Launching a new business? Or promoting an existing one? Either way, my guess is that social media figures pretty high on your priority list when it comes to marketing your brand.
Over 70% of all online adults in the United States have a Facebook account. For the first time ever, 56% of senior citizens are on social media. That figure stands at 89% for young ’uns, or users from 18 to 29 years of age. The millennial generation, consisting of young adults born between 1980 to 2000 and accounting for nearly 30% of the US population, see social media as their primary means of connecting with brands. Over half of them claim that “social opinions” directly influence their purchase decisions.
So we all agree that being on social media is unavoidable if you want to be relevant to today’s consumer.
With the explosion of social media platforms, the question now arises, “which social media platforms will give me actual results?” And this, my friends, is the most sensible place to begin your social media journey.
Research Your Options
The first step to social media success lies in being active on the right platforms and engaging with your target audience in the form that they prefer best. But before you make a choice of which platform would work for your business, you need to first figure out what each platform has to offer you and then proceed by eliminating the least attractive ones.
Before we analyze each platform’s pros and cons, let’s see where they all stand with respect to each other.
The data above clearly shows Facebook as the leader in terms of number of users, followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – in that order. This data also shows us how in a matter of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from being the third largest network to a lowly number five. At the same time, we see Facebook stagnating in its usage figures in the last year with a barely-there upward blip in 2013.
Let’s arm ourselves with some more facts about the top five social networks before we decide which ones work best for our business.
Facebook offers brands the widest possible reach – with 1.34 billion active users per month, Facebook is light-years ahead of competition. As a platform it is marginally more popular with women than men, it’s also more popular among Hispanics and Whites as compared to African Americans. A trend that has been accelerating in recent years is the exodus of teens from the site with 3 million teens dropping off in the last three years.