Social media marketing has become a ubiquitous way to increase brand awareness for businesses. Social platforms allow you to connect with and engage prospects and customers, simply and affordably.
As with all facets of digital marketing, the social landscape is in a constant state of growth and flux. Facebook has been a staple of social marketing for almost a decade but, today, most businesses can benefit from branching out to other platforms.
Instagram has proven itself as a social platform with reach and staying power. It has arguably overtaken Facebook as one of the most popular platforms for digital marketing, a trend that’s likely to continue as FB faces a series of ongoing struggles and challenges.
Although Facebook owns Instagram, the platform is very much its own space, attracting more than a billion users to date and growing tenfold in the last five years. A visually based platform that allows users to share photos and videos, IG appeals to all ages but is especially popular among Millennials.
Instagram’s business profile functions provide a variety of robust analytics and insights, allowing you to build brand awareness and engagement.
Attractive to social users in many of same ways that IG is, Snapchat is quickly gaining popularity for marketing in the digital space.
Snapchat has an almost obsessive following among the 13-34 age demographic. In fact, 90% of all 13-24 year-olds use this visually based social media platform, visiting Snapchat approximately 20 times per day or more. Although those in the 13-24 demographic are slightly less-enthusiastic users, this platform should definitely be on the radar of any business who targets Centennial and young adult prospects.
Snapchat’s business and advertiser functionalities are growing, so now may be the time to get familiar with this growing opportunity for internet marketing.
YouTube is rapidly overtaking Facebook in terms of popularity and monthly user statistics. This platform offers some of the most diverse opportunities for businesses to engage prospects and spread brand awareness. It’s also a powerful way to connect to your current customers and maintain engagement.
At its core, YouTube is a video sharing platform but, as the company continues to grow and expand its offerings, it now attracts more than 30 million active users every day. And, with Google as its parent company, you can integrate many of Google’s powerful features and functionalities into your YouTube marketing.
Sticking with the visual theme, Pinterest allows users to save and organize “pins,” which can be anything from simple images to visually represented links. Users organize pin collections on individual “boards,” share pins, browse items pinned by other users and follow users or individual boards.
Think of this platform as a web-based network of bulletin boards where a single click takes you to all the information you need about a particular pin.
From a marketing perspective, Pinterest is a powerful platform, with more than 80% of weekly users having made a purchase based on branded pins. The longevity of Pinterest marketing is also impressive. Pins endure 1,600 times longer than Facebook posts and are 100 times easier to spread than tweets.
The ability to brand pins and facilitate discovery of products and services is impressive, especially with a business account. Pinterest also provides a variety of helpful analytics to help you hone your social media marketing efforts.
Ultimately, however, the right SM mix for your company depends on two primary factors:
1. your business model
2. your target customer
For example, if you sell consumer products, Instagram may work especially well for you, based on its strong visual focus. If you’re marketing a service business, an active YouTube channel can help you demonstrate value to your prospects.
If your target demographic skews toward a younger customer base, stick with the tried-and-true platforms of Snapchat and Instagram. If you’re selling in the B2B space, LinkedIn may be your best bet, unless you can accurately target the specific level of decision-maker you’re looking for. In that case, you can tailor your social efforts toward those characteristics. If you market creative products of services geared mostly to women, Pinterest is a strong contender for your focus.
Unless you have the resources to dedicate to the online marketing effort, however, you’ll be wise to limit your most intense SM focus to those platforms that are most appropriate for your goals. Yes, social is essentially a free (or very low-cost) way to reach customers and prospects but it takes time to build and maintain engagement.
You might also want to consider letting a social media marketing company assist you in your efforts. At Be Locally, we use social media as well as paid advertising (PPC), local SEO, content marketing and a variety of interwoven digital marketing strategies to help businesses reach their loftiest goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can use social media marketing strategies to grow your company.