Social media platforms have proven indispensable for businesses looking to connect with their audience. Whether they’re unveiling new products, updating company policies, or simply building brand awareness, you can bet they’re making a noise on social.
Even companies like Ryanair, BMW and Marks & Spencer have their own TikTok accounts now. But not every platform fits every brand, and what works for them might not necessarily work for you. So, how can you tell where you’d be wasting your efforts? And how can you stay relevant without oversaturating your audience? We take a look.
TikTok is by far the freshest of the social media platforms available today, and its popularity is truly unprecedented – with users reportedly spending an average of 90 minutes per day on it.
This short-form user content platform is worth your attention if:
- You’re looking to appeal to the tech-savvy generation’s short attention span. Nearly 40% of Gen Z say they’re directly influenced by products they see on TikTok.
- Your business depends on mixing things up and getting creative with your content. If you successfully harness trends using the right audio with the right visuals, you can hook viewers quickly. Who knows? You may even go viral!
- You can dedicate the time. Unlike Instagram, the TikTok algorithm can be manipulated to work in your favour. Provided you’re willing to assess what works, what doesn’t, what your niche is, and what your audience wants from you, you can secure your place on users’ ‘For You’ page again and again.
- Your brand could benefit from influencer partnerships. Small businesses can partner with micro influencers for macro results as users flock to TikTok for personalised, authentic content. So, even if a user has just 5,000 followers, they tend to have significant influence over a much more niche audience – and that can be used to promote your brand.
As with every platform, TikTok isn’t without its drawbacks:
- There’s a reason you’ll find the younger generation on TikTok, and it’s because they know what’s hot – and what’s not. If the tone of your brand doesn’t match the typical light-hearted nature of TikTok’s usual content, it might not be the best match for your business.
- When it comes to TikTok, time is money! Along with studying the platform to understand what works, you also need to dedicate time to creating relevant content that jumps on trends – building your strategy around it, rather than just for it.
Bottom line: TikTok can increase your brand visibility on a huge scale if you’re willing to invest time and effort into creating watchable content. But if you’re a more serious brand, don’t risk your reputation trying to be hip.
Instagram’s biggest advantage over its competitors is its visual layout, and that’s just the surface of its branding potential. Miles ahead of Twitter, the platform has a reported 2 billion monthly active users – with an almost 50:50 male/female split.
Your brand should incorporate Instagram into its marketing strategy if:
- Visual content is a priority for you. Incorporating a consistent colour scheme throughout your grid serves to reinforce your branding, making you memorable to your audience.
- You’re an eCommerce brand looking to build conversion. Since the launch of the ‘Shop’ tab in 2020, brands can now set up digital storefronts. It’s here that users can browse, save, and buy your products.
- You want to build genuine connections with your customer base. Along with comments and hashtags generating engagement, Stories and Reels give you an opportunity to develop an authentic emotional connection with potential customers – and even future collaborators.
- You’d benefit from influencer marketing. While we’re on the subject of collaborators, Instagram is one of the best tools for influencer marketing. Influencers can be found across all generations now, so they’re a great weapon to have in your social media marketing arsenal.
- You’re willing to invest in paid ads. In terms of cost and ROI, Instagram offers the best results in the least amount of time – and anyone can advertise on the platform!
But while Instagram is undoubtedly a power marketing tool, it’s by no means perfect:
- Users have grown accustomed to an accessible interface and ready access to information in just a few clicks, so they’re unlikely to go out of their way to view your content. Since the ability to link is only available in a page bio or using the Stories feature, organic reach on Instagram is declining.
- The algorithm rules all, and it’s constantly changing. Those hours you spent capturing the perfect shot and crafting that snappy caption? The carefully curated hashtags? It’s all subject to how Instagram chooses to prioritise content.
Bottom line: Instagram works best for eye-catching content, and with the added bonus of Stories and Reels, it’s also useful for brand storytelling. But if visuals aren’t central to your brand, it may be worth channelling your marketing efforts elsewhere.
Facebook is becoming increasingly known as ‘the boomer social network’ – with a reported 0.8% change increase in 2021 showing that usage has seemingly come to a standstill. Yet it continues to be a worthwhile marketing platform for a number of reasons.
Facebook should be your go-to platform if:
- Insider knowledge from your bigger consumers is important to you. Facebook groups guarantee targeted access to those most likely to interact with your content. One way of looking at this feature is like free market research – you’ve got a live audience with your biggest fans!
- You want your ads to be seen by specific audiences. Facebook allows you to narrow down who you serve your sponsored content to by age, interests, behaviour, and location – enabling you to target a precise slice of the market. You also have the option to reach existing customers or those that indicated an interest by retargeting ads.
- Your posts are often wordy or heavy on links, images and videos. Facebook posts aren’t constrained by length restrictions, and visuals prove very popular on the platform – helping bring your posts to life.
- You’re a small retailer. Like Instagram, Facebook has a ‘Shop’ feature – allowing for smaller businesses to bring their products online more easily by selling directly to their social media base.
Even so, Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild isn’t for everyone. The flip side of using Facebook as your primary social media marketing tool include:
- iOS 14, the most recent Apple update, includes a new policy that restricts businesses from effectively delivering ads to the right audience at the right time, as well as measuring and reporting on consumer behaviour.
- With a lot of millennials and Gen Z migrating to new and shinier platforms, Facebook’s relevance is arguably decreasing. If the majority of consumers you’re targeting are aged 30 and under, it may be time to rethink your social media strategy.
Bottom line: Facebook’s varied format allows for a lot of different types of content, and its ads are highly targeted. At the same time, Facebook is more suited to an older demographic, so your audience simply might not be there.
As a platform specifically designed for business, LinkedIn may seem like the most obvious place to shout about your brand – and for good reason, too. LinkedIn has 810 million active users – with 63% logging onto the network on a weekly basis.
This B2B networking platform will slot into your marketing strategy if:
- You’re keen to connect with people in your industry. LinkedIn gives you the power to narrow searches based on current and past company, company size, location, job title, and seniority.
- Lead generation is important to you. By bringing all of the above information to your fingertips, LinkedIn makes lead generation a whole lot simpler. Even better, the platform notifies you when someone looks at your profile, so you can scope out potential clients and research them before reaching out.
- You’re looking to build brand awareness and establish individuals within your company as industry thought leaders. Topical posts that add value and encourage engagement tend to perform very well on LinkedIn.
But LinkedIn doesn’t tick every box. Here’s where LinkedIn falls short as a marketing tool:
- Although a basic business profile on LinkedIn is free, you’ll need LinkedIn Premium to benefit from more advanced tools like InMail credits and unlimited search.
- It’s by no means the cheapest platform available if you’re looking to advertise on LinkedIn either – with ad costs being much higher than other channels.
- Some sectors are more visible than others. For instance, recruiters tend to get a lot more airtime on the platform, but if you work in the construction industry, you may be less likely to make valuable connections.
Bottom line: LinkedIn is a great platform for networking with fellow industry professionals and engaging in thought leadership by sharing expert content like case studies. With this in mind, it’s worth remembering that LinkedIn is primarily a B2B platform.
Since its inception in 2006, Twitter’s usage and growth have been fairly steady – with a reported 211 million daily active users spending an average of 31 minutes per day on the platform.
As a marketing tool, Twitter certainly generates results. It’s especially useful if:
- You’re looking to cultivate a sector-specific presence. Twitter’s search feature allows you to find out what people are saying about certain topics to analyse sentiment and post accordingly. You can also monitor what your competitors are saying, keeping your ear to the ground at all times.
- Customer service is at the heart of your marketing approach. By monitoring and engaging with customers’ tweets, you can create a positive experience that’s visible to other potential prospects using the platform.
- High-volume posting is useful for your marketing strategy. If you’re looking to post little and often, Twitter’s 280-character count is perfect for a steady stream of content that’s engaging rather than annoying.
Nonetheless, the bird app doesn’t always catch the worm. If you’re hoping to boost your brand’s Twitter presence, it’s worth considering the following:
- The character limit can also prove, well, limiting. With just 280 characters to play with, engaging clients and developing a personality requires dedicating a lot of time and energy to the platform. As with all things like these, you get what you put in!
- Twitter’s ad format is very much interest-based. So, if you’re a niche company whose ‘interests’ aren’t easily defined, it can prove much more difficult to create targeted ads that make impressions.
- Due to the fast-paced nature of the app, along with its ‘trending’ feature, you run the risk of coming across as negative or insensitive if your promoted posts appear alongside news of a major global event.
Bottom line: Twitter is highly useful for listening in on the broader cultural conversation, before you make informed contributions. It’s also the best platform for creating short, snappy content that can be broadcast consistently. The other side of the Twitter coin, however, is the problem of not posting enough.
While cultivating a social media presence is crucial to your marketing strategy, it’s no use if you’re doing it on the wrong platform. The key to choosing the right one is examining your brand goals, and then seeing which platform best serves them.
At MYC, we play Cupid when it comes to social media match-making. And that’s not all – we’ll help you create, grow, and maintain your presence with content that’s creative, consistent, and authentic. Discover the power of a sophisticated social media strategy today.