Given that digital consumers spend upwards of two and a half hours on social media each day, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes are turning to social platforms to connect with their users. In fact, a well-rounded marketing strategy for any brand should involve a presence across all major social networks. But how do approach each unique site to get the most out of it?
Here’s a guide to five of the top social media platforms and how to master them.
Facebook remains the world’s largest social network and continues to grow. Since it’s free to join, Facebook makes its money catering to businesses and ads. This means you should be taking advantage of the unique business services provided to you.
Perhaps Facebook’s most useful aspect is the wealth of information you can glean from its users in aggregate. Facebook provides detailed analytics services that can tell you exactly what your followers are interested in, what users exploring similar products or services in your field are like, and much more. So how can you best leverage this data?
User data can be utilized both in terms of cause and an effect. On the causal side, you can use user data to figure out what kind of content you should be putting out to appeal to the demographics most likely to find your site. Not only that, but you can change your post times, locational ad targeting, and demographic targeting.
On the effect side, Facebook is great for advertisement split testing. Try creating slightly different versions of the same post or ad and showing them to two separate but similar sets of users. By seeing if one version receives significantly more reactions or clicks, you can inform future marketing choices.
Lastly, by adding a Facebook login feature to your website or e-commerce platform, you can both make access faster and easier as well as being able to track users more directly between platforms.
Although not as massive as its owner Facebook yet, Instagram is the most popular social network among Gen Z consumers and enjoys more web traffic per person than Facebook does. That means it may have more future e-commerce potential.
Many of the same analytics concepts that apply to Facebook also apply to Instagram. User data can be a goldmine, and since Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, both platforms have been able to cross-pollinate data and analytics to become more valuable than the sum of their parts. Businesses can see if their Facebook or Instagram advertising is driving more visitors to their sites, and can reprioritize accordingly.
To master Instagram, understanding the medium’s dynamic and upbeat vibe is key. Users go on Instagram to feel good, get validation, and be intrigued by others. To be an intriguing brand, great design and content are a must.
Partnerships with social media influencers and brand ambassadors are key to a great Instagram presence. By having well-known accounts touting your products or services, you can tap into a large user base more organically, sustainably, and directly than with advertisements that could get scrolled past immediately.
Two-way engagement on Instagram is also crucial; users want to be able to feel heard and interact with brands they like. Play into this by including polls, sliders, questions, and calls to action in your stories (which should be posted at least once a day) for a fun way to engage users. Similarly, make sure to comment on other brands’ and users posts, and respond to DMs, comments, and tagged posts if time and resources permit.
Twitter, with its greater focus on text and its character limits, can be more tricky for brands to navigate. Luckily, there are certain strategies uniquely suited to the Twittersphere.
Twitter can be a great place to develop a creative personality for your business. Wendy’s has gotten mainstream plaudits for its snarky voice on the platform; many users who get Twitter famous do so with moments of humor. Your business doesn’t necessarily have to get as drastic as the fast-food giants can be, but you should find your own interesting voice and keep it consistent.
Content curation can be a great way to use Twitter as well. Keep an eye out for content in your field and share it to your audience with an informative tagline. By becoming a useful content curator, not just a creator, you can have a more diverse output and gain more followers.
Twitter is also a great place to react quickly to topical events and do research. By searching through Twitter hashtags and trends, you can have a finger on the pulse of its more than 330 users. This can help you tailor the content on all your other social media accounts as well.
Lastly, to truly get the most out of Twitter, you should strive to get a verified account. That blue check by your name gives you more respect, recognition, search priority, and overall success. By creating excellent content that people love to see, posting regularly, and connecting yourself with other verified users, you can obtain this valuable feature yourself.
Pinterest is an overlooked goldmine when it comes to e-commerce and business features. Because of the type of content popular on the platform, Pinterest is used more often and more directly to plan purchases than the other leading networks.
The kays to mastering Pinterest is understanding the differences in what content does well there, as well as utilizing the platform’s business features. In contrast to Instagram users, Pinterest users prefer to engage with and re-pin visuals not containing faces. Images with reds and oranges are also more popular than the rest. Make sure to do your research and to not recycle Instagram or Facebook optimized graphics for Pinterest.
Pinterest’s marketing features are also multifold and useful. Rich Pins, which come in five different types based on their function, gain much more traction than normal pins, and make calls to action extremely easy.
Just as with the other social media platforms, make sure to post regularly and frequently, curate content, engage with other pages and build partnerships. All of those factors can combine to make Pinterest one of your best bets to further your business.
Some readers may be surprised to find Snapchat on this list. After all, its format of temporary videos and pictures doesn’t seem at first glance to be conducive to marketing. However, Snapchat’s roughly 200 million users make it a top choice among millennials and Gen Z consumers, which represents a large consumer base to tap into.
Snapchat, just like the other major social networks, offers its own tailored analytics, called Snapchat Insights, to official accounts. But even while you wait for your business to get approved as an Official Story, you can make use of Snapchat’s other tools.
One great way to master Snapchat is to let social media influencers do a takeover of your account. This can be done inversely as well, with you taking over someone else’s account, posting engaging content, and essentially combining your user bases.
Another vital tool to use is to sponsor a Snapchat lens or filter. This means that everyone in a geographical location or in a certain group can use your custom graphics to alter their photos, leading to all their viewers seeing your brand. Custom filters can be set to be used for certain events or in certain areas, and can be very effective.
With the vast array of social media options out there and the massive consumer potential of every large platform, all businesses must learn how to master social media across the board. It’s not enough to have a website and one other channel in the modern marketing world; a robust plan involving the top five platforms can make a huge difference.
Facebook and Instagram should both be valued for their unparalleled access to user data and their size. Make sure to use these sites for split testing, targeted advertisements, an influencer or brand ambassador partnerships.
Twitter can be a great tool for developing your voice, responding to other competitors or current events in real-time, and monitoring trends. Do your best to build connections in your field, curate content, tweet often, and utilize a variety of media.
On Pinterest, make sure you tailor your visual content to be platform-specific and make the most of its commercially active user base. Rich Pins and content curation are your friends here. On Snapchat, create custom filters and lenses to draw in new users, and consider letting other brands or influencers take over your account for a day.
For all the platforms, consistent posting, connection building, and audience engagement are key. Start by understanding your audience, and then create quality content that will appeal to them. By focusing on these areas, you’ll be a social media master in no time.