be a great marketing tool. As the number one video sharing platform, companies can create educational videos on products such as “how-to’s”. YouTube also expanded on the idea of using influencers that are not your run of the mill celebrities, instead these are regular people who make videos from their bedroom which makes them more relatable to their audience. Using influencers is a great tool because they are trusted by their audience so, their opinion holds high value.
Snapchat allows users to send photos and videos to each other that are deleted after opening or after 24 hours. Some believe Snapchat is just a messaging app, but it has so much more to offer. Your brand can create its own account and post updates which people can subscribe so it is important that posts are fun and engaging. Snapchat also has a filters and geo-tags and companies can create their own so those in the area are allowed to use it which can be a powerful promotional tool.
TikTok is the newest social media platform that launched in 2018. In just two years, it has surpassed Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram in users. With 1.2 billion users worldwide, TikTok is the platform companies should start pivoting towards if they have not yet already. Comparable to Instagram, TikTok is a video sharing platform that allows for 15 seconds to 1-minute long videos. Although it does not yet have a reputation for being a marketing platform, it has great potential to be in the coming years, especially if your target audience is Gen Z. Businesses can get started by creating their own account and positing videos to create the image for your brand with fun and creative content. Like YouTube, connecting with influencers that relate to your inustry, especially B2C companies, because they have, for a lack of a better word, great influence in the TikTok community.
With so many different platforms out there, selecting the right one for your brand is important. Understanding the type of content and message your brand wants to put out will help with this process. The takeaway is that with 60% of the world’s population spread out on these social media platforms, they are a great marketing tool to reach your target audience and grow your business if you understand how to navigate them.
To dive deeper, here are a few resources to take a look at: