Mastering the Top 5 Social Media Platforms and how they can change your life for ever.

Chances are, you spend a majority of your time online on social media. That’s definitely true for the up-and-coming consumer generations, but even baby boomers have taken up Facebook in droves. In fact, right now there are about three and a half billion people on social media worldwide, with that number up 9% from just the beginning of this year.

Given stats like that, it’s no wonder more and more businesses have realized that social media is a necessary part of their game plan, just as it has become an integral part of lives around the globe. In this guide, we look at the top five social media platforms and how to master them for your brand.

  1. Facebook

Facebook still holds the title of the world’s largest social network, and isn’t going to relinquish that any time soon. The ubiquitous friendship platform started the social media boom of the 20th century, and also served as a model of how to profit from a free service.

Facebook doesn’t have to charge users, because its users are themselves providing a service: user data. This data can be provided to businesses at a low price (oftentimes for free), and in useful ways. As a brand, make sure you access Facebook’s powerful analytics tools to find out how to best shape your product or image to reach the most people and fill a market niche.

User data isn’t useful through just existing, but if it is used to devise a robust marketing strategy, it can be incredibly important. Try using targeted Facebook ads based on user data to show potential customers products they’ve searched for in the past, or you know they might be interested in based on demographic info.

Facebook can also be a great way to break the barrier of making consumers fill out forms or create accounts for your website. Your business can integrate Facebook login to speed up the process and better track user activity in the process.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is huge among Gen-Z social media users and typically is used for more hours in the day. Plus, its visual-centric user experience can be great for showing off a company or a product.

Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, creating a social media behemoth partnership. The integration between the two platforms isn’t just good news for Mark Zuckerberg; businesses can benefit greatly from having a whole new channel of user data to analyze.

Instagram provides similar analytics and personalized advertising features, and can be a great way to test if you should be investing marketing dollars in one platform or another. Your brand could have a great Facebook presence and not do so well on Instagram. If that’s the case, either specialize in one medium, or make sure to provide content that fits the platform.

Instagram is all about positivity, great visual content, and personality. Many of these core elements can benefit from a partnership with a social media influencer or brand ambassador to add some spice to your page. By working with an existing account that has a lot of reach, you can access many engaged viewers and add credibility to your own brand.

  1. Twitter

Twitter is a whole different animal. Here, text is king, and humor and quirkiness are valued more than polish or positivity.

Not everyone can be Wendy’s with its fire takedowns. In fact, trying too hard to be something you’re not is something that can get you ridiculed very quickly on the merciless platform. Keeping this in mind, make sure your brand doesn’t come off as disingenuous, and run your tweets by several other people who are hip to the cultural moment.

Twitter shouldn’t only function as an outlet for your brand; it can serve as a great research tool. Trending hashtags and topics define the scope of conversation in the Twittersphere, and seeing what people are currently interested in opens up interesting marketing ideas. Contributing a funny response or take to a current trending topic may even end up putting you in the spotlight for a while, which a brand can capitalize on.

  1. Snapchat

Snapchat has over 200 million daily active users, according to their business-centric page. This is a treasure trove of potential followers and consumers, but it can be daunting to try to tap into. How does a primarily direct peer-to-peer network become useful for businesses?

Just like its larger rivals, Snapchat has its own business analytics services, Snapchat Insights, for official business pages. That means your first goal should be to become an “Official Story” (their term for these pages).

Aside from advertising your snapcode for people to add across other platforms (since Snapchat is notoriously unsearchable), another great way to gain influence on the network is to partner with popular users. Try letting someone with social media standing do a takeover of your page for a day, advertising that on their own account. This can be a fun and personal way to let new fans get to know your company.

Using custom lenses or filters for events or geographical locations can also be a great way to reach people who might stumble across your brand that way. Snapchat tends to be more spontaneous and in-the-moment, so the more creative you get the better!

  1. Pinterest

Some people brush off Pinterest as a niche user base and not mainstream enough, but it actually is one of the most potent players in the e-commerce scene. Many people use Pinterest to make wishlists, find inspiration for designing their room or their wardrobe, and discover products they like.

A common theme here is to curate content for the intended platform of choice. The same pictures that might do well on Instagram probably don’t fit Pinterest as well. In fact, a recent study showed that pictures that don’t contain faces do much better on the site than those that do. This is in obvious contrast with Instagram and Facebook’s people-centric model, showing that it’s not a good idea to reuse the same material across different platforms.

Pinterest also has very useful marketing features. Pinterest offers Rich Pins to business accounts, which make integration of e-commerce capabilities a breeze and regularly receive much more engagements than their normal counterparts.

On Pinterest, just like on other social media, make sure to maintain an active presence. Post regularly, engage with other accounts, curate external content, and keep a consistent image.

In Summary

It can be intimidating to tackle the vast array of social media platforms available today. Yet, no business would be complete without a great social presence.

Using this guide as a starting point, you can start to develop your brand’s voice across different networks. By harnessing the right combination of brand consistency and adaptation to different platforms’ vibes, your company can gain exposure, positive consumer association, and engagement for little to no cost.

Making use of user analytics tools, targeted advertising, split testing, and much more that is at your disposal from the social media giants can give you a leg up in your field over competitors who don’t know to capitalize on the powers of social.

For more articles like this one, make sure to check out our blog!

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