With the numerous social media platforms available, it’s easy for brands to get caught up in trying to use them all, but that doesn’t necessarily work from a marketing perspective. Each platform offers different benefits that can make something like Pinterest great for one brand, and unproductive for another.
Overall, the benefits of using social media marketing are immense, leading to stronger customer relationships that may result in lead generation, engagement, increased traffic, and long-term commitment to your brand. Users are more likely to follow a brand on social media versus traditional advertising because they feel like they’re receiving something of value in return for their time and engagement.
Partnerships with influencers can elevate social media presence even further by making brands relevant and approachable. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter influencers continue to be a considerable part of social media marketing budgets.
Before you decide on where to place your brand’s social media presence and use influencers, it’s important to know how some of the top social media sites perform with different audiences and business types. With that knowledge, you can effectively plan and budget for campaigns, including influencer campaigns.
Do Competitive Analysis on Similar Brands
Before starting any social media campaign, it’s helpful to do some competitive analysis to understand how similar brands are communicating and representing themselves. It’s also helpful to look at how different social platforms–like Instagram vs. YouTube–perform for different audiences and brands so that you can target the top social media sites.
Here are a few other key reasons to do competitive analysis:
- Evaluate competitor’s strengths and weaknesses
- Know which social platforms competitors use the most
- Check for potential gaps in your brand’s marketing strategy
- Review the influencers other brands use
- Identify common keywords and hashtags used for your industry
- Observe how other brands engage with their audience: comments, followers, videos, contests, how many posts per day or week?
Developing a competitive analysis spreadsheet and template can help you keep track as you continue to check out other brands. When you have a solid understanding of your competitors, you can begin to explore ways to boost your marketing strategy, such as metrics tools and influencer marketing software to help you find the right partners.
Best Social Media Sites to Market Your Brand
Regardless of which platform you use, content is important. Consider your audience: B2B, B2C, demographics, psychographics, and the industry you operate in. You may want to use Instagram, but if your target audience is over 50, Instagram may not be the best fit.
To help you decide which social media platforms are best, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorites and how to use them successfully.
Instagram is Top Social Media Site for Engagement
Instagram is one of the more popular social media sites, especially among a younger demographic. It’s also where many marketers choose influencers, which is why marketers say that 69 percent of their influencer budget goes to Instagram.
Why does influencer marketing perform so well on Instagram? A big part of the reason is that Instagram is the best social media platform to drive engagement. Eighty-nine percent of marketers feel it’s the most important platform for influencer marketing because of the high engagement rates.
If you’re considering Instagram for your brand, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Ideal platform for brands with a younger target audience
- Next to YouTube, Instagram is the most popular social media platform for video
- Great for small businesses building brand awareness, with over 25 million businesses on Instagram
- Highest engagement occurs midweek, during the middle of the day
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, Instagram can be useful for building relationships. B2C brands can benefit from influencer marketing because it feels more organic and relevant than a traditional ad. B2B businesses can benefit from Instagram by posting useful content like videos and tutorials that educate potential customers about how their products work.
Any marketing campaign will take time to develop and implement, but starting with the basics of who your audience is, your competitors, your influencers, and the best content for your brand will help you make the most of Instagram.
Facebook Most Widely Used Social Platform
Sprout Social found that the majority of Facebook marketing is geared towards building brand awareness, nurturing leads, and creating a clear line of communication between brands and their followers. Using Facebook influencers is another way for brands to show relevance to their followers, whether it’s through curated content, videos, contests, or Facebook Live.
Depending on your industry, demographics, and products, posting times will vary. For global engagement, the best time to post is Wednesday through Friday, between 9-2 pm. Like Instagram, both B2B and B2C marketers can benefit from using Facebook but need to be mindful of who their audience is to ensure that it’s the best social media platform for their needs.
LinkedIn for B2B Social Media Marketing
When it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn is perfect social media marketing for businesses. Many people come to LinkedIn to solve a specific professional problem. According to studies, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. That’s a staggering amount of business leads, which makes it a prime place for B2B marketers to invest time and money.
With so many people coming to LinkedIn for professional purposes, it helps to have valuable content to share. With LinkedIn’s newer documents feature, businesses can easily share multimedia content like slideshows, articles, and PDFs. This gives users immediate access to important information without having to be redirected to another website or platform. It also helps to spark deeper conversations on a platform that isn’t always known for its engagement.
LinkedIn follows the social media posting trend with the highest engagement occurring midweek between 9-12pm. Of course, with LinkedIn being a more specialized platform geared towards professionals, typical work days see the most activity.
Twitter Personalizes Brands in Real-Time
Twitter is great for real-time conversations and engagement with followers. It’s 140-character limit lends well to the fast-paced way that many users take in content, but also makes it all the more important to create impactful content.
Using Twitter is an excellent way for brands to establish their voice and style. And can also be used as a promotional tool for other forms of content, like blogs and websites, without overwhelming people with an overabundance of information. It is simple for brand ambassadors to respond to followers in real-time, keeping important conversations going and making followers feel heard.
Additionally, it can help brands get discovered more readily. Twitter is known for its easily shared content making it easy and convenient for users to retweet a brands post to drive engagement.
Twitter is especially popular with younger users: 44 percent 18-24-year old’s in the US use Twitter. Acting as an inclusive space, with users gravitating towards content that is culturally relevant. If your brand’s target audience is under 30, you definitely want to have a consistent presence on Twitter.
The best times to post globally on Twitter are Wednesday and Friday at 9 am. Saturdays and late nights have the lowest engagement.
Pinterest Is an Idea Source
Many of the top social media sites have a fairly even distribution between men and women, but Pinterest is different. Women use Pinterest at a dramatically higher rate than men: 45 percent of women compared to only 17 percent of men. The age range is also much broader, making a great option for brands that aren’t targeting only younger audiences.
Used as a significant source for ideas and organization, Pinterest users are most interested in food, home décor, clothing, beauty, and wedding planning, making it a great social media platform for businesses that sell products in those industries.
Since Pinterest essentially acts like an active vision board, with users twice as likely to feel productive on it versus other platforms. This presents a unique opportunity for users to engage with content while they’re shopping and continue to update their boards as new content comes in.
Social media marketers can tap into this by creating curated boards for their products, then share on their Pinterest account. Like Instagram, Pinterest is a perfect opportunity to use influencers, as they can create unique boards that act like gift guides featuring a brand’s products.
Finding the right strategy for using social media in your brand’s marketing is important. You need to know the top social media sites for your audience, your industry, and how to strategically plan. Additionally, you want to partner with the right influencers for each platform.