These days, it can take a lot of work to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms. Even if you are tech-savvy, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of options available today, from Facebook to TikTok and everything and anything in between!
Every day, new features promise to make your digital life more accessible, efficient, engaging and connected and then just as you think you’ve mastered one, another new platform pops up with even more to offer. With all these different options, it can take time to know and understand which is going to work best for you personally, your brand or your business. This phenomenon has been dubbed “platform confusion” by industry experts.
As a unique photo booth and experiential marketing company, Social Exposure understands the power of visual storytelling and the role social media can play in our everyday lives. We also understand how confusing and let’s be honest, misleading it can be as well. In this article, we’ll talk about the platform confusion that often comes with staying connected on social media and offer tips on making sense of it.
When choosing the right platform for you and your business, there are several important factors to consider.
1. Think about who your target audience is.
Different platforms have different demographics, so knowing who you’re trying to reach will help you narrow your choices. For instance, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, TikTok may be a great choice since it has a large user base in that age group.
Here’s what you need to know about Tiktok to help you gauge if this is the best platform for your brand this year:
According to skillademia, the potential reach of advertising content on TikTok is 1.02 billion users – huge! It’s not surprising then that TikTok is the favourite social network of 11.1 % of female internet users aged 16 to 24 and that 78.8% of all TikTok users use the platform for entertainment and fun content. So, if you’re looking to use TikTok this year, be sure to have lots of video content ready and for it to be engaging and skewed to the younger generations! Remember though, we did say it’s confusing – 40% of Generation Z prefer to turn to TikTok or Instagram rather than Google for location recommendations so keep that in mind if you’re a retailer or venue. Oh and 39% of Generation Z consumers say TikTok directly influences their purchasing decisions with 74% of the purchases made by TikTok users being personal care products – marketing gold for some brands to know!
If you’re looking to reach an older crowd, then Facebook might be more suitable since most people aged 65+ are familiar with that platform already. According to Dataprotal, Facebook had 2.934 billion monthly active users in July 2022, and 41% of those users were aged 45 and older. Additionally, its Facebook newsfeed algorithm makes it easy for businesses to target their posts directly at potential customers.
2. Consider your content!
If longer videos are at the top of your list, then YouTube is likely a better fit than Twitter which only allows text-based posts, while Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok require a specific video length. Creating video content about your product offerings can be highly beneficial for businesses as people prefer watching videos rather than reading articles when learning about something new. Furthermore, YouTube’s algorithms make it possible for brand/business videos to appear higher on search results when users look for particular topics related to their products or services.
On the other hand, Instagram has grown in popularity over recent years. It is more prevalent among younger audiences and can be helpful for brands looking to engage with creative visuals or stories. It also has various features like hashtags and stories that help boost visibility without relying on ads too heavily. Instagram Live allows users to connect with their followers in real time while creating content that viewers can interact with. It’s also the favourite platform for women aged 25 to 34, while men that age prefer Facebook.
According to a recent study from Ipsos Marketing, Instagram is also the #1 social media platform for people to connect with brands. Whether or not this means anything is up for debate – what exactly does it mean to keep up with a brand? However, it does show that people interested in your brand expect to find you there… Are you there? Is your content worth watching? Is your content relevant? Lots to think about!
LinkedIn is the best platform if you are targeting professionals and businesses. It is currently called “the world’s largest professional network” with 25% of its users being senior-level influencers.. One out of eight LinkedIn users are decision-makers and about 10 million are categorised as C-level executives.
In addition, 55 million companies are listed on LinkedIn, and 52% of buyers list LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process (Demandbase, 2018). When it comes to content, LinkedIn has credibility and trust.
3. Research, research, research!
Once you’ve identified who your target audience is and what kind of content you plan on creating for them (or more to the point, what content suits your brand and what you can realistically create),, take some time to explore each platform and really understand it before committing your resources.
Understand their terms of service, their rules around advertising and any restrictions on certain types of content (for example, YouTube has limitations around profanity). Familiarise yourself with each platform’s user interface so that creating content is manageable once you start posting regularly.
4. Take advantage of using analytics.
Remember the importance of analytics! Analytics are essential when it comes to understanding which posts performed well amongst your followers and why they did well versus others that didn’t do as well. Measuring engagement rates (likes/comments/shares) or follower growth over time (or lack thereof) for each post or campaign can inform future decision-making when creating content for each platform.
Additionally, having access to analytics from multiple platforms can provide even more insight into where users spend most of their time online so that messaging or campaigns can be tailored accordingly across multiple channels simultaneously.
5. Keep Up With Changes & Trends
Last but not least – once you decide on a chosen provider/platform, don’t forget about staying up-to-date with industry changes & trends related to any new advancements or algorithm changes.
Technology moves fast, so keeping tabs on anything new means that your brand and business remains current, seen and heard! Maximising efficiency while minimising risk!
Navigating through the confusion surrounding social media platforms doesn’t have to be daunting; a little bit of research upfront followed by careful monitoring throughout will go a long way when deciding which ones make sense for your business’s needs! But it can get overwhelming so reach out if you need help – there are many professionals around that make this their full-time job… because it takes a lot of time!
Social media is essential in this day and age.. Use it wisely, use it well – but most importantly – use it!!