Which social media platform is for you?

As the world stands today, social media is an inexpensive way to keep in touch with your audience. If you’ve had a look around you can see that there are a great number of different social applications and networks (if you want the very long list of social media sites have a look on this Wikipedia page. This is useful as it has numbers of registered users on each platform and Alexa page rankings included!).

These all have different audiences and fulfil a different ‘need’ for their audience and for the people posting. Here’s our short list of the top 3 types of social media including an example of what platform this could be:

  • Social networks – people and businesses, connecting with people
    (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…)
  • Media sharing networks – for sharing images, audios and videos
    (instagram, YouTube. Tiktok…)
  • Discussion forums – for people and brands to share views and news
    (Reddit, Quora…)

We have accounts on most of the above (and more), but obviously to publish content on all these would be a full time challenge. It may seem overkill, but being up to date on these networks and sharing your knowledge, helps to build social currency. Social Currency is all about reputation (much the same as brand is) it’s a measure of your influence on both social networks and offline, and the degree to which your output is then shared by your target audience and others.

Let’s look at a few platforms then…

So, let’s skip through each of these platforms one by one, giving a very brief flavour of what each network is about, who the audience is and what sort of messages work well on each. One thing to bare in mind across all platforms though is to remember that ‘social media’ is very much social. Don’t spend all your time talking about yourself and your business. If possible we always recommend the 80:20 rule:

  • 80% posts related to your business area (even vaguely), but not directly promoting it
  • 20% can be promoting your business more specifically, but still make it ‘more conversational’

LinkedIn – In the past company pages within LinkedIn used to be viewed primarily as HR landing pages for people looking for jobs. LinkedIn as a whole used to be where professionals could find their next role – through making relevant connections. A lot has changed, and although this is still how some people use it (though better than before) the network is also becoming a great place to help drive business from. It’s also becoming a platform to educate your audience of your products and services and in turn, raise brand awareness.

This is very much a professional to professional network, with men slightly more likely to be LinkedIn users than women (57% of LinkedIn users are male*). Here is where a specialist business of service can get technical with your chosen audience, you can talk shop or post articles direct from your website without any changes.

Facebook – On the face of it, it is great way for people to keep in touch with family and friends. It is social media for everyday use. In terms of a business, it can be great for building brand awareness, after all Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Remember to post links that interest people though – a post about an accountancy firm will stand out between two pictures of kittens acting cute! – not in a good way.

Remember to post links that interest people though – a post about an accountancy firm will stand out between two pictures of kittens acting cute! – not in a good way.

Facebook can drive traffic to your website through posting links and by targeted ads. Ads (which cost money) can get your brand in front of a very specific audience – target specific demographics, based on location, age, gender and interests. To gain traction with your audience, it is best to post fun items in amongst your more business focussed elements.

Twitter – is a platform that provides access to millions of users (330 million monthly active users*) all over the world. It tends to be more popular with ‘educated’ individuals. I was once explained that Twitter was like walking into a noisy pub and being able to listen in on each of the conversations (at the time, in 140 characters).

The challenge with Twitter is that it is very much a global platform. Your followers could be all over the world, very few of them (if you’re a local business) could be your target audience. Through using hashtags you can help the transition from global to local. Though it is very much dependant on your audience using them too. If you market to these people appropriately, then you stand to gain a great amount of exposure.

Using a post scheduling platform may help make using Twitter more manageable as the more you post the more audience you gain. Remember – liking, mentioning and commenting on other peoples tweets is a simple way to connect with other users.

Instagram – is a key platform for younger audiences (67% of people ages 18-29 use Instagram*) and is consistently adding new functionality for business users. It’s an extremely visual platform, in fact it’s pretty much all about imagery. As it has become more and more ubiquitous, every small business should consider using it.

You should share images of your products in a setting that would be more reflective of your audience. Short videos are ideal of your products in use. Give people a taste of your world, but as well as this, reflect their world.

Consider using Instagram Stories, where you can post recorded videos, still photos, live videos etc. As with most platforms liking, mentioning and commenting is a simple way to connect with other users. Also the use of hashtags is again a great way to help your target audience to find content.

If you’re going to create content, try and think about what are the sorts of YouTube videos you watch, why do you watch them, what makes them keep you engaged to the end?

YouTube – Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has become the goto platform for video content (YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users*). Nearly 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute! A key thing to think about is your audiences age? (71% of people aged between 26-35 use it*).

If you’re going to create content, try and think about what are the sorts of YouTube videos you watch, why do you watch them, what makes them keep you engaged to the end? Remember though, a regular YouTube viewer only spending on average, 11 minutes and 43 seconds per day* on the platform, so it’s best to keep content on the short side.

As well as the usual likes, links and commenting, think about creating playlists – organise (yours or others) content through a list (perfect for retail or services). Another way to help grow your channel is to share videos regularly on your other media.

TikTok – this is a relative new kid on the block. Launched in China in 2016 is is now one of the fasted growing social platforms in the world. With an audience now of more than 800,000,000 active users (yes, that is 800 Million) TikTok’s mission is “to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and precious life moments, directly from the mobile phone. TikTok enables everyone to be a creator, and encourages users to share their passion and creative expression through their videos.”

TikTok is about making and viewing video content. Creativity and individuality are key.

Bascally, TikTok is about making and viewing video content. Creativity and individuality are key. Videos can be uploaded or created from within the app, with users also having the option to live stream. From within the app users can add visual filters, time effects, transitions, stickers, emojis, and much more.

The target audience really is the under 30’s (Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 26% between 18 and 24). Marketing was slow to jump on the TikTok band wagon, but now brands like Nike, Pepsi, Lush (already having 117k followers) and Skittles have open accounts. It has even got to a point where online giants: Buzzfeed are recruiting youngsters to cover the US elections on TikTok!

The good news is that if you’re going to create content, there most definitely an audience, though it may be in India (which accounts for 43% of new TikTok users) or China (in 2019 80% of the time spent on the platform was from Chinese users). However this is a platform with is still growing, get in there early and you could reap the rewards.

As with other social media, make sure your content is fun or if your brand can stand it – outrageous. Take full advantage of the in built advertising possibilities: Infeed native content (like in snapchat), Hashtag challenges (takes some of the stress out of building a hashtag following), Brand takeovers (take over the TikTok for the day) or Branded lenses (like the 2d and 3D lenses within Snapchat).

Reddit has 85 Million global monthly users, with 64% of them under the age of 30.

Reddit – First off, Reddit dislikes marketers. That said, if you can find a way to market to the mainly male audience it can reap rewards. There are only two reasons someone goes to Reddit: to get information or to have fun. And they go there in their droves. Reddit has 85 Million global monthly users, with 64% of them under the age of 30.

One thing that will help is to chose a ‘subreddit’ that links to what you do and get to know the users there. Ask a question, be helpful or just make people laugh, but become part of that community. The more you get to know them and the more they get to know you the better relationships you’ll build and the more attention your business will receive. It’s a tough audience, but could be great in the long run.

Quora – is basically a site where people ask and answer questions. These questions could be anything, from the serious: What is the impact of logo design on brand recognition?, to the abstract: What does the Coke logo mean?. Everything has to be one of the two. With more than 300 million unique visitors every month, Quora is a weighty platform.

In some ways the same as Reddit, Quora relies on an upvoting system. The more people that upvote your answer, the more exposure your answer gets. The great thing about Quora is that every answer is searchable through Google, allowing your answers to link back to your website. The thought leadership opportunities in this platform are immense.

What next?

Well, the above are only a few of the platforms out there. Really which ones you go for is up to you. Have a look around each platform, see if there are other companies that are like yours visible, see if the tope of people that you see as your audience are visibly engaging on the platform. See the sort of content that’s being produced. This will help you come up with content of your own. Make it as original as possible and make sure it ‘feels’ like your brand. Remember though, companies may have a whole team behind their posts – so don’t be too hard on yourself. Think of your audience, make a plan, and where possible stick to it – plans are always meant to be broken though – so be flexible and think on your feet!

And if that’s not possible – give us a call 🙂

Puur doesn’t just deliver award winning design solutions, we give advice to ensure that design, advertising and marketing are part of a successful business strategy. Our decades of experience of being both the designer and the client give us a unique perspective on the world of design. We know that the work we do is a tool to bring a reaction, our work really does need to answers a need. Give us a call today to chat over how we can help.

*Facts and figures courtesy of The 2020 social media demographics guide
Take a look at our blog on Bloglovin you can also see info on us on the Thales Directory
Images from LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

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COVID Update (October 2020)

Whilst the world is still in the grips of this terrible virus and Essex is a tier two area, Puur is still working. Schools are still back and lockdowns are still getting more restrictive again, so we’re still home working. However, we can and have been doing all the work we usually do.

Obviously if you have any branding related projects we'd love to chat (over Zoom). In the meantime stay safe.

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