Know your social media: The top 3 sites in North America
Do you know your Facebook from your Instagram? Do you know if your target audience is still devoted to Facebook, or is more likely to be found on Twitter? Knowing your optimal social media sites is hugely important for small businesses.
There’s very little point in attempting to create a social media budget, or trying to determine your target audience for a specific campaign running on a particular platform, if you don’t know who is using each site, or even what the site is best known for.
That’s why we at Clavis are going back to basics this week. In our never-ending quest to #MakeSocialSimple, we present the three most popular social media sites in North America and quickly summarize what each is used for, what material works best on what site, and provide a general overview of basic demographics. This knowledge will help you determine which platform or platforms is most useful in helping you increase awareness of your brand and the reach of your business.
Next week, we’ll review the lesser-known social media platforms that, if used correctly, will also help elevate your business.
Know your social media sites: Facebook
Facebook allows for nearly everything: a user can share information about themselves, post status updates, upload photos and videos, chat, and join groups comprised of members with common interests.
Facebook’s demise continues to be predicted, but in May 2018 164.1 million mobile users accessed the Facebook app.
In the United States, 68% of adults use Facebook, and approximately 75% of users visit the site each day.
The site is facing pressure to counteract privacy concerns and the prevalence of fake news on its feeds. However, due to the sheer number of users, it’s still a great place for businesses to reach customers.
Video tends to work best on Facebook, as they are 40 times more likely to be shared than other types of content—and be sure to make use of Facebook Live, which allows you to connect with your customers in real-time. Your followers receive notifications to tune in to your broadcast, and live reactions allow you to see just how your audience feels about your video.
Know your social media sites: Instagram
This photo and video sharing service now has 1 billion users and is considered the next big thing in social media. Use of the platform grew from 28% to 35% from 2016 to 2018, and considering it keeps adding fun features, it seems likely this growth will continue.
Half of Instagram’s users visit the site daily. Users tend to be younger, although more adults age 50 and over are starting to embrace the platform. The gender gap is slowly closing as well: 39% of online women use Instagram, as compared to 30% of men.
To succeed on Instagram, your visuals must be appealing. Take the time to shoot multiple photos, experiment with photo editors and Instagram’s own filters, and use hashtags to check out what similar brands are posting.
That said, don’t be afraid to embrace the “Stories” feature: these photos disappear within 24 hours, which means you can experiment with more spontaneous posts and shoot short videos to give a true behind-the-scenes look at your brand. Such ephemeral content is incredibly popular with younger users, and can help you attract a wider audience who want to be sure they don’t miss a single post.
Know your social media sites: Twitter
Technically, YouTube is bigger than Twitter. In fact, YouTube is bigger than Facebook—in the sense that 73% of adults that are online in the United States use YouTube. However, less than half of those users visit the site every day (whereas many Twitter users scroll through their feed throughout the day), so we’ll save discussion of it for next week.
Twitter is a micro-blogging site in which users post Tweets (originally restricted to 140 characters due to the standard limit on SMS messaging, but now increased to 280 for most languages) about, well … anything, really. Unfortunately, the site hasn’t done well to crack down on hate speech or threatening language (but they will suspend your account if you use copyrighted material as visuals, so exercise caution); if you’re ready to tackle Twitter, be sure you’re prepared for the not-so-occasional troll.
According to Pew, 24% of online adults use Twitter. This is one social networking site that men tend to use as much as women, and while like all social media sites the age range skews younger, 25% of users are 30 to 49 years old.
While images and videos will help attract attention to your Tweets, resulting in greater engagement and increased brand awareness, Twitter is not the site to show off artfully composed photos of your product. Given the even split in gender demographics, and the fact that nearly 35% of consumers prefer to connect to a customer service agent through social media (that percentage quickly grows when the focus is on younger users), many brands have embraced Twitter as their primary choice for social customer service.
To provide such service requires actual engagement, so you may need to spend a little more time on Twitter. Considering 36% of people will publicly shame a brand for poor customer service, and 30% will switch to a competitor if they receive no response to their message, being there for your clients is absolutely crucial. In fact, 70% of those who receive a response from a brand say they are more likely to use that product or service, while 65% say it increases their brand loyalty.
We’ll be talking about other popular social media platforms next week, so until then, use the comments to let us know your preferred site, and what you use it for!