Congratulations. You have a business and know your brand strategy. Great. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
Now that your self-esteem is raised, let’s lower it. Since only you and your great grandma know of your brand, you’re in need of some brand awareness. There is no better way to reach out to your target audience than through social media. However, between all the blogging, tweeting, pinning a kale recipe that we know we’ll never try and “Instagraming” your outfit of the day (or #ootd), which one do you use? Several? All? Or none and just cry yourself to sleep?
Yes, you should have 3-4 different platforms, but which ones will help you determine the focus of your brand. To help you, below is a list of the most popular social media platforms (in alphabetical order to practice your ABCs) and what/when they’re best used for.
This is one of the best ways to generate organic traffic through search engine optimizations (in case you forgot what SEO meant), as 77 percent Internet users read blogs. Also, 61 percent of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on blog post, which is quite influential. The key is to give advice, insight and note coming-of-age trends.
River Pools and Spas does a great job of showing off their knowledge of pools and spas through informing the reader about topics such as an earthquake’s impact on a flexible fiberglass pool.
With 1.28 billion monthly active users, Facebook is still the leader in the social media platforms, but their user demographics is significantly changing. Originally intended for college students, 72 percent of adults are now visiting Facebook monthly. Now It’s important for almost all businesses to have a Facebook page, however the most common reason determined to unlike a page is uninteresting content. So be sure you’re active and engaging, especially since 75 percent of of the engagements occurs in the first five hours of a post.
The owner of bareMinerals, Bare Escentuals, does a great a job of engagement as their fans are driving conversations with posts, likes, shares and comments.
A site based on showing your circles posts you share, information about you and bringing together all your Google product accounts, 540 million active users dominate Google+. More than half of the interactions between a Google+ user and a brand is positive. This is probably one of the more underestimated platforms, but definitely something to be considered with its possibilities. Especially since there’s the possibility to do a live chat, which automatically adds to your connection with your audience.
Global communications and technology company, Alcatel-Lucent, does a great job of utilizing all of Google+’s products. They have live chats, videos from recent conferences and constant updates of posts relating to their brand.
With over 200 million active users, Instagram is all about connecting a community visually. With their addition of video, this allows businesses to create 15-second engaging videos for their audience to connect. 23 percent of teens alone consider Instagram to be their favorite social media platform, which can help boost your engagement incredibly if that’s your target audience.
The high-end designer Burberry incorporates video and images seamlessly from their runway shows to their behind-the-scenes design. The video below features a dance number in the windows of their Shanghai building.
Known as the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn’s 187 million active users are a force to be reckoned with. This is a great place to not only post your job applications (44,000 job applications are filled out daily), but to also create groups among colleagues that you may not see everyday.
Adobe is a great example of creating community and availability on LinkedIn. They provide different pages according to their audience – whether it be their Creative Cloud or Marketing Cloud, Adobe continues to have a two-way conversation with their determined audience.
A platform dedicated to admiring fashion, food, do-it-yourself tutorials and dorm room designs, Pinterest is predominantly used by women (80 percent to be exact).
Oreck (yes, the vacuum), does surprisingly well. Not because they post interestingly angled pins of their vacuums sucking up the world, but rather an adorable kitten sitting on a recently vacuumed carpet. There’s the best of both worlds: proof their vacuums work and a cute kitten for the Pinterest ladies to “aw” and “ooh” over.
Dedicated to sharing your point of view, Snapchat has 30 million active users sending 1-10 second videos and seflies to their friends constantly. As 400 million Snapchats are sent daily, you might want to consider creating an account, but how would you do it? The World Wildlife Fund #LastSelfie Snapchat campaign raises awareness about endangered species. It’s extremely simple, but ridiculously powerful and effective.
A quirky and predominantly young micro-blogging platform (67 percent of users are under 35), Tumblr is not for the faint-hearted. A big user on gifs (an endless looping image), Fiat recently did an advertisement playing on that idea called, “Endless Fun.” If your target audience is young (a teenager to be exact) then this would be a good platform to consider.
Dedicated to sharing ideas and information, Twitter is dominated by 255 million active users. Although you can tweet images and videos, Twitter is still content-based. Also, keep in mind that 77 percent of accounts are outside the U.S.
This is a great platform for a two-way conversation among followers.
For example, several of the car brands (Chevrolet, Ford, GM and Honda) are tweeting at people who post pictures of their new Camaro, answer customer questions or clarify misconceptions.
More than 1 billion users are visiting YouTube where originally-created videos are uploaded and viewed. YouTube is the #2 search engine following in the giant footsteps of Google. With 80 percent of traffic outside of the U.S., this distribution platform can help your channel reach a large audience.
Several companies and talented individuals create series to keep a consistent audience coming back. Comedian Jenna Marbles gives brash advice and makes fun of herself and celebrities to her 13 million (and counting) subscribers. One of her most infamous series is “What Girls and Guys Do.”
Owned by Twitter, Vine has over 40 million users. Known to be the “best way to share life in motion,” these looping six-second long videos can be some of the funniest six-second moments of your day. 60 percent of Musicians’ Vines are retweeted while the weekends are most popular for sharing Vines.
The U.K.-based animation studio, Animate & Create, did an effortless and effective job of creating an old-fashioned flip book. It showcases their talents, but also adds some delight to your Vine feed.
At STANCE, one of the ways we achieve our purpose of elevating meaningful brands is by leveraging technology to create brand awareness. One of our popular service offerings is Social Media Management which takes away the pain and mystery of managing your own social media accounts. We do all the above for you.
Backed by research, we create a powerful social media marketing strategy that will ensure your brand reaches the audience it’s meant to serve. Find more information about how Social Media Management can benefit your business.
So the key is to never forget your target audience. Hang out where they hang out. If you don’t have customers on Vine, then don’t get one just to get one. It’s a waste of your precious time.
Also, to prove the point of having more than one social media platform, each of these profiting companies listed as examples have at least two other active accounts. So [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]expand your brand awareness from just you and your grandma, to everyone and their grandma.[/inlinetweet]