The digital age is bringing with it endless opportunities to reach your target customer from dusk till dawn! In fact, 84% of individuals aged 18-29 log onto social media every single day for an average of 2.4 hours. Hours of endless scrolling to making sure your brand stands out amongst your direct and indirect competition.
And this is just the beginning, with more time being spent online by all ages than ever and a whopping 3.78 billion people using social media every single day, brands are facing not only a need, but a necessity to make sure their content is eye-catching, informative, and most importantly, memorable.
Though social media looks simple enough on the surface, it goes a lot deeper than just making an account and posting a few images – with algorithms worth billions, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Tiktok require expertise and careful planning, not to mention constant review to make sure your brand stays relevant, present, and impactful for your audience. Your target customer is closer than ever, all you need to do is make sure you carefully catch their attention!
Whether you have a regular posting schedule for social media, or haven’t begun and don’t know where to start, staying up to date on the trends and tools used by the best social media marketers in the industry is a must to make sure you’re maximising your business’ potential. To make it simple, we have broken down each of the most popular social channels, how they work, and what to focus on to leverage algorithms and business objectives.
Facebook is easily still the biggest social media superpower, with 2.91 billion active users logging on every single day. The third most visited website in the world, Facebook is perfect for building your brand’s digital presence and reaching your key target demographic. Since its inception in the early 2000s, Facebook has continued to develop its features for both users and businesses, and with a seamless integration of sponsored posts onto the newsfeed, you will have endless opportunities to convert reach into profit. Allowing every business to create ads that target customers down to the most minute detail, such as location, interests, age range, and profession through their business manager, utilising Facebook is simple and effective.
However, Facebook isn’t just ads. They are constantly introducing new features that will allow you to have your social content expand your audience and build brand loyalty. For businesses with a limited budget, facebook stories are a great way to promote new products and launches. A more intimate way of sharing information, stories are often considered an integral feature of Facebook and used more often than the newsfeed by many users. As they only last 24 hours, they’re a perfect way to share news around discounts or offers without having to have them clog up your page. Utilising the data analysis features of Facebook can also prove incredibly effective when it comes to tracking the performance of your posts and their effectiveness. Facebook’s attribution tool allows you to understand the customer journey of your audience in real time, identifying new areas for improvement and what influences their purchasing decision.
Owned by Meta (Facebook) for several years, Instagram is a photo sharing platform that has dominated the social media space since it’s launch in 2010. Instagram has had a huge impact on the way we use social media, and we have it to thank for features such as the hashtag and use of influencer marketing that now permeate through to our everyday lives. With over 1.07 billion users worldwide, Instagram is all about simplicity, and is a great way to keep audiences up to date with everything you are doing as a business. With integrated shop features meaning your products and website are only a click away from potential customers, if there was a social media to invest time and strategy into as a new or growing business, Instagram is it!
However, though it is simple on the surface, Instagram is a lot more than what meets the eye. Having a brand rely purely on visuals and copy can seem daunting, but there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that has a massive impact on your success. Predicting your target audience’s likes and dislikes is one thing, but making sure you are landing on their feeds is a whole other. You might post the perfect image for your brand, with carefully crafted copy, and though there’s plenty of likes, you might not be reaching your goals for profit. So how do you make sure you are reaching the right person? Luckily, Instagram makes these features super simple, and if you spend enough time analysing their incredibly detailed analytics, you can pull some invaluable insights. Instagram’s analytics go as in depth as the time of day your followers are online, their gender, location, and how they are finding your posts.
Pairing these insights with the use of their features such as stories (which thankfully are integrated with Facebook so you can post on both at the same time!), the shop features, and investing in strong and impactful branding across the channel can help you grow your audience exponentially in a short time frame.
Linkedin is a favourite amongst Fortune 500 companies worldwide, and it’s clear to see why. Designed for businesses and professionals to showcase their career and achievements to their network of colleagues and potential employers, Linkedin is the clear winner for making sure your business is seen by other businesses. Beyond B2B, it can also be utilised for B2C effectively! During the 6.7 minutes the average user spends per day on Linkedin, they visit 6 pages, including their own. Using your platform to share information on your innovation as a company, your team, and your philosophy can build trust with customers in the long term and convert them into repeat customers.
Using video content has proven time and time again on linkedin to be incredibly effective, resulting in increased reach and engagement on posts. In fact, experts are forecasting by 2022 82% of content on Linkedin will be video content. If you aren’t already creating videos, now is definitely the time to start in order to give your business a creative edge. Influencer marketing has also proved very effective on Linkedin, where building trust with customers is essential. Spending time researching and approaching influencers can be worth all the the work by making sure the reputation of your business is secured.
Tiktok is the newest social media platform on the scene, and when it comes to targeting Gen-Z, there is no better place to be! With over 1 Billion users worldwide, over 60% of which are under 30, Tiktok has become an invaluable marketing tool for influencers and businesses alike. We all know the best marketing looks like it isn’t selling you anything, and Tiktok with its short video format relying heavily on pop-culture references and music is perfect to target your desired customer base effectively without being too pushy.
Chances are you have a Tiktok account, or a friend, family member, or colleague with one. Rising in popularity the likes of which nobody expected, and switching from only a young person’s platform to attracting millennial audiences and older. No matter what the subject, you can guarantee there will be an expert making videos and educating the masses! With something for everyone, Tiktok has mastered suggesting what users want to see and when through a close analysis of their likes. The key to Tiktok is to be transparent, on brand, and authentic, and trust that the algorithm will do its work to make sure your target customer sees. Behind the scenes content, day in the life content, and series of videos synced to sound that are entertaining and fun will not only increase brand loyalty, but will give your target customer a thorough understanding of why you exist and why they need your product most!
So you’ve started making content, now how do you make sure you’re being seen by the right people, at the right time, in the right place?
Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook all have built in data analysis and insights that will make it easy to digest even if you’re a novice. The most important statistics to understand are reach, engagement, and follower count. Reach refers to how many people are seeing your content, also referred to as impressions, and it is important to keep your reach high to make sure new faces are coming across your business with every post. Engagement, or engagement rate refers to how many likes, comments, messages, and shares your content receives. Followers are how many people have followed your account and should be constantly rising, as this means people are invested in your business and want to follow along and be part of your journey. Making sure you approach this data from an educated standpoint, for example, knowing how you’re performing in comparison to the industry average and your direct and indirect competitors, will allow you to make educated decisions on how your socials channels will evolve in the future. If any of these are not showing the success you had hoped, changing up your brand strategy, content mix, or key messaging can quickly change the tides.
We know the invention of laptops and smartphones is changing our world at a rapid pace (just ask a gen-z or millennial how they would press a button for an elevator, and then ask someone 50+- the Gen-z will press with their thumb, as this finger has been trained to respond first thanks to texting!) So if we know this, it’s essential we adapt to the needs of our customers and make sure we know where to find them! Social media is a valuable tool, but also one that requires extra attention and a solid plan to prove effective. By utilising the tools available by Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram, you can grow your audience and in turn profit. This, when paired with an effective brand strategy and communication style, can make your business grow exponentially.