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So if you’ve learned anything from our Stories over the last year, it’s that social media marketing really isn’t as easy as it seems. There’s a tendency to think that if you’ve got a personal profile on a platform, it’ll be plain sailing for your business. But as you may have guessed, as we reach 100 blog posts (dons party hat, blows whistle) it’s not that simple. And not all social media platforms are created equal.

You’ve worked out the elements of a good brand, colour co-ordination and where you’re going to be spending the bulk of your advertising money (traditional v digital?). But what platforms will work for your business?

Because whilst the natural inclination is to spread yourself like honey over everything and wait for the bees to arrive, not all social media platforms will work for your business. Let’s look at the big 5 to find out why.

Twitter is great for building a community

The benefits of having a business presence on Twitter are enormous. With over 300 million active users, it’s a great way of connecting you to your clients and it’s a fantastic customer support base.

BUT. Twitter is words. So whilst it’s a phenomenal platform for real-time information and customer conversation, it sucks at the visual element. So if you’re a florist, for example, or a cakemaker, then it’s not a great platform for presenting your work. If you’re a singer and you want to go live to your audience, then you may end up singing into the void.

And, if you can’t cram what you want to say into the 240-character limit, your message thread might get lost amidst the chatter.

Instagram is great for visuals

I LOVE Instagram. I can spend mindless hours scrolling through images, throwing out hearts like candy. I have conversations with people on Instagram, and I follow the minutiae of people’s lives in their Stories. It is one of the most powerful platforms out there for engagement. It goes without saying if your field is heavily orientated in the visual (photographer, interior designer), then this is the place to be.

Whilst it might seem the whole world is on there, they’re not. Instagram is a platform with a younger demographic. If your business is focused on a more mature client base, then Instagram might not work for you. And if your business imparts a lot of information, then maybe beneath an Insta image isn’t the place to put it.

And if you can’t actually take a good picture, then avoid it. A terrible picture is worse than no picture at all.

Facebook is a good all-rounder

Love it or hate it, Facebook is still the Mack Daddy of the social media scene. Smaller crews come and go, but it continues to reign supreme. It has the benefit of being image-orientated but still allowing for word-heavy descriptors. It’s a perfect platform whether you’re an estate agent, or a jewellery-maker.

Facebook does tend to skew towards a slightly older demographic. As of December 2019, the largest user base in the UK was aged 25-34. In the USA, 88% of online users aged 18-29 were on Facebook and 84% of those 30-49. So if you’re hoping to appeal to a younger demographic (maybe you’re an environmental organisation, or create sustainable clothing) there are other platforms you could utilise.

Plus, it can get a bit time-heavy responding to customer enquiries and creating content if you don’t have a team to do that for you (ahem).

Snapchat is great for targeting the youth

If your key demographic is aged under 25 then Snapchat is the place to be. It’s an absolute haven of user-generated content, behind the scenes videos and influencer takeovers. If all of that means something to you, then welcome to Snapchat – you can find out how to open an account in our recent blog post.

Snapchat is all about the experience, the feeling of being in the moment. It’s a more laid-back snapshot into the life of your business. You can use it for advertising but what you’re selling here mostly is your brand personality. It’s a fantastic way of engaging with your target consumer.

But if you simply don’t have the time, or the inclination to share your life with outsiders, then Snapchat is not the place for your business. Another down side? The content you put up there only lasts for 24 hours. It’s the future, Grandma – everything is ephemeral.

LinkedIn is great for networking

I gotta tell you, folks – I am not a lover of LinkedIn. Personally, I hate the brand of competitive busy-ness that it espouses. But I am in the relative minority with this opinion, even within the walls of Digida! And it’s up there with the others as a formidable marketing tool for your business. It’s brilliant for networking, tapping in to like-minded business communities and reaching out to experts in your field. It’s also great for your SEO – pushing your business up the ranks of the Google search engine with impressive ease.

Now this could be a pro or a con in your book, but it is definitely the least personal of all the social media platforms. It also takes the most amount of effort to build up an effective presence there, so if you’re time-poor this is not the place for you.

But if you’re wanting to give your business a seriously professional look, this is the place to be.

Do you have a favourite platform? What’s worked well for you, and what less so? Shout out to us in the comments!