It’s safe to say that social media, over the last decade, has become an integral part of any business’ marketing strategy. It helps us communicate with our customers, reach new audiences and push sales. In this day and age, not being on social media is suicide for a business. The average adult spends around 95 minutes on social media every single day. There are more than 3.96 billion people on social media, that’s a lot of reasons to build a strategy around your social media marketing.
However, there seems to be a trap many businesses are falling for being present on every single social media platform.
The likes of Coca Cola and Unilever might want to be present on every platform because they’re trend-setting, cultural giants. But what about small businesses that have limited resources and funds?
To put it simply you’ve got to choose the right platforms. Here’s how you do it:
Deciding Your Strategy
The key to social media success is a clear strategy. You must be clear on your approach to what can initially seem like a daunting part of the internet, there are so many dynamics that can create confusion such as algorithms, demographics and monetisation. Your strategy will dictate where you choose to spend your time and energy, who you want to target and with what approach.
A few key questions to consider when planning your social media strategy:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Who is my target audience?
- What are my Key Performance Indicators? (How do I measure success? E.g. I want my content to be seen by 5,000 people per month)
- What is my budget?
- How much time do I have to spend on it?
- What is my target Return on Investment (ROI)? (How much money do I want to raise per £ spent?)
Once you have clear and detailed answers to these questions, the next step will be matching the appropriate social platform with your target audience.
Understanding Each Platform
Facebook is still the engine room of social media, partly because of its 2.9 billion monthly active users, but also because so many other platforms are tied to Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook Inc. that owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and many more.
It’s worth taking note of the demographic of Facebook users – despite its popularity, the percentage of UK users aged 18-24 has declined to 18% in 2022, and 13-17-year-olds make up just 4%. People aged 25-34 are the largest group of Facebook users, with 35-44-year-olds making up the next largest.
So, if your product has a wide-ranging audience, Facebook must be a platform that you’re on. We’d suggest keeping your posts simple but taking full advantage of promoted posts as the platform will help you reach an incredibly large amount of people. This will directly impact your website traffic as it will direct the audience to your website and will contribute to purchases.
Twitter is a great platform to encourage conversation; fantastic in many respects despite some accompanying challenges.
Sharing content with a question can open a door to people that want to communicate with you. It also allows you to react to other people and pages and get involved in important conversations through engaging with hashtags and trending topics. It’s one of the most fast-paced platforms which allows instant communication and genuine customer engagement. This also means that you will have to spend more time on Twitter to match the pace of engagement.
If you want a high engagement rate and want to create that connection with your customers, Twitter is a must. The platform allows you to tick all the boxes of your social media strategy as it will allow you to connect, converse and nourish your audience but also allow you to push sales aggressively.
One note all must remember is that direct website traffic from Twitter will most certainly be lower than Facebook as there are less users and the paid promoted post performance can’t match Facebook’s. The average price per impression can be up to seven times higher than Facebook’s and will on average reach 5 times less people than Facebook.
TikTok is a new and upcoming platform. According to Cloudflare’s 2021 Year in Review, TikTok received more internet traffic than Google last year. This means there are potentially more users you can reach on TikTok than on Google.
With a very simple video editing tool allowing you to create engaging short-form videos, TikTok is ideal for highlights, vlogs and short interviews. The platform has also introduced a shop feature recently which allows businesses to push their products.
If you’re a business that’s aiming to sell products to Gen Z, you must be on TikTok. Even the older generations are moving on to the platform but remember, TikTok content requires effort and time opposed to a simple tweet or post.
Currently, TikTok is the platform to be on if you’re aiming to build awareness within the young generations, however if your main goal is to bring in traffic to your website through the platform in order to increase sales, it may not be the perfect match at this present moment. It may not meet your ROI as well as other more established platforms that have perfected their algorithms and features.
With 2 billion active monthly users worldwide, Instagram is an incredibly popular platform, which means huge potential for visual (image or video-based) content.
The platform started as a photo-sharing app, however, recently repositioned itself as a video platform to challenge its rivals such as TikTok and YouTube shorts. Instagram, like Facebook, has a very wide range of users for demographics which is why it’s a great platform.
It does come with one challenge though: it doesn’t allow you to embed a link into your captions, which makes it more difficult to drive users to your website. You can put a link in your Instagram bio; however, traffic rates are unlikely to be anywhere near what they are on Twitter and Facebook as it requires people to go into your profile and find the link, rather than just clicking on it in your captions.
There is no correct answer to “What platforms should my small business be on?”. This depends on your business targets, marketing strategy, type of product/service you’re offering and timing.
The one ‘correct’ thing to do, however, is to research. Make sure that every single post that goes out on any platform you decide to be on, has a reason. “What will this post achieve for me?” should be a question you constantly ask yourself.
Will it inform my audience? Will it educate them or will it entertain them? What answer you want from those questions depends on what your strategy is, but as stated before, it must have one of those purposes.
Are you interested in finding out what social platforms your small business needs to be on? Contact the team at Digital Glue to find out more.