With more than two billion social media users around the world, it’s no wonder big companies invest heavy resources in social marketing. In 2015, companies spent an estimated $8.3 billion in social media advertising. This figure is poised to grow even bigger as companies allocate larger portions of their advertising budgets to the Facebooks and Twitters of the world.
While it’s easy for corporate heavyweights like Coca-Cola to spend millions of dollars advertising on every social media platform, your company probably doesn’t have that luxury. That’s why it’s important to be selective about the platforms in which you do invest your time and money.
The first step is to determine which platforms are right for you. Take Instagram for instance. Powered by photography, users expect the brands they follow to dazzle them with rich imagery and video. This makes it attractive for businesses in fashion or culinary arts, but not so much for those in, say, plumbing or electrical.
Here are some pros and cons of each of the most popular social media platforms:
Facebook: With 1.59 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the world’s biggest social network. Users can share a wide range of content, including photos, blogs, links and now live video. In terms of advertising, Facebook’s bids and overall costs both tend to be lower than the competition. However, conversion rates hover around just 1 percent, and it’s very difficult to reach consumers organically.
Twitter: With 320 million active users, Twitter is an immensely popular micro-blogging platform. Its search function allows you to monitor conversations, which can be a windfall for lead generation. Twitter is also great for announcing things like flash sales. The downside? While promoted Tweets help ensure your posts are viewed, click-through rates are quite low. It’s also difficult to convey some messages in 140 characters (or fewer if your post includes media).
Pinterest: Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their boards. For brands, it’s an excellent outlet for brand-building and showcasing different products. The downside is that doing Pinterest right requires a significant amount of maintenance and creative energy. Additionally, the platform has only 100 million active users of which roughly 80 percent are female — not ideal for businesses that primarily target males.
Instagram: According to research, Instagram’s 400 million active users are far more likely to engage with brand posts than they are on Facebook (58 times higher engagement) and Twitter (120 times higher). That’s great. The problem is that Instagram’s user base, consisting primarily of younger generations, doesn’t have much buying power. Also, much like Facebook, the platform is quickly becoming saturated, making organic reach much more difficult to achieve.
Google+: With 300 million active users, Google+ is small when stacked against its competitors, but still carries significant weight. For one, having a Google+ page boosts the relevancy of your website on Google’s search engine. That alone is worth the effort of building an account. The downside is that the platform isn’t very user friendly and has strict terms and conditions that ban companies from running contests and promotions.
These are just a few of the many social media platforms that deserve your business’ consideration. For insights on any of these platforms or others, contact the experts at Rebuild.