MindFire Communications, Inc.
Social media platforms – which one is right for you?
August 15, 2018 | MindFire Team

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Houseparty, Instagram, Vine 2 (Please let the rumors be true) … the list goes on. Does your brain feel like it’s going to explode? Yeah, we thought so.

With so many different platforms to choose from, how do you know what the best platform is for your brand?

It’s important to know what exactly each platform is known for and most importantly, the audience it attracts. We like to think of it as each social media platform having its own persona.

Facebook: The All Powerful

Scroll your Facebook feed and you’ll see pictures and videos from your friends and family, news stories, the latest memes and my personal favorite, the occasional long rants. But make no mistake - Facebook is far more than a place for interpersonal collaboration. It’s a data-collection master, and because of that, it can be a very powerful tool for brands to connect with their audiences. Facebook has made it so virtually everything we do online, goes through their platform.

Because of this, brands can reach virtually any audience on Facebook. More and more, boomers are joining the platform and have actually become the prime target to many brands. In my opinion, if you are trying to target a young Gen Z or teen, Facebook is NOT your platform. While many still have a profile, they are not interacting on Facebook like they do other platforms (See Snapchat, YouTube or Instagram for more details)

Brands doing it right: Adidas

Twitter: And now for the news … or fake news?

Twitter is your one-stop shop for all things news. Every morning, I wake up and scroll Twitter for any breaking news to start my day. Consumers are exposed to so many different news stations, it is hard to just get quick info. That is where Twitter comes in. Because the character limit is restricted (to a point), brands who try to overly promote on this, will not see a great return.

Think of Twitter, (and most other social platforms), as a frenemy. That’s because you can find accurate news and inaccurate news all in the same platform and once someone says it, it spreads like wildfire, with a humorous flare. Brands can find themselves in trouble if they retweet something that they think is true and ends up being inaccurate.

On the flip side, Twitter makes it very easy for brands to communicate with consumers, whether for good reasons or bad. When Twitters users mention a brand, they expect a response. Twitter is unique in that everyone has a voice, and people expect fast responses.

Brands doing it right: Starbucks

Snapchat: Oh wait… let me take a selfie.

Snapchat’s charm is that it is the quick, easy way to connect to your friends, without actually having to have a conversation. With 161 million daily users, it’s no wonder that Snapchat has become the means of communication for most teens. In fact, according to eMarketer, 34 percent of all Snapchat users in the U.S. are between the ages of 18 and 24, and comScore found that 69 percent of U.S. smartphone users ages 18 to 24 use Snapchat.

This is also what makes Snapchat so incredibly difficult for businesses. They feel they need to have a presence, just to have one and be relevant, which is simply not the same and can ultimately hurt your marketing message if not done correctly.

This is most evident with Snapchat filters. Brands will spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a filter that might last a day or two. Consider the following when deciding whether to create a custom filter:

  • Is this going to help my overall brand message?
  • WHY? What are we trying to gain? What do we want people to do?

Remember, Snapchat stories are used many times for humor, while Instagram stories are used for information/discovery. When Snapchat changed its story platform early this year, the backlash was real. Enter Instagram stories….

Brands doing it right: Taco Bell 

Instagram: Does my food look good enough to ‘gram?

Instagram, AKA “The Gram,” is better known as a photographer’s paradise. Instagram is all visual and is a complement to its owner, Facebook. Yes, supplemental text helps, but if you can’t grab the attention of a user in three seconds (that may even be generous), you won’t get them to go any further.

The best strategy for a good Instagram post is the FOMO effect. FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” can be conveyed with a candid photo on a beach or an artsy shot of your latest meal, something that makes the user say “Wow, I wish I was there.” That’s what your brand needs to do.

Because 76 percent of teens use Instagram, you don’t want to be overly promote-y. Stay away from language like “come check this out.” Your image should tell the entire story. Because of that, think of Instagram as your 5-year-old sibling – you have about 5 seconds to tell her the story, and if you don’t grab her attention, she is on to the next thing.

This is why Instagram stories are so important and have really transformed how we discover new brands and influencers. In your story, you have the ability to tag the location, user and most importantly, the product. The platform virtually eliminated the hassle of going to multiple pages for information and made itself a one-stop shop.

Brands doing it right: Airbnb

YouTube: Where video creators become stars

Video is the king of content. Video in all forms, from boomerangs, to gifs, cinemographs and long and short form are typically going to reach the most people any platform (when you compare them to other types of posts). Almost 96 percent of teens view videos on YouTube with 78 percent saying they are on YouTube at least daily.

This generation is also making the YouTube star more famous than mainstream celebrities. Brand influencers like PewDiePie have more than 60 million subscribers and others such as Ryan Higa or Jenna Marbles have close to 20 million subscribers. That’s INSANE for any brand, let alone a single person.

YouTube is often overlooked as a social platform because it is a supplement to the other big platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In the coming years, I believe the younger generation will move away from those platforms all together and stick primarily to YouTube. To be successful on YouTube, original content is key and so is understanding your audience.

Brands doing it right: Nintendo

Are you overwhelmed? Don’t be! Just because there are several social platforms, does not mean you have to use them all. It all comes down to knowing your brand. Stay true to your marketing plan, and the social media plans will fall into place.

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