In 2017, there were 2.46 billion social network users. This number is expected to keep rising and reach 2.77 billion by 2019. Given these impressive digits, it’s not surprising that building a solid and consistent social media presence today is not obligatory. It’s a necessity for every business that wants to rise above the noise and provide their customers with highly targeted user experiences.
Sure, using all social networks simultaneously is never a good option, as it would distract you from your initial goals. This is why you need to take numerous factors into consideration when choosing your platforms, from target demographics to content marketing.
This is why we’ve created this brief guide to help you.
Leading Social Networks in 2018
Right now, with more than 2.2 billion active users, Facebook is still the king of social networks. Interestingly, it was the first social network to exceed 1 billion registered accounts.
Unsurprisingly, YouTube is now second to Facebook, currently sitting at 1.9 billion active accounts.
- Instagram: 1 billion
- Reddit: 330 million
- Twitter: 330 million
- LinkedIn: 260 million
- Snapchat: 255 million
- Pinterest: 200 million
Should We Choose Social Networks Based on their Size?
The size of a social network is important, especially if you want to cast your net wide and connect with wider audiences. When you create a Facebook or Twitter account and manage it properly, you automatically know that your time and money are well spent.
Still, you should know that the relevancy of a social network goes beyond its monthly active users and depends on a multitude of factors. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when choosing the most popular social media platforms:
- Does my industry have a presence there?
- Are my competitors there?
- With the rising competition, how difficult would it be for me to stand out?
- Does it fit my target audience?
It’s more than obvious that the size of social networks doesn’t exist in isolation. Instead of considering the number of their users, you should ask yourself which social networks your target audience cannot live without. And, the answer to this question varies based on your branding goals and who your target audience is.
What Audiences Each Network Targets
When starting a business, you need to segment your target audience. Track your analytics to find out more about their age, gender, income, education, location, and so forth. You should also set up surveys and listen to them on social networks to understand their needs, goals, expectations, and problems. You can use social media monitoring tools that will notify you when your brand or product is mentioned. Based on the data you collect, create buyer personas and tailor your marketing efforts to them.
Now, it’s time you see what groups of people each social network targets, compare these insights with the demographic data you have, and figure out which channels would work for you.
Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center has published the “Social Media Use in 2018” report, where they analyzed different social media demographics. Here are a few interesting facts they found.
Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter are more popular among 18-to-24 year olds, when compared with their mid-to-late-20s peers. Facebook is, on the other hand, used by all age groups. Pinterest is still dominated by women (41%), while the majority of LinkedIn users have a college diploma.
Judge Social Networks based on your Content Strategy
Social networks are an integral part of content marketing. Creating quality content and promoting it on social networks boosts your credibility and helps you position yourself as an authoritative source of information.
However, in the era of AI and VR, creating a 500-word article is not enough to rank high. To do so, you need to create highly interactive and targeted forms of content, such as infographics, quizzes, or podcasts.
You should know where to share this content to get the most out of them.
Here is what to post on each social network.
- Facebook attracts wide audiences and, as such, it’s all about building a recognizable brand image and engaging followers. It is great for sharing new blog posts, educational videos, and curated content.
- Twitter targets “information junkies.” It’s all about providing fun, topically-related and timely content, such as the latest blog posts, industry news, or GIFs.
- Instagram is for those brands relying on high-quality visual content. Your Instagram marketing strategy should revolve around aesthetically appealing, consistent, and thoughtfully created content. Instagram is perfect for sharing high-res product photos, behind-the-scenes photos, user-generated content, motivational quotes, and stories.
- Pinterest is also a visual social network. As its content is always vertical, it’s ideal for step-by-step photo guides and infographics.
- LinkedIn is a great place to prove your credibility. Use it to share industry-specific content, promote your company, describe your corporate culture, inform followers about open job positions or simply share fresh company news.
Over to You
Maintaining consistency and building strong relationships on numerous social networks simultaneously is a tedious task. You may end up wasting both time and resources on channels that give you nothing, instead of focusing on those platforms that can generate relevant leads and boost your sales. That’s why you should choose your channels carefully, based on your branding goals, target audience, and content strategy.
What factors do you take into consideration when choosing the right social network?