Finding the best social media platform for your audience and business

Last updated: 04-28-2021

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Finding the best social media platform for your audience and business

You’ve probably seen the Ocean Spray guy by now — he’s skateboarding down the road while “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac plays when suddenly he lifts into frame a large bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice. He nonchalantly drinks from it, then turns to the camera to lip-sync the rest of the song. 

The unexpectedness and comedy of the TikTok video made it go viral, with other people going out to buy Ocean Spray to reenact the video with their own twist, including the company’s CEO.

“My immediate reaction is we need to be a part of this,” Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. He then explained that it led to 15 million media impressions and an uptick in sales.

There’s no denying it, social media is king in the world of connections. 

Each social media platform has different features, serves different purposes, and most importantly, connects with a different audience. Understanding the differences between each platform and how you can best reach your business’s demographic is the key to successful social media marketing.

Mark Zuckerburg created the social networking site in 2004 when the original users were in college, and they’ve grown with it ever since — more than 65 percent of Facebook users are older than 35 and the average user is 40. According to Facebook, globally,2.7 billion users are on the platform every month.  

With that said, the most popular pages on Facebook are far and away from large corporations — Samsung, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Netflix, KFC, Red Bull and more. Using social media outreach, they can target millions of people through ads as well as announce product launches, share viral campaigns, and promote videos and photos. The real beauty of Facebook is its targeted ad network. No matter the size of your business, if you know who your ideal customer is, you can target them on Facebook. Highly relevant ads coupled with Facebook’s ability to humanize brands make this network almost universally applicable.  

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a visually driven app that skews towards a younger demographic — half of users are 18 to 35. For many small businesses, their Instagram profiles are their first digital footprint, sometimes going live before their website! With the Instagram Shopping feature, businesses can tag products on photos to show followers the price and then easily go onto the website to purchase it. 

The challenging part of Instagram lies in its core focus- visual content. We encounter many brands that simply don’t have Instagram-ready products or services – things that can’t easily be depicted in an image. In cases like these, it helps to have an open mind and a strong eye for design. In the absence of those skills, it’s better to focus on a platform that will align with your content (or consider a digital agency to knock your Instagram profile out of the park).

While Twitter may not seem like the most obvious social media tool for advertising, it shouldn’t be ignored. It’s one of the top sources of news on the internet- with 22 percent of the American public using the platform. Anyone running for political office or seeking to influence traditional media at this point must have an active Twitter account. Politicians leverage Twitter to share where they stand on pressing issues and announce news in their campaign. It has become such a hotbed for political news that Twitter has instituted fact checking on the site. 

But other agencies outside of government have taken advantage of Twitter. Nonprofits, NGOs, and organizations who have a stake in timely news utilize the social platform in the way politicians do. Media organizations also treat it as a digital news ticker, uploading news stories and having reporters live tweet from breaking news events. 

Known for being the place to go for planning a wedding, finding new recipes, or DIY projects, Pinterest is a digital inspiration board where users can “pin” links that inspire them. This is not a platform to sleep on — it’s known for its high conversion rate and high-value sales.

For visually-driven businesses, such as wedding gown shops, food blogs, visitors’ bureaus, and clothing and accessories, the visual search engine is a way to get your products and ideas out there to an audience that is likely to click through to your site. Whether it is for promoting a photo of a floral arrangement or adding text over a plated dish (“Not your grandma’s pumpkin pie”), Pinterest is one of the strongest platforms for generating referral traffic to your website. 

Relatively new on the social media scene, TikTok is an app with short videos using different editing features. Like we mentioned at the beginning of this article, videos like the “Ocean Spray guy” is proof that simply creating a persona that reaches your demographic is marketing in itself. Not everything has to be so serious.

The Washington Post has a TikTok account with more than 783,000 followers who tune in to watch “The Washington Post Tik Tok Guy” post humorous videos based on current events. Affordable makeup company ELF posts makeup tutorials, partnerships with influencers, viral dances, and tips. Recently, the monthly pet subscription box BarkBox recently put out a call for more TikTok pros to add to its puppy-filled account.

In today’s day and age, social media advertising should be an integral part of any company’s marketing mix. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, or another, the different social media platforms provide unique ways to capture your target audience’s attention. Depending on your budget, this can generate hundreds to millions of impressions that can ultimately be converted into sales. 

So, which social media platform, or platforms, do you think is best for your demographics?


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