by Audrey Knizek
By this day and age, it’s no secret that social media is everywhere. Hashtags appear at the top of our TV screens during awards shows, Facebook has become a means of checking if relatives are safe after a major disaster, and Twitter has become some peoples go to source for breaking news updates. Gone are the days of hearing about your best friend’s engagement via a phone call; now it’s posted on Facebook for everyone to see.
With so much being shared online, people are constantly checking their phones and computers to keep up with their friends. As a society, we feel the need to always be up to date on the latest and greatest. Consider the fact that there are five major social media platforms, and this can take up a lot of time in a person’s day.
The average American spends approximately three hours every day looking at their cell phones. Of those three hours, almost two of them are spent between the five social media platforms. When 8% of a person’s 24-hour day is spent on their phone, it’s a no brainer that agencies should be focusing on how to best implement social media advertising within their field.
Each platform offers a different opportunity to engage with users in a way that will make them feel more connected to your company and brand. Let’s break down the top five platforms and the best way to utilize each one.
Say what you will about Facebook, but it is still the most used social media platform. Of the two hours people spend on social media a day, 35 of those 120 minutes is spent on Facebook. The best way to reach users on Facebook is through ads. Company and brand pages work well too, but they’re sometimes less effective than advertising. Ads can be targeted so they reach your preferred demographic, while users have to go out their way to like and interact with a company Facebook page.
While not typically thought about as a social media platform, YouTube is a great place to be advertising. Forty minutes of the average user’s day are spent on YouTube. With ads being played before, and sometime in the middle of videos, people are bound to see them at some point.
Another approach to YouTube is to create an account for your company and post videos for subscribers to watch. How to videos, tutorials for popular software (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) and comedic videos featuring your product are all effective at getting your company name noticed on YouTube. With more people being drawn to video rather than text, videos can be extremely effective at creating company and brand awareness.
Snapchat is the ultimate social media app for millennials. Twenty five minutes of their day (and let’s face it, it’s probably higher) is spent looking at photos and stories posted by their friends, brands they chose to follow, and featured stories. Snapchat provides a more intimate way for people to gain insight into your company culture and brand. People love companies that value creativity and having fun; and this type of culture makes for some great content.
Create an account for your company and then let the creative juices flow. Post pictures to your story of staff members at lunch, fun team meetings, or new products available for sale. Did an employee draw some funny pictures on the white board in the conference room? Post a picture to the company story! Snapchat is the place to show your audience that your company is relatable. Bonus points if you post a photo or video of the office dog; everyone loves puppies!
Just like Snapchat, Instagram provides the ability to share the more personal side of your company with your audience. If 5 social media platforms sound like a lot (because it is), you can take all those Snapchat ideas and strategy and apply them to Instagram’s story feature. It works the exact same way as Snapchat Stories, and since its release late last year, Instagram Stories has really gained in popularity.
Instagram is also great for posting photos of products, company events, or announcing a sale. With no time limit on how long a photo can be seen before it disappears, users can see posts dating back to the very first day you opened the account. High quality, visually appealing images have been proven to gain more attention from users. Instagram is an image based platform, so keep the text on photos to a minimum. The key to mastering Instagram is to have your content integrate seamlessly into a user’s feed. People notice when they’re being fed an advertisement, so if it’s not something they’re interested they’ll keep scrolling.
Twitter is one of the original social media platforms (okay fine, MySpace came first, but that’s ancient history by now). The 140-character limit makes Twitter the perfect platform to share short announcements about sales, product launches, and links to any sort of media your audience may enjoy. With the ability to retweet a user’s Tweet, you can easily share on your Twitter page people interacting with your company.
For example, say you own a car dealership. You see that someone tweeted that they love their new car that was purchased at your dealership. This can be retweeted and shared with your Twitter followers, showing that people who shop at your dealership leave feeling happy with their purchase or service. This simple Tweet can peak people’s interest in your dealership.
Figuring out a social media strategy can be time consuming and over whelming at first, but it is well worth it. With so many consumers using social media, any company that’s not using it as well is at a serious disadvantage. Everyone from middle school aged children to their grandmothers are Tweeting and posting on Facebook, so it’s about time your company is too.