When it comes to brand presence on social media, the more doesn't always mean the better. More social media profiles don't automatically guarantee more exposure. Every social network is unique, attracts a different audience and requires a different amount of time to get it right. When choosing their social networks, it's important that brands make a well-weighed decision and pick only these that promise real potential. Here are four essential tips to betting on the right social networks.
The size of a social network is a complicated factor. On the one hand, it's useless to spend time on networks with a relatively small audience, on the other, it's better to address a smaller, but engaged audience than a large number of random people.
When it comes to numbers, Facebook is the winner. Digital Insights report that it attracts 1.28 billion active users each month, which compared to the 200 million of Instagram seems even more impressive.
Still, before you make a decision it's worth to see the same data from another perspective. GlobalWebIndex produced a chart indicating which social networks gained steam recently – with a 23% growth, Instagram is at the very top of the list.
Relying exclusively on the size is a bad approach. You have no guarantee that your audience is actually part of these large networks and whether they even fit your demographic. You should ask yourself if your industry established a presence on this platform as well.
Now it's time to focus on your consumers. Learning about user demographics on various social networks is crucial – only then will you know if your customer base fits the profile. Have a look at this comprehensive and very recent report by the Pew Research Center.
You'll find a detailed breakdown of data to include information about age, education, income, gender and geographic location of the major groups present on each of the most popular social networks. Compare your insights about your customers with these metrics to see which networks are the right fit for you.
Another important matter is your content strategy. Every social network favors particular kind of content, so before picking one make sure it fits your tactics. Jason DeMers compiled a smart list of content types with the corresponding social media.
So, for visual content, it's best to choose Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest. General sink-kitchen networks are Facebook and Twitter that basically support any kind of content, but they're both highly competitive and the latter requires more activity than other social media. For videos, choose YouTube, Vine and Vimeo, and for business-related content from B2B companies LinkedIn will prove most effective.
Finally, you must ask yourself these questions: Does this social network fit the style, tone and voice of my brand? Do I really want to use my resources for investing in my presence here? Does it make sense for the future of my brand to be on this social network?
Viewed from a long-term perspective, social networks offer different values. In some areas Facebook is slowly going out of fashion – in others, it's a must for businesses that want to follow major marketing trends.
Ultimately, your decision needs to be based on the conviction that you fully understand the given social network, with its characteristics, trends and interaction paradigms. This knowledge is key to making the most from your presence on social media.
Depending on the size of your business, your choice will also be influenced by the amount of resources you can allocate to create a meaningful presence on these social channels. Reviewing the criteria listed above will surely help you to make the right decision and enjoy a focused and valuable online exposure.