Popular Social Media Platforms — A Comprehensive Guide to Success
Social media. Two words we hear on a daily basis and something that every business should be utilising. Social media can be very confusing and is often something that we take for granted in the world of Marketing. That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to different social media platforms and how to get the most out of them.
Let’s start with a classic. Facebook, or as it’s more recently known, Meta. Whether you love it or hate it, it can be a great place to promote and share your business. Facebook has a very loyal audience and, although some (particularly Gen Z and Millenials) now favour other platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, it still has over 1.93 billion daily active users (Statista, 2022b).
Facebook offers the option for both organic and paid social posts, both of which are great options for brand building. The paid option can be particularly successful if you have a budget to put behind it and a specific audience to target.
If your business has a website, you can implement a ‘Facebook Pixel’ which tracks the activity of your ads in relation to your website. This also allows you to ‘remarket’ — for example, if someone has visited your website but hasn’t purchased anything, you can choose to show your ads to them through a remarketing list.
Ideal for B2C transactions, Facebook is a beneficial tool for eCommerce, retail and local businesses. There is real potential for business growth on this platform as there is the ability to reach millions of users, all somehow related to your product or service, whether you are using organic or paid social posts.
In terms of social media platforms, TikTok is like the popular younger sibling. Previously known as Musical.ly, it’s primary user demographic used to be pre-teens.
During the first UK lockdown, the evolution to TikTok began with more and more people jumping on the TikTok bandwagon. Partially because of its user-friendly design, short, snappy content, viral trends and also the fact that the app is extremely addictive. There is a common trend amongst the kind of content that becomes viral on TikTok — it’s usually funny and relatable.
A lot of businesses are now hopping on trends and making a name for themselves in the world of TikTok. Brands such as DuoLingo, Ryanair and Innocent Smoothies do this extremely well and a range of businesses can benefit from using TikTok, but primarily retail and eCommerce businesses that have a teen/young-adult demographic.
The TikTok algorithm is extremely clever and very cautiously tailored to a specific user based on what videos they watch and how they interact with them. The platform is also very wise with how it integrates paid content — they feature it to look like organic content which makes it harder to spot, and users are more likely to engage and interact with it more than on other platforms.
It does have to be said, however, TikTok can take up more time and resources than other social platforms. This is primarily due to the fast-paced, trend-driven nature of the app and the time it takes to create good content.
A favourite amongst Gen-Z and Millennials, and the home of influencer content, Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing app that has other features including video sharing and ‘stories’ — the platform has over 1 billion users worldwide (Statista, 2022a).
Over the years the platform has evolved to become the centre of influencer marketing and content creators, which is a huge part of the platform. Many businesses choose Instagram to market their business as it is a place where branding and creativity can be explored and products can be showcased in a particularly aesthetic way.
The platform has received criticism over the years as it has allowed creators to set unrealistic expectations through the likes of photo editing, so this is something to be mindful of. Nevertheless, Instagram is a great place for B2C marketing and to build a following of loyal customers, particularly for beauty brands and fashion related businesses.
Similar to Facebook, as they are both owned by the same parent company ‘Meta’, you can use paid ads to target specific audiences that are related to your product or service. You can also ‘remarket’ to audiences using a ‘Facebook Pixel’ on your website too, like on Facebook.
Beneficial for both B2B and B2C businesses, Twitter is a place where whitty, clever brand humour exists. This is largely due to the limited character count on posts and lack of paid advertising options — brands have to find original ways to connect with their audience and keep them engaged.
Although generally not as popular as it was in the early 2010’s and as other creative platforms such as Instagram and TikTok take over, it does serve an important purpose in the world of social media. Due to its ‘trending’ feature, users and brands can see what people are currently talking about and create relevant, time-sensitive content there and then, which can be extremely useful to get their audience engaged and interacting.
The most formal out of all social media platforms, LinkedIn can be very powerful when it comes to B2B focused brands. A place to showcase company achievements and goals, LinkedIn is a place where the ‘behind the scenes’ of businesses can be found, rather than just what they sell.
On the platform, users can interact with individuals who work at organisations. Personal branding is a large part of the platform and allows users to build relationships with business professionals on a personal level.
LinkedIn doesn’t just have traditional paid social advertising options like Facebook, but it also has areas where you can promote vacancies, events and useful documents to your followers.
Not as popular as other social media platforms for advertising, Snapchat lets you ‘snap’ people and post to stories where content can only be seen for 24 hours. There are paid advertising options but, as the algorithm isn’t as sophisticated as other platforms due to the nature of the app, it can be slightly harder to target new customers but can be beneficial if you have a loyal consumer base and want to keep them updated more casually.
Part of the Google world, there are debates whether YouTube is actually considered a social media platform. It is a place where individuals and companies can upload both longer and ‘TikTok-style’ videos. The platform can be useful for video advertising but these have to be set up through Google Ads.
Great for creative, hobby-based businesses, Pinterest can be a great driver of website traffic due to the ability to link URLs to uploaded images called ‘pins’. Users can create ‘boards’ of content they like, which is why the uploaded content is usually very aesthetically pleasing — it draws users to save it.
Discover our social media services here at Diony and how we can help grow your business through social media.