Every year brings new changes to social media platforms, which can sometimes include where your target audience spends their free time. Now’s the time to investigate what the top platforms deliver, how to use them, and if they work for your brand and your audience.
How to Pick the Right Platform for Your Brand
Before we dive into explaining the different platforms and their most popular features (i.e., why their audiences love them), first you need to know where your brand will best fit in. Ask yourself:
· Do you provide a service or sell a product?
· Do you need visuals to sell your service?
· What’s your target audience like? (Age, gender, occupation, interests, etc.) If you know who your “perfect” audience member is or what they might be like (that is, the person who will buy anything you sell), then you can use that person as your ideal audience model.
· How often do you plan to post content?
· What is the goal of reaching your audience (making sales, leading to a website, getting e-mail addresses, growing a large following, etc.)?
The more you know about what you need to do and for whom you’re doing it, the more effectively you can use social media.
Facebook has the largest worldwide audience of all social media platforms. It allows users to write posts of any length, post videos, photos, gifs, stories (content that vanishes after 24 hours), frames, stickers, etc. Facebook also has groups and messaging features. Importantly, not every audience uses every feature.
Facebook is great for brands that want a strong local following. These pages can grow quickly using targeted ads to reach an ideal audience. They allow for multiple conversation strategies (e-mail subscribe, purchase, learn more, etc.). Diverse content tends to perform well. Posts with lots of comments tend to rank better.
Images are still the bread-and-butter of Instagram. In addition to stories and videos (not to be confused with IGTV), Instagram content is also shoppable (easily executed with Shopify) meaning if someone sees something they like and that brand is set up to sell, the user can swipe right and make a purchase.
Instagram is best for visual brands like travel companies, clothes sellers, make-up brands or advisors, trend setters, etc. Like on Facebook, posts with lots of engagement (comments) rank best and show up on the timeline.
Snapchat is still very popular among younger (18-25) audiences (and some even younger). It allows users to use fun filters, camera features, stories, etc. to exchange ephemeral (read: temporary) messages. Users can save content or “discover” content from brands. Brands can use this to publish whatever they want…it’s typically topical or value-added content.
Snapchat is good for brands who want to connect with millennial audiences using various creative mediums (stories, images, videos, etc.).
YouTube casts a wide net and has a huge variety of audience members. The quality of the video content doesn’t have to be movie studio-quality. The content that performs best on YouTube is instructional or informative. The goal might be signing up for more information via e-mail or signing up for a service offered by the brand.
Like YouTube, Twitter has a large variety of users. The platform allows videos, images, and posts of 280 characters. They also have a stories feature called ‘moments’ that allows the user to create a longer narrative using a series of posts.
Twitter is great for brands that need to reach a lot of audience members in a given niche and that can post frequently. The feed moves quickly, so one post every week isn’t going to make much of a dent. Twitter is useful for brands seeking a national audience.
Most social media platforms in 2018 try to offer a little bit of everything to entice audiences, but audiences know what they like, and that’s where they hang out. If you need help figuring out what your audience is looking for, contact us, The Storyteller Agency, and we’ll help you engage with your audience the right way.