Social media is one of the most necessary tools in public relations today. For the average marketer, the broad variety of options can be overwhelming. There are some obvious must-haves, like Facebook, but social media goes far beyond that. It can be difficult to distinguish which platforms have the most effective, available strategies for marketing to your audience. There are a lot of factors to consider: How many users does the platform have? What kind of users? What tools on the platform are available to marketers? How much do those tools cost? Here are some of the biggest social media platforms to help get you started.
Facebook is the most obvious social media platform to start with. How many people do you know are without a Facebook? Likely not many, if any at all. Facebook is very marketer-friendly. It offers a number of tools to marketers to make their job easy. Some analytics are built into Facebook and they offer special features to people running pages. For example, you can “promote” a post to make it more visible to a higher number of users. Some of these features cost money, but most businesses consider it a very reasonable amount.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so some of the features are similar. For example, Instagram offers a sponsored post feature as well. But there are also other characteristics that are unique to the app and the app’s culture. Social media influencers have a really strong presence on the app since people can follow others without the other person following them back. Often, these influencers are willing to post about a product in exchange for sponsorship. Choosing a relevant social media influencer can get your product in front of a larger audience.
Twitter has a pretty unique subculture. The communication between influencers and followers is very active. A lot of tweets are less polished than posts on Facebook or Instagram. It also puts users on the same level as businesses. People can very publically tweet with you or at you, and it makes them feel comfortable communicating with your business.
Pinterest is a very image-friendly site geared towards people who enjoy crafts, DIY, and other domestic activities. If you have a particular market that fits with Pinterest’s demographic, it’s definitely worth investing marketing dollars there. One challenge of Pinterest is that sometimes the images that people pin are not credited, or the links are not up to date. Combat this problem by making sure your pictures of your products have watermarks and by not breaking links to popular pages.
Snapchat is a popular but elusive platform. Many users and marketers alike are befuddled by its brightness and complexity. But Snapchat is a great marketing tool – there are a couple available methods, whether by having users follow you or paying for ads to appear amongst user stories.