Social Media – What’s Right For You?

Every day we are all bombarded with the latest growth hacks for social media, but do these generic blogs cause more harm than good? Well, we thought we would look at the platforms themselves and some of the statistics behind them. We’ve selected the platforms below on the basis of popularity and how they are being used.

LinkedIn is very much a current and growing platform that dominates the world of professional social media, having recently been acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. Launched in 2002 it has really stood the test of time, adapting to changes in technology and cornering a tough market.

With 400 million members and 3 million company pages, running a LinkedIn page is becoming crucial for businesses to have a corporate social profile – this platform is best used to target both business professionals and businesses themselves.

Facebook is the most popular platform with 1.65 billion monthly active users, meaning that 38% of the online population use Facebook and spend an average of 20 minutes per day on the site.

The platform is a good all-rounder but lacks access to business professionals of LinkedIn – Facebook is best used to engage with end users and consumers of products and services. Posts with video have the highest engagement but only make up 3% of the content. With 4 million ‘likes’ generated every minute it’s easy to see why so many businesses chose Facebook to advertise and engage with their customers.

Twitter has struggled financially recently and if they aren’t able to move with the times they may not retain their space as one of the top platforms. Having said that, with 310 million active users every month and 500 million tweets per day Twitter is still a powerful and popular platform.

The average user follows 5 brands and 77% are more positive about a brand when their tweets are replied to – but with only 140 characters to play with your limited on what you can do with each tweet, although images can increase your engagement. Twitter has recently changed its rules on ‘tweets’ and decided to remove “@name” and media images such as GIFs from the character count – this gives you a little more space to write some good content. This platform is mainly used to keep followers up-to-date on latest news or product information and allows anyone to engage with a business. Most businesses will tweet 3 to 5 times a day to maintain audience engagement.

Instagram is based on sharing pictures with a short description, the platform boasts a huge 400 million active users with over 60% that login daily. 90% of the users are under the age of 35 and mostly use mobile devices to access the platform. With over 40 billion pictures already shared and a whopping 3.5 billion ‘likes’ a day, no wonder the Instagram users have doubled in the last two years.

Engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter, but it relies on a visual product or service to gain such a level of engagement. Although Instagram has a character limit of 2,200 it’s a common belief that you should aim to use around 240, because everything after that gets hidden behind a read more tag so most people aim to get everything within the 240 characters.

Not all social media platforms support the use of hash tags but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them – the hash tag has become a universal symbol for conveying messages, ideologies and beliefs with the use of one word or phrase, so it has been quite common to see them where they are not supported.

Next week’s Heads Up will be asking the question – “Is your brand heading in the right direction?”. We will announce the next Heads Up at the end of each issue to give you something to look forward to and we hope that if there’s anything you would like us to touch upon you will let us know.