A version of this post originally ran in June 2017.
Social media marketing has become one of the most effective marketing tools ever. As you develop your marketing strategy, including social media to boost your company’s brand awareness is a no-brainer. But before you start creating profiles for your company, you need to determine which platforms would be best to promote your brand and improve your organization’s name recognition.
When choosing the right social media channels to focus on, the most important factor to consider is your target audience. Which platforms do they use? You can have the best social media marketing strategy in the world, but if your target consumers aren’t using the one you choose, it’s a complete waste of your time and effort.
Social Media Marketing Stats: Who Uses Each Platform?
According to Hootsuite:
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users
- 60% of users access the platform every day
- Roughly half of users are 18-34 years old
- 72% of teens in the U.S. use Instagram
- 80% of users follow at least one business, and more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile a day
- 60% of users report they’ve discovered at least one new product on the platform
- Facebook remains the top-ranked social platform, with 2.32 billion monthly active users
- Users over the age of 65 have doubled since 2012, with 41% of U.S. seniors using the platform
- The number of teenagers is shrinking, from a high of 71% in 2014 to 51% in 2018
- 68% of U.S. adults use Facebook, most of them daily
- 74% of U.S. women use the platform, compared to 62% of U.S. men
- Facebook is the second-most popular website in the world, behind only Google
- 95% of businesses worldwide use Facebook
- After messaging a brand on Facebook, 66% of people feel more confident about the brand, and 55% feel more personally connected to the brand
- Twitter has 321 million monthly active users; this is a decline of 3% from 330 million users in 2017
- 40% of Americans aged 18 to 29 use Twitter. That percentage drops with each subsequent age group
- Roughly 46% of Twitter users visit the platform daily, and 26% visit multiple times per day
- Tweets with video get 10 times more engagement than those without. They are also 6 times more likely to be retweeted
- Pinterest has more than 250 million monthly active users
- Pinterest remains more popular with women, as 81% of users are female
- Pinterest is used by 34% of Americans aged 18-49
- 83% of weekly Pinterest users have made a purchase based on brand Pins
- 77% of Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on the network
- 84% of Pinners use Pinterest when trying to decide what to buy
- 66% of Pinterest users use the network to find last-minute holiday gift ideas
- LinkedIn has more than 610 million users
- LinkedIn gets two new members every second
- LinkedIn is especially popular among high-income earners and college graduates. About 50% of degree holders use LinkedIn, compared with just 9% of those with a high school diploma or less
- LinkedIn users include 10 million C-level executives, 3 million MBA graduates, and 6 million IT decision-makers
As you can see, not all of the above platforms are identical. If you’re trying to target millennials, Instagram is a good investment. If you’re trying to reach business’ decision-makers, LinkedIn would be a good investment for your social media marketing efforts.
Types of Social Media Marketing Content
How do you use social media marketing to boost brand awareness and name recognition? Through sharing customized content.
As you begin to develop your content (or hire someone else to create it for you), ask yourself, “What does your business specialize in? What makes it stand out from competitors? Think about what words you use to describe your company to potential businesses.
As you create content – from blog posts to social media updates and everything in between – keep the answers to these questions in mind so everything you create reinforces your brand to readers and followers.
As Disha Dinesh explains, there are seven basic content types for optimum engagement:
- Organic written
Organic written content, or customized content, refers to content that is written by you specifically for your audience, which includes blog posts or original images with captions; these double as informative content if you also provide facts or statistics.
Emotional content means it makes the consumer feel something, like a funny meme or inspiring commercial.
Storytelling content is self-explanatory in that you tell a story, but the story has to have a point. For example, you could write about the hard work it took to start your business, or create an open conversation with your followers by asking a question; the most important thing is to make the post interactive!
Real-time posts are usually about celebrating holidays or remembering people on specific memorial days. Share an image to celebrate holidays to boost brand awareness and SEO.
When sharing visual content, the most effective visuals are infographics, memes, GIFs or other images in addition to video, which reigns supreme.
Social Media Marketing Tips: Quick Advice for 5 Top Platforms
Although there’s general advice that carries over to each social media marketing platform, each one also has its own audience and culture. Here’s some advice to keep in mind as you carefully craft updates for each of your social channels.
To increase brand awareness through engagement on Facebook, it’s important to know that their algorithm is designed to expand the reach of your posts based on higher engagement rates, especially comments. The more interaction a post gets, the higher the engagement.
How do you get higher engagement, you ask? Post content that your followers will find amusing, funny, heartwarming, helpful, etc. Keep an eye on your analytics, specifically looking to see what types of posts tend to get the most engagement. This can give you some direction in knowing what type of content to focus on.
For Facebook specifically, photo and video content tend to have the highest engagement rates, especially native and live video content. Humor is also one of the most successful types of social media marketing content because it’s positive, it breaks the monotony of professional posts and it helps followers de-stress with a good laugh.
To boost engagement on Twitter, it’s especially important to use hashtags strategically, whether you use trending hashtags or you create your own. At Three Girls, we recommend using up to three hashtags per Twitter update (more than that and the post can end up looking like spam to followers).
Tweet frequency helps as well. The more you tweet, the more active your page is. Retweeting other tweets helps engagement too because you’re essentially helping boost engagement for the original poster in addition to yourself. Ask questions or conduct polls. Of course, what was true for Facebook is true for Twitter regarding photos and videos as well.
Instagram is a bit different than Facebook and Twitter in that you can only share images and videos. However, like Twitter, you can also use hashtags on Instagram. While you can use up to 30 hashtags, it’s best to only use a few in the post itself and then add about five line breaks before listing the rest of the hashtags. This is not only better for analytics, but it’s also easier on the eyes when consumers are scrolling through their feed.
When it comes to using hashtags, don’t overuse or abuse them! As Jonathan Chan explains, choose hashtags that are specific, targeted, relevant to your post or business, thoughtful and innovative. This is especially important for avoiding the Instagram Shadowban.
Also, don’t forget to engage with your followers as well as other brands or people in your industry or local community! Engaging with each other gives your profiles a boost and connects you with like-minded people. After all, it’s called social media for a reason.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform. While you may not see the engagement you’re looking for right away, it’s still a wise social media marketing investment if you’re trying to reach younger women. Why is it worth spending your resources on it? The way Pinterest is designed, the lifespan of each post is much longer, meaning something you posted three months ago may still be receiving likes, comments and click-throughs.
While LinkedIn is a bit different than the other three channels we discussed, there are some basic tactics to increase engagement across the board, such as commenting on posts or milestones. Joining and participating in relevant groups is also beneficial to your brand as it’s easier to find and connect with people in your community or industry.
When posting articles and other written content, your connections (as they’re called on the platform), can comment on them. Don’t forget to include photos and videos, too. Even though this platform is more professional, people are still the ones using it, so many of the common social media marketing best practices still apply.
Get Help With Your Social Media Marketing
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of social marketing, but please contact us if you’d like to learn more! We’re happy to offer a 30-minute phone consultation to discuss what types of marketing you’d like to implement and how we can help.
In the meantime, check out these blog posts for more content and brand awareness tips:
- 9 Of The Best Social Media Tips From The Three Girls Team
- How To Create Stellar Updates For Each Social Media Platform
- What is the Right Length for a Social Media Post?
Special Offer:Sign up for a complimentary consultation during November and receive a Social Media Management Guide valued at $375! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs - no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!