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How Do I Know Which Social Media to Use?

More than 75% of the world's population over the age of 13 is now engaged one some form of social media or another, as of 2022. More than 93% of internet users are also social media users, and these numbers are only showing signs of increasing further as time goes on. 

Whereas in the beginning of the internet it was directory listings and search engines that made finding content easier, many people use social media sites as a home base for news, marketing content, and staying in contact with friends without ever having to leave the page they're on. This poses an interesting challenge for businesses and marketers alike, because without a little bit of marketing savvy, it can be difficult to know how to thrive in this extremely saturated market.

With limited time and resources, where should your company go to market on social media? While you may have a specific idea immediately pop into your mind, I'd like to posit the following: social media strategy must be highly individualized to the business, its audience, and the target platform's effectiveness. 

Facebook: A Good Catch-All

When you think of the term "social media," it's highly likely that Facebook immediately comes to mind. Facebook, being used by more than 70% of America's population, dominates the market in the respect that the vast majority of internet users have an account of some type. Additionally, Facebook is incredibly useful due to its multimedia nature – you can easily post standalone text, images, videos, story content, and more to attempt to influence potential customers to check out your business. As a result, it can often be a good idea to make sure you've got an established Facebook page and that you are posting in an algorithm-friendly manner and frequency.

YouTube: Dominating in Usage

YouTube's shift from "video sharing platform" to "full-blown social media account" was a subtle one, but one that has had a huge impact in the marketing landscape. People on average spend 100 minutes a day, nearly two hours, watching online video content, and adding your brand to that mix can be a hugely powerful tool. Even if your products don't necessarily lend themselves to long-form video content, there are other avenues you can explore for your brand, such as YouTube Shorts, video ads, and more. 

LinkedIn: A Young, Professional Audience

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. From this platform, you can make posts, publish blogs, and share media, but also apply for jobs and participate in online networking with employers and potential employees. As a business marketing on LinkedIn, you may be interested in drawing the interest of potential business contacts, or you may work to make a great impression on potential new hires. Statistics from LinkedIn show that about 80.4% of the LinkedIn userbase is made up of individuals aged 18-34. More than half of all users have at least a bachelor's degree and about 635 identified as living within an urban center or a suburb. 

Instagram: Expanding Beyond Photo Sharing

If the internet were a newspaper, Instagram might be the "Lifestyle" section. While years ago, Instagram was known for its retro photo aesthetic and was synonymous with taking photos of well-constructed meals, the platform has grown to be a massive media sharing service. Influencers make a living partnering with brands to promote them on Instagram through photography, Instagram Reels, and more. Industries focused on beauty, lifestyle, events, travel, or home will find a strong footing within the platform, but any industry which produces visually interesting content can absolutely benefit from an Instagram account. It's absolutely possible to build a huge following through organic traffic, but Instagram is also a part of Meta's ads network to help you get your message to your ideal audience. 

TikTok: Short Videos with Large Reach Potential

TikTok is a video sharing service whose model largely focuses on the "endless scroll." This platform shows short-form video content that can simply be swiped through with little other distractions in the user interface that make for a perfect recipe for spending a long time viewing video content. This sort of content is especially popular with young people who are interested in hearing what "influencers," individuals who promote a specific lifestyle or aesthetic, have to say. While TikTok's future is uncertain, it can be a highly valuable tool for getting your brand's message across to a prospective audience. By producing your own content or joining forces with an influencer, you can potentially increase your brand's reach far wider than more traditional marketing tools would allow. 

Twitter: A Favorite of Journalists and Companies Alike

Twitter's primary model is built around short-form text content that can be supplemented with images or videos. Journalists peruse the medium because it's a great way to stay up to date with what businesses, interest groups, and politicians are saying as soon as they say it. Companies largely use Twitter for promotional purposes, such as for sending out press releases, providing public customer support, and publishing advertisements. While Twitter is currently undergoing some changes, the model of the network has so far largely remained in-tact. If you're looking for the best place to promote your Corporate Social Responsibility campaign or find out what people are thinking about March Madness, Twitter may be the choice for you! 

Pinterest: Aesthetics and Infographics Galore

Pinterest's usage statistics are unique within the social media landscape; while the userbase includes as many as 433 million users, more than 90% of them are not considered heavy users. Rather than scroll through content idly like one would on a Facebook or Instagram feed, Pinterest's focus on informational content leads users to visit the site specifically when they have a piece of information they'd like to seek out. The benefit of this model, though, is that for a company that produces a product desirable to Pinterest's users, your website can become a consistent resource for information. If your custom-printed fabric company produces a useful infographic on different sewing stitch types, that content could get picked up by Pinterest and end up on the boards of thousands of users who can then visit your website for not only similar content, but out of interest for your products. In addition to an organic posting strategy, your business can also run Pinterest ads to increase the likelihood of your content ending up before the best audience. 

Reddit: A More Traditional Message Board

Reddit's model hearkens back to the bygone days of the Bulletin Board System. Upon a first visit to this social media platform, you'll see that content is organized into "Subreddits," boards that are specific to an interest group, a hobby, or a fan group. While creating a Reddit account to post a link to your company's website over and over is not an advisable strategy, Reddit is used by business owners to join in on the conversation about their brand, and to offer expert advice in your industry. A drill press manufacturer offering advice about using cobalt drill bits for drilling aluminum will only add to buyer confidence and open a point of conversation with other "Redditors." 

Next Steps

The perfect social media strategy is a unique puzzle custom to every business. Where to post, how often to post, and what to post on each platform should be tailored to your specific products, business model, and company culture. Our team at TechnicalRS is here to help you develop a social media plan and begin generating custom content just for you! Contact us today to learn more about our Social Media Management services. 

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