Social Media Showdown 2018
09 Aug 2018
What social networking sites will work best for your business, meet your business goals, and enable you to engage with customers/clients better?
There is a huge market of social media, with more and more businesses utilising social media to market products & services to an increasing audience. More than 3 billion people around the world use social networks, so competition is fierce among social networks to be the best. They continually strive to adopt the best features for users & businesses.
Your audience demographics can change in what seems like overnight, as demographics, software or popularity changes. Each business has their own unique audience, therefore you need to keep an eye on new features each social network adds each year, which can enhance your marketing potential.
How do you reach your audience without understanding the demographics of social media across networks?
Networks falling on hard times
It pays to never totally exclude any one of the social network platforms. Changes in demographics can happen faster than we can keep up. While Facebook remains #1 in social network platforms, other platforms poll differently from quarter to quarter. In 2018 Facebook got hit heavily in the media, the Cambridge Analytica scandal & with Government enquiries. Users started campaigns urging users to delete their Facebook account because of privacy issues & the access to election tampering from nefarious 3rd parties. Shares dropped. Users migrated to other networks. But it had a strong enough user base to remain at the top. LinkedIn previously had users lose faith when it failed to encrypt passwords adequately & more than 117 million LinkedIn accounts were traded on the dark web. Twitter has continually battled with fake accounts, hacking, hate speech & now shadow banning.
You need to maintain metrics on gender, age and location data of your own social audiences. Pinterest used to be predominantly women, however the amount of men using it is increasing. Facebook used to have a younger audience, but many of that younger audience migrated to Snapchat, and now to Instagram. While Google+ has never quite competed with the top 5, it still has the best visual quality and with the increased popularity of visuals on the web, it could become a main player one day. Google+ is also becoming popular for it's SEO advantages. You just never know which is going to be the best network for you. That’s why it is important to keep your finger in as many pies as possible, and track them all yourself. But always be aware, popularity is fleeting.
The changing landscape
Social media managers must track how these audience bases, and their behaviors shift.
Keep up to date with news & world events. Usually one way or another every event is reflected in social media. Real news or fake news, left or right wing, peace or war, trade or trade wars, human rights abuses, environmental abuses, weather & climate changes. If an environmental disaster involving oil occurs & Twitter is exploding with condemnation, it’s not a good time to advertise oil companies there. As current times have shown us, social media can make or break countries, Brexit has been a good example of that. Be clear what kind of news trending you want to be associated with.
You can maximise users engagement and interactions with posts by planning the best times to post & which days, and the type of content. But again, this can change. The reality is you won’t know the best times to reach your audience until you experiment.
The type of content is equally important. Currently the best content to post is 80% engagement & 20% promotion across most networks. Experiment across a wide range of creative strategies to identify what works for your brand. Video communicates more than words or images, making it very popular on social networks.
You will need to evaluate what kind of resources you are going to commit to your social media strategy. Will you assign staff, will you engage staff, or are you going to attempt to do it yourself. Each network has its own degree of difficulty to maintain.
You can also use one of a number of social media management tools that are available:
The social network leaders
The market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts. Facebook, Twitter & Google+ are platforms for micro blogging, but also are used to share videos and images onto user’s feeds.
There’s been an explosion of growth in video on social media in recent years. Networks like YouTube are geared towards video, uploading and sharing creations. Facebook has also become quite popular as a video sharing network. Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat utilise images and shorter videos. LinkedIn focuses more on B2B (business to business). Tumblr is used mainly for blogging.
Social Media Marketing has proven to be very successful and much more effective than traditional advertising. Because metrics are so accessible it helps us understand our audience and content marketing teams are able to make more informed decisions. So now might be the time to consider your business for the year 2019.
The social network showdown for 2018
Discover statistics, facts, tips & tricks for 2018 for all your favourite social networks. Networks are shown in their current popularity order.
Web Producer, Creative Director, Content Creator & Distributor at clearFusion Digital, & specializes in helping businesses plan & grow their website.