Last week, we talked about why social media is such a useful tool for businesses, but we didn’t discuss how to use social media effectively. You can understand why you should be utilizing social media, but how to use it is an entirely different beast. The most important things to know are which platforms you should use (hint: it’s not all of them), and what to post on those channels. It’s also important to know how often you should be posting on those platforms, but there is a bit of wiggle room for that which I will discuss later.
Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use?
One of the most vital questions to answer is which platforms to use. You could use every platform, but there are some that won’t reach your audience and most of the efforts will be wasted. Not only does choosing a platform require knowledge of who uses the platforms, but it also requires an understanding of your target audience.
Facebook has almost 2 billion users on its platform. While 54% of Facebook users are male, there is still a massive female user base. You will also find most users to be aged 25-35, but there are plenty of younger and older users on the platform as well. However, regardless of your target audience, Facebook is always a safe bet for marketers and your business will find some success since Facebook is by far the largest social media channel on the Internet. Facebook is a fantastic B2C (business to consumer) platform and is extremely useful to businesses for brand awareness. Facebook is a great resource for one-to-many communication for businesses, perfect for making large announcements.
Instagram has one billion monthly users, with most of them being Gen-Z users and Millenials in a close second. Instagram is a great B2C platform, with a huge emphasis on interactions with the audience. Users of Instagram would like to bond with the brands they like. Fortunately, Instagram has a wide variety of options for that audience bonding and interaction.
Twitter, with over 320 million users, is a high content volume platform. Twitter’s age demographic is on the younger end, with the majority of users ranging from 18-29 years, and a strong majority of male users. Twitter is a channel whose primary use is discovering new topics or news. Users will also use Twitter to investigate brands that they’re interested in and users can quickly and easily spread information and support for your brand if you post often enough.
TikTok has been blowing up recently, with over a billion users in just a few years of existence. TikTok is a super popular short-form video platform that took over the internet not long after the death of the platform Vine. The vast majority of TikTok users are under 25, being extremely popular with Gen Z. TikTok is huge for discovering new brands and interacting with them.
LinkedIn is a great tool for B2B marketing. LinkedIn has about 774 million users and about 25% of Americans have a LinkedIn. LinkedIn is most useful for bonding and communicating with brands, and for brands to bond with each other.
What should I be posting on Social Media?
Now that you know what platforms you should be using to reach your audiences and demographics, it’s important to know what you should be posting on these platforms. Since each social media channel caters to a different demographic, you should also be posting different content on each channel. There is plenty of overlap, and some content you will want to publish across different platforms, but you’ll definitely want to make individualized content for each platform based on their capabilities. It’s important to remember though, that even if there are specific numbers of how often you should be posting on each given platform, quality is far more important than quantity. There’s no point in posting every day if your posts are poorly thought out and don’t get much engagement because of that. These are the general outlines, but take it at your own pace in order to create high-quality content for your social media followers.
You should post on Facebook one to two times a day. As far as content, Facebook is useful for updating your customers. For example, updates on new inventory or a new staff member. Including photos or videos and links is extremely easy on Facebook, and should be done frequently with a call-to-action.
Using Facebook stories will also prove helpful, although not as much as Instagram. You could also do a Facebook Live to show the behind-the-scenes of your business. Overall though, just standard posting or sharing of content will work best on Facebook.
On Instagram, you should post very frequently, three or more days a week of normal posts and multiple story posts a day. Because of the nature of Instagram, stories can be super easy to post, depending on what you’re posting. Doing the occasional Q & A is a great way to post a ton in a day, as you can post and respond to your followers’ responses.
As far as actual permanent content, posting a blend of informative and entertaining content is important. Posting information that provides insight into what your business offers will help show how you will benefit your followers. However, you should also post to educate your followers about the industry your business is involved in. For example, we post on our Instagram with tips about digital marketing every week to provide you with some insight into why digital marketing is important and how you can implement it into your business. It’s also helpful to sprinkle in some humorous posts to help show that you’re humans, just like your followers. It can be easy for people to forget that their favorite businesses are run by people, so be sure to remind them.
Twitter is one of the most involved social media platforms on the internet. You will need to post multiple tweets a day in order to make Twitter work for you. If you’re not commenting on the trends daily, then you will quickly lose traction and fall off. For Twitter, it’s important to be looking at your feed to see what’s trending and respond to it. You can also reply to tweets you’re tagged in.
Twitter is surprisingly helpful for customer service, as you can respond to tweets and help customers out transparently which will in turn improve people’s opinion of your business. Your primary posting topics on Twitter shouldn’t be self-promo, that comes off as preachy to the user base and they’re less likely to respond if that’s more than half of what you’re posting. When you do post about your own business, however, be sure to include a CTA and either a link or an image, or both to provide users with something to interact with and attract them to your tweet.
TikTok is all about trends. Posting dances, using filters, all of that is important. However, it’s important to know that there are a bunch of different subcategories on TikTok that people will watch. There’s food TikTok, couple’s TikTok, emo TikTok, and even small business TikTok. Each of these subcategories has different trends within them, with some overarching trends as well. Small business TikTok in particular has some really fun trends. A day-in-the-life vlog is a common trend where the small business owner, or an employee for a larger business, takes the audience through their day. If you’re an ECommerce business, you can pack an order for one of your viewers. There are a lot of things that you can do or post, but be sure to post at least a few trends. Again, Scrub Daddy and Duolingo are great examples of successful businesses with successful TikToks.
At its core, LinkedIn is a networking platform. But because of this, businesses and companies can build a network of employees beneath them who support and write posts on their behalf. You should be posting once a day, and the content should be informative or responsive to topics. You should also include links or images in every post for engagement. The most important thing to keep in mind for LinkedIn is that you should have all of your employees updated on your business page, and you should keep your business page as optimized and informative as possible for the users who find it. Make sure the information on your page is as accurate as possible.
There are a lot of posts or different bites of content that can overlap platforms with some rephrasing, so don’t think that you have to come up with completely unique posts for every platform every day. Some users will only see your post on one platform, so it’s better to have the content reach everyone than just a few select people. Again, making sure that the content being posted is quality is the most important thing, and as long as you’re putting out a high-quality post across all your platforms, you can post the same thing.
It’s also important to note that you won’t have to use all of the platforms listed above. Depending on your target audience, you may only want to use three. You may also utilize other social media platforms not mentioned in this article such as Pinterest or Reddit. Choosing which specific channels best target your audience will drastically reduce the amount of time you spend creating different content for different platforms. Obviously, there are far more options for posting on each platform, and I would encourage you to do some more of your own research into each of the platforms that you think would work before starting a social media plan. However, I hope this information gives you a great jumping-off point to your social media journey!
Contact us to learn more about how our team at Ascent Digital can help your business.