Over the past decade, social media has evolved into thriving communities with over 3 billion people around the world. More than 90% of millennials regularly use at least one of the platforms that, in turn, gives business owners a huge potential to reach a massive audience. The trick is to create a high level of interest through engaging storytelling that often relies on unique visual content and influencer marketing. What more, posting the same content everywhere is not enough: each community requires an individual approach.
With 2.7 billion monthly active users as of 2020, Facebook tops the list of the largest and most popular social networks in the world. But the number of users is not the only important detail: what makes Facebook one of the best platforms for business is a wide range of targeted digital ads. You are able to experiment with different formats and target them to users who are most likely to purchase your products/services. As a consequence, ad spend on Facebook in Q3 2020 grew 27.6% compared to the year before. Another reason why Facebook is so popular among businesses is advanced e-commerce integrations: you can list products directly on Facebook Shops or link your existing e-store to a Facebook page.
Plus, their proprietary analytics tool Pixel helps you measure the effectiveness of ads on your website. This ensures that your business delivers ad content to the right users at the right time.
Bonus: using video content can effectively generate engagements and drive your audience to make the purchase. The engagement rate from video posts is 1.7 times higher than the overall rate from other types of content.
YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing site with an average of 2 billion monthly active users in 2020. Research shows that people prefer to watch news content rather than read or listen to it. YouTube users spend an average of 40 minutes watching videos on this platform. This makes it an affordable way for businesses to publish video content that can impact conversions and drive more engagement.
YouTube not only allows you to reach a wide audience of viewers around the world but can also help with SEO. The content you post on your channel is searchable on both YouTube and Google.
Bonus: partnering with the right influencers and bloggers promoting your products/services can build awareness and positive associations with your brand, as well as reach a specific audience that an ad platform often can’t compete with.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram is heavily focused on visuals, both images, and videos. It is now the epicenter where social commerce and influencer marketing converge, especially if you’re targeting a younger demographic (under 35). One of the main benefits is that with Instagram you can easily share your brand story through unique visual content. Instagram stories allow streaming a live video with followers, provide some backstage footage of your business, and share important news and post updates. 1/3 of the most viewed stories are produced by businesses.
Like its parent company Facebook, Instagram has a strong focus on e-commerce with new features (for example, ‘Shops’ tab) designed to encourage faster shopping behavior.
Bonus: don’t forget to tag products for boosting sales as it offers a clear call-to-action: Instagram allows business accounts to tag products in their posts just like tagging people. And if you need to encourage social sharing of a specific post or grow the community, consider a contest or giveaway.
This visually oriented platform allows users to save and show content by pinning digital boards that can be organized into categories. Most visitors use Pinterest to find inspiration or useful content. Popular categories include DIY projects, fashion, beauty, photography, and food. Many businesses have a good potential to raise brand awareness with Pinterest, especially if you have aesthetic photos of your product(s).
Bonus: use separate Pinterest boards to market different types of products and to different audiences. Also, you can create a separate board to share ideas on how to customize your product and even ask customers to pin pictures of their experience with your brand.
The focus on visual content means that video-driven platforms will continue to grow. TikTok’s audience is typically younger than other platforms (60% of users belong to Gen Z), which creates an opportunity for brands to access and drive revenue from younger audiences. Like most other social platforms, TikTok is looking at e-commerce as one of the most important trends in 2021. For example, 3 months ago they announced a partnership with Shopify: merchants who get access to the program can connect their TikTok for Business account with the Shopify account and sell products via video ads.
Bonus: to create valuable ads, you need to follow the platform’s dynamic and high-energy style that should look organically with other TikTok content. In the beginning, it might be worthwhile to collaborate with existing creators to give your ad content a native feel.
Before developing a social media campaign, consider your business goals, and analyze which channels your target audience might be interested in, including those not mentioned: LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and others. Having a social media presence is important, but you have to go beyond just showing up. Ideally, what you post online should strike the right balance between being creative, useful, and easy to interact with. As for the last one, make it easy for customers to take advantage of your offers. You can do this by using in-app features (Marketplace, Shops on Facebook and Instagram, Shoppable Pins on Pinterest, etc.) or shoppable ad formats. This can make the process clearer and faster once your potential customers are convinced to take that next step and complete the order.