In today’s digital age it is hard to imagine how the world would function in the absence of social media. From the invention of the telegraph way back in 1792, to the mobile phones we hold in our hands today, it’s mind boggling to imagine how far we’ve come in technology and media. The first recognizable modern social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. Sites like Linkedin and MySpace followed. Then came Facebook in 2004, YouTube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, and Instagram in 2010. These are currently the most popular social networking sites.
Some might argue that social media is the bane of society, that they are destroying human interaction, destroying society. Well, there are more than two billion other people who would argue otherwise. Social networking has become an integral part of our lives. We find it hard to put down our phones, find it hard to go even a few hours without checking Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Most of our interactions happen online, we learn new things online, we buy products online. Most of the time, we live our lives online. Social media makes the world a little smaller, makes it easier to reach out, makes it easier to be heard. Shouting from your rooftop at the top of your voice will bring you less audience than a quick post on your social media account will.
Socializing is not the end of social media, and nor is it the most valuable use for it. Businesses use social media to expose themselves to new markets, to attract new customers or clients. Social media, regardless of the platform is imperative to the functioning and success of businesses. And for marketers, social media is a God Sent. Marketing has never been this extensive. And at the rate things are currently going, it’s only bound to get more radical. Social media platforms have been put into good use by companies. It makes things like identifying potential customers, interacting with customers, retaining customers, easier than ever before. For any business to succeed today, it needs prolific social media presence.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are four of the most popular sites at the moment. Facebook alone has over 2 billion users. Now if that isn’t marketing, I don’t know what is. But like everything else, these sites also have different features and personalities. Tactics used on Twitter would be useless on YouTube. Before you can effectively use these platforms to work in your favor, you had better familiarize yourself with their functions. And equally important is due consideration to the demographics. Demographics can vary from platform to platform. So, a thorough study of the demographics is important to ensure that there is no discrepancy between what you’re selling and what the customers might want to buy.
Let’s understand all these platforms one by one.
Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most well known names in the world. And it is this that makes it the best place for a marketer to market their business. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin in 2004, it was originally meant to be a platform for Harvard students to interact. As of January 2018, the site has 2.2 billion monthly users. You can post videos, images, and long and detailed description of products and companies, so Facebook is the most complete platform to market on. And as of January 2019, 94% of business marketers will be effectively using Facebook to promote their brand. This is the best site to reach the widest demographic, although if there is a specific target audience, it might not be the best place.
After Facebook, Instagram, at 66% is the most used platform for business marketers to market their brand (as of January 2018). The photo sharing site was founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger exclusively for iOS, but released a version for Android in 2012, the same year it was bought for $1 billion by Facebook. When it comes to brands and businesses, Instagram's goal is to help companies to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment. Moreover, Instagram provides a platform where user and company can communicate publicly and directly, making itself an ideal platform for companies to connect with their current and potential customers. With a younger target audience, Instagram with be a better platform to establish a company’s presence on depending upon the products and services they deal in.
The video sharing website was created by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, three former PayPal employees in 2005. In the very next year, the site was bought by Google for $1.65 billion. Advertisements and recommendations are the perfect way to tap into target audiences. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste, and the ads are usually related in some way to the content of the video the user watches.
A lot of opportunities are to be had with this site. This is a great platform for all business types, but marketing on the site requires a level of tech proficiency, so naturally, a well-qualified marketer would have more to gain from the platform than others would.
Twitter might be the most limited of the platforms for marketing. With a character limit of 140, there is not a lot that can be said about each product or service a company is offering without trimming it down, which can often butcher the overall meaning or really moderate what the company or the product is actually about. However it is the perfect platform to tease and pique the interest of potential customers. Created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in 2006, Williams said in a 2013 interview “Twitter was really more of an information network than it is a social network.” The best use for Twitter is sharing information. It can be used as a supplement after a company has been set up. Twitter is also effectively used by companies to provide customer service. Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
Marketing is one of the most crucial roles in a business, regardless of whether the business is a small startup or on the way of becoming a giant corporation. It is important to keep in mind what the business is all about, and what the consumers are all about.
One of the most important concepts of a marketer to understand is the sales funnel concept, ToFu, MoFu and BoFu. ToFu (Top-of-the-funnel) is where it all starts. Introducing a consumer to a product and all its potentials. MoFu (Middle-of-the-funnel) is the part where you convince the customer of your trustworthiness with testimonials and proof of your capabilities. And BoFu (Bottom-of-the-funnel) is where you deal with the specifics of the customer’s queries.
Provide demos and trials so you can assist their decision making process. These concepts can be implemented on the various platforms, with little tweaks here and there depending on the platform, the product, and the target audience.
Marketing, and specifically, Social Media Marketing, be it any platform, requires you to know your demographic inside out. If it’s done wrong, it can be one of the toughest jobs to have, alternatively, if done right, it can be one of the best jobs that provide the most satisfaction.
Are you wondering which social network works better for your business?
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