Navigating the world of social media can be tricky. You may have heard of a range of platforms and people discussing what works best for them. So does that mean that the same social media platform will work for you? Below is a guide to most of the major social media platforms, including which industries are more effective where, and features that you can utilise on each. Further, each one of these will positively affect your SEO if utilised correctly too. As ‘the Metaverse’ currently has a monopoly, we will begin here.
Despite currently being on a downward trajectory in the stock market, Facebook’s influence is still the largest social media platform. According to a study by Statista during the first quarter of 2022, Facebook has a humongous user base of 2.93 billion people. Home to nearly every type of business, Facebook is a must have in your social media strategy.
The tools available are numerous, with one of the most attractive being its paid segmentation advertising. This of course depends on your location in the world, as more features are available depending on your country, or less particularly in the European Union (EU) as the Meta group has been prohibited from sharing data outside of the EU. Some nifty features include:
The type of ad: You can create automatically generated ads via Facebook, boost an existing Facebook or instagram post, or create your own.
The goal: Next, you will be asked what you are seeking to achieve. Your choices range from generating new leads or responses, getting more page likes or calls, promoting your business locally, getting more website visitors or allowing Facebook to choose for you. After choosing this, you will be prompted to create a description for your ad and choose any media pieces you would like to be featured.
Button labels: This is quite straightforward, you can choose from a selection of power words designed to encourage people to interact with your content.
The Audience: Here you can break down which genders you wish to appeal to, an age range selection from 13-65+, locations and interest. The audience is one of the best features, as if you click through to browse you can create even more targeted selections through demographics, behaviours and interests. This can be incredibly effective as you can target people within certain income brackets, their marital status, what they are interested in or enjoy doing, or even emulating other businesses’ target audiences.
The duration: Lastly, you will be shown a section asking how long you would like to promote the ad for and what your budget is. This will advise on the amount of people that can be reached and how many people are likely to take action. Please be aware this can vary.
No other social media platform allows for such a detailed approach to targeting your audience or market, but there are still even more features to take advantage of. You can also add videos, create a page or group to advertise yourself, use the Meta business suite to plan posts ahead of time for free, as well as connect vital data about the people visiting your page or group. You may also find that sharing your posts to groups your page is a part of, but please be aware that differing groups will have different rules on how many times you can repost and if they allow for the selling of products or services. There are however some drawbacks to the planner, in that when planning posts that include Instagram, you may only either include a link to your site, or select ten images. Instagram does not display previews for posts in the way Facebook does, so it can be advantageous to choose images here and do separate links for Facebook.
Attracting the creatives, the aesthetic, the picturesque, the niche, Instagram is now the foremost platform to use if you find your business/organisation in any of the following:
-Artists, comedians, or anything related to ‘the arts’.
-Life and/or personal development coaches.
-Niche professions such as rubber stamp makers, old coin makers etc.
-Holiday resorts, hotels, B&B’s.
-Animal sanctuaries, shelters, temporary homes, or hotels.
-Musicians and performers.
-Cheffing, catering, quirky food businesses ideas.
-Carpentry, welding, metalwork.
-Eco efficient designs and solutions.
-Crafting, crochet, or any other textile related business.
-Any sports related industry.
Of course there are many other areas where this could be applicable for you, if you can advertise this in a visually appealing way. Don’t be deterred by the size of followers that footballers, celebrities, musicians hold. It is absolutely possible to reach a large scale following using only organic growth. You may find that the use of hashtags can be particularly helpful, as users will follow hashtags. You are allowed to use 30 hashtags for each post, so use these well.
Alternatively you may find that advertising yourself by following trends that make its way from Tiktok can be a great way to boost your follower count, ergo the amount of reach for your posts and videos.
Again, perfect for the more creative sides, or the services and businesses listed above for Instagram. Tiktok is now the most searched for website, surpassing Google itself which has long held the reins. Tiktok is completely dominated by video content, so if you have an interesting, funny or intriguing way to advertise what you do, make or just you having fun, be prepared to make lots of videos.
Mostly dominated by politics, if you make your career by making a name for yourself, this is a great option for you. As part of a long term strategy, this makes sense if you wish for your business to operate at a regional, national or international level. Still, it is helpful to cover all of the bases in ways that potential customers, or customers can interact with you. It does help to have an air of pizazz, or banter whilst engaging with these customers which ultimately helps your following to grow. Twitter has also been recently touted as a great place to advertise looking for services, which you can find by searching for hashtags.
Not so much in what it can do for advertising your business, whatsapp gives customers another way to contact you that you can link through Facebook. Many people still prefer a human touch of being able to reach you via the phone, and so even for smaller amounts of enquiries, it’s still a good base to operate from.
If you’re a go-getting person that isn’t afraid to advertise themselves in an engaging way, Snapchat could be brilliant for you. Whilst it doesn’t offer the option to shop through you, you can advertise yourself and your products here by building a following and offering links to your services. As a more interpersonal form of social media, this is really more suitable for performers, musicians, comedians, sports related businesses.
Other Social Media Platforms
There are many other social media platforms outside of the Metaverse to advertise yourself, but these are also dominated by conglomerates. For example, Youtube is owned by Google, Linked-in is owned by Microsoft, and together with the Meta group these three frequently undermine each other and offer cheaper or better solutions. Playing them off against each other is necessary if you want to maximise the most out of your online presence.
You have probably heard of Youtube, but if you have not it is now the third most searched for website, following TikTok and Google. Youtube is a video streaming service for almost any subject you may have. The benefits here are not just in advertising what you do. You can create videos showing how you make products, or talk about business, or other areas that create value for your audience. The post creation aspect is also incredible for SEO purposes, in that you can add tags, alt tags, descriptions, H-titles, links to your website or other social media platforms that can really boost your position rankings. Youtube can also be used for advertising your services through Youtube ads, although be aware that unless you have a compelling reason to interrupt someone’s watching habits this may backfire.
If you operate a B2B business, this could be perfect for you. Sharing your goals, motivations, and successes is the perfect way to network with others in your field. It also does not require as much visual representation, so if you don’t feel comfortable with those aspects of Instagram and Pinterest, this is a viable alternative.The same principles as hashtags apply, and you can also use the social media platform to post job vacancies and conduct market research.
Along the same lines of Instagram, Pinterest can really help creative and niche businesses to grow. In the US alone, 60% of its audience comes from members who report making over $100,000 per year, and so have a lot of disposable income. Pinterest works by creating boards of subjects that interest you, or designs and products. You can follow others boards and pins, which often contain creative ways to go about a technique or just following if you are interested and/or find it aesthetically pleasing.
Now that you’ve chosen your handles
It’s time to choose a name! It may be helpful, before going into the rest of your page design and doing this one by one, to make sure that the same username is available across each of your chosen social media platforms. The reason for this, is every post you make, every site that you’re on, can link to each other so that you create a ‘bloc’ within the search engines. For example, including your website URL in every Instagram page, would help ‘drag up’ the website within Google, so that you become more accessible. How many times have you only looked at the first two pages of a search result?
This list is by no means exhaustive, but represents the major players in the social media platform as of May 2022. As a start if you are new to social media, this can help to inform which platforms you think would be best suited to advertise yourself or your business. Alternatively, Ascendant Content provides all manner of social media services, including full account management, page creation and design, optimisation and re-design, as well as content for your posts.