These kind of numbers are incredibly important for brands and businesses, who are constantly trying to reach a large user base through their social media presence. Integrated business features and perks have made it easy for companies to get a foothold on various social media platforms, but many companies don’t know how to use them effectively.
Here’s how to master five of the most prominent social media platforms out there.
You may have heard of this one.
Ever since its inception in 2004, Facebook has had the most active users out of any social network, making it one of the best tools for digital marketing out there.
Facebook stays free for users by leveraging user information for advertisers and businesses. This has resulted in optimization for business looking to further their brand. The detailed analytics that Facebook offers to business accounts will be your main tools to really master the site.
Use Facebook analytics to figure out who your most active audience is, to drive content to your target audience, and to potentially expand that audience based on analytics data. You may realize that your content appeals to a specific demographic niche, and can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Split tests are a great way to utilize Facebook’s targeted advertising. Try creating a duplicate ad but tweaking your language or visuals slightly in one of the two. Facebook can then show you which ad fosters more engagement and drives more traffic to your site. By rinsing and repeating this method, you can work your way towards the most effective content possible.
Another great use of Facebook is integrating it into your site as a user login. This saves users the hassle of creating a separate account (a turn-off to the impatient internet users of today) and allows you to track user behavior more accurately.
Even though Facebook has the largest share of users among the large social platforms, Instagram has become more active among younger users. This means that in a few years, the younger platform may end up outpacing its older cousin.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and has since instituted many of the same analytics tools on the platform. Combining Facebook and Instagram data can be very useful, showing you which site is more effective for your business, if there is any cross traffic going on, and which demographics prefer which platform.
Of course, to master different social media platforms, make sure you use platform-specific techniques. Instagram is much more visual-based than Facebook is, so your graphics and videos must be high quality.
Instagram, just like Facebook, is highly people-oriented. Users go on Instagram to admire others and to be admired. This is where brand ambassadors come into play. Instead of relying solely on your own posts and banner ads, try partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors to get your message out for you.
Social media users in 2019 have lost trust in many businesses and the social media giants themselves, so marketing through a trustworthy figure that people look up to is a good move.
Pinterest can be a great e-commerce platform. More people make purchasing decisions based on what they find on Pinterest than on any other network. A lot of this has to do with the way the platform, often serving as a wish list or a DIY inspiration board.
A significant difference between Pinterest and Instagram involves its lack of focus on specific people. Pictures and pins that don’t contain faces are shared more often that those that do. Including reds and oranges in your pins is also a key to more repins (no one is really sure why).
Pinterest is chock full of marketing features as well, including analytics and also Rich Pins. Rich Pins can be used to make purchasing directly through the site a lot easier, as well as for other business-specific tasks.
Finally, make sure to pin and repin regularly on Pinterest, as the platform is much more receptive to a slow of regular content than perhaps Facebook or Instagram.
Twitter, unlike Instagram and Pinterest, is less visually focused. Instead, people look to Twitter for immediate responses, trends, and commentary.
On twitter (similarly to Pinterest), curation is a big part of the process, although in a less organized way, Whereas Pinterest enables you to create and assemble boards around topics and ideas, Twitter functions more as a spur-of-the-moment sharing and curating tool.
Like a tweet that you see? Is it related to your brand? Even if not, you can retweet it with a comment that makes it apply to you. Humor is much appreciated on Twitter (just ask Wendy’s), and finding your own personal voice is vital on the text-centered medium.
Mastering Twitter involves using it to explore trends, stay on top of things, and keep your other social media channels topical. Pop culture, politics, random other hashtag, they may all affect your business in some way. It’s important to be aware and prepared.
One last important thing to strive for: get verified. Verified Twitter accounts have more clout, inspire more trust, prioritize search rankings for you, and in general are something for your brand to aim for.
Snapchat currently sits at over 200 million users, and was the initial home of the “story” that has been adopted so enthusiastically by Facebook, Instagram, and now even YouTube.
A peer-to-peer temporary video and photo sharing platform may not seem as great for advertising, but Snapchat can give you a fun and personal angle to approach your consumers from.
Similarly to Twitter, it behooves any brand to get verified as soon as possible. Verification opens the door to specialized tools such as Snapchat Insights, which provides analytics data to official accounts.
Snapchat is extremely people-centric, just like Instagram. This means that similar concepts apply here as well, including the use of brand ambassadors and potential influencer takeovers.
One of the more difficult things to get used to on Snapchat is the lack of search options to find businesses and people, so make sure to promote your Snapchat account on your other networks. This is a good general rule: always make sure that users can find all your accounts from just visiting one of them.
Given the massive number of people connected to social networks, any brand that doesn’t think about their social media marketing strategy is neglecting a vast consumer base. Mastering the top five social media platforms is a must, since many consumers may only use one of them.
Facebook’s primary perks, besides having the largest user base, involve its analytics and user data. Use these to target your ads, split test your posts, and figure out where to spend your resources.
Similarly, Instagram analytics can be a great tool as well. Capitalize on producing good video and photo content for this platform, and make sure to maintain a people-first message. Consider partnering with influencers and brand ambassadors to connect more deeply with large fanbases.
Try not to recycle visual content from Facebook and Instagram for use on Pinterest. As with all of the big social networks, make sure to learn what works well and what doesn’t work first, in a platform-specific way. Try using Rich Pins to stand out from the crowd, and engage with similar accounts as yours.
Twitter should be used for retweeting, tweeting original content, and examining trends. Make sure to develop your brand’s voice and stick to it; this will lead to more organic followers and more respect.
Lastly, on Snapchat, partner with social media influencers and brand ambassadors to speak directly to your audience in a personal way. Also make sure to link to your Snapchat from your other platforms, since it can be hard to find otherwise.
If you adhere to this advice and combine that with creating meaningful, engaging content, you’ll be mastering the five top social media profiles in no time!
Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a Freelance Writer, Editor & Social Media Strategist. Find her on Twitter @Torilutz.