There was a time when people used to browse the internet once or twice a day to check emails or log on to some specific sites. That gave way to the era of people staying online on their desktops for extended periods of time in a day. After that, the advent of smartphones and mobile internet, preceded by several social media sites, ensured that people spend almost the whole day online.
Today, people spend a lot of their time on various social networking sites. By next year, there will be nearly 3 billion users of social media. In this scenario, which social media platforms will be the most beneficial for businesses? That is what we are going to discuss here! Let us look at a few comparisons that can help a business owner decide.
Many social media experts point out that Facebook’s average user is likely to be on the wrong side of 30. So, Facebook might not be the best promotional vehicle for brands that target youth. While that might be true to an extent, Facebook does have several advantages as well. It is probably the most flexible social media platform, and hardly imposes any restrictions on the length of posts or the type of content. A business owner trying to promote his business on Facebook can use pictures, videos, graphics or animations. Facebook provides useful analytical tools to understand the reach and engagement of individual posts. It helps business owners to learn what sort of content works. A brand that uses Facebook to push its products’ awareness can use the geographic and demographic targeting capabilities to ensure that a specific set of user sees their content.
One of the factors that stop brand managers from choosing LinkedIn is its high advertising cost. The platform positions itself as an app that caters to career-oriented people who are looking to improve their careers further. That is why only certain kinds of brands can benefit from social media marketing on LinkedIn. Usually, only people in the age group of 25 to 60 use LinkedIn the most, so it leaves out the young as well as the old. The advantage of using LinkedIn is that professionals with substantial spending power are expected to be LinkedIn users. So if the brand strikes a chord, then the returns could be significant.
As per experts at Social Growr, Instagram is the one social media app that has the youngest user base. So, this platform is the ideal choice for brands that are related to fashion, music, sports, food or anything else that the youngsters not only use heavily but also have many opinions on. Just like Facebook, it allows and encourages targeting of feeds, instead of randomly posting without any direction. The use of pictures is a useful feature that enables brands to highlight their product features more efficiently than by explaining through text. The Instagram Story feature helps brands to build interest in related topics without crowding their feeds. You may face difficulty in adding direct calls to action.
It is the best place for anyone who has an opinion on anything and wants the world to hear it. That is the reason why many companies find Twitter a suitable place to generate conversations about themselves. The positive opinions can help, but user complaints, if any, can also be addressed fast. Twitter also makes a brand visible to industry experts whose opinions and connections are always valuable. One of the best things about Twitter is that brands can directly communicate with their followers. Even negative perceptions can be directly and promptly addressed. One long-standing complaint of Twitter users have been about the 140 character limit, which has recently been partly addressed by increasing the limit to 280, but the idea of a limit to how much can be said is still a potential deal breaker. Also, because a small bit of bad news can escalate pretty fast, any brand planning to use Twitter must also have a dedicated person or team in place to address any issue right away.
As can be seen above, just a short comparison of a few prominent social media apps throws up so many comparable pros and cons. A lot of the advantages and disadvantages are not absolute. Many of the outcomes depend on the type of product and brand that is being promoted on the platform, the age and demographics of the target audience and the tone of the intended message. There is not t
oo much cost involved in promoting a brand through social media, but a brand or business must take care to keep the efforts sustained over a long period. A company which does not join the social media bandwagon today is very likely to get lost in the teeming crowd that is clamoring for attention.