As social media experts, it is our job to advise the client about the relevant platforms they need to be present on. Most often, brands tell you that they want to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
But is it really important, and even relevant to be on all platforms? Should the client be spending on platforms that aren’t relevant to them?
Facebook is a given for any brand. But this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, Facebook presence is important for your brand. You can engage with your audience directly via Facebook, and it is a great place to run offers and campaigns.
But with Facebook’s user base growing exponentially, and its algorithms changing, your audience has actually shrunk. This means you have to spend on Facebook Marketing to be truly visible.
The question is here is how much budget do you allot for Facebook Marketing.
The fact remains that it is the cheapest form of advertising – yet.
You spend a couple of grand and you can reach about 60,000 of your target audience. But what is the reaction you are expecting from this spend? Are you expecting people to sign up for your service or buy your product immediately?
Unless you are in a category of ‘impulse’ buys, the chances of sales happening through Facebook are slim. If you are a need-based product, all you can hope for from Facebook is awareness – which can be quite strong.
We’ve bought services mainly because I’ve seen ads on Facebook first. I’ve discovered Furlenco, UrbanClap, Ustraa etc mainly because of Facebook ads and I love the products. Now, only one of these three are what I might buy impulsively. But the rest are exclusively need based but they do occupy a space in my mind.
And that is what Facebook can do for you.
Twitter is often said to be for the satirical, intelligent crowd that wants to get away from the crowd. Can you get sales from Twitter? Many experts are still debating the question.
Twitter is the best way to consolidate your brand’s voice. It is the best place for conversations, and viewpoints.
For brands, you can engage with your target audience in a more cohensive manner, and there are more tools to identify your TA for Twitter than Facebook.
Again, you have to define your objective. The audience is more focussed, and there is less clutter on Twitter. So specific awareness campaigns can work better on Twitter than Facebook – but at a cost.
Advertising on Twitter is more expensive than on Facebook. Buying Twitter followers is not always effective either.
But with Twitter, you do have the option of better influencer engagement.
Bottomline – Define your objective. Twitter is a good platform to be present on but it will not result in sales, and only well-thought out strategies can help awareness
Instagram is the new favorite toy for brands. Facebook enabled ads on this platform, and there are photographs – everyone loves it. According to Statista, Instagram has about 400 million users currently.
The advantage (thus far) about Instagram was that it was a single column, mainly photographs, so a compelling photograph catches attention pretty easily. We are not sure how the upcoming changes to Instagram feeds will affect brands – but it definitely won’t change the fact that you need to have superior content to be present here.
Instagram is about photographs, and thereby engagement. It makes most sense for a brand with enough photographs to have an active presence on Instagram. But if you are say a simple services firm, or into technology, what would you be doing on this platform? Photographs of your team and office – unless you have something to compete with Google – will not take you far.
Many people are still not sure what Pinterest is (true story!). The platform crossed a 100 million monthly users in 2015, and most of them are female.
To put it simply, it is your pretty little craftsboard, on display. Today, with all the confusion, this platform makes sense ONLY for 2 categories – fashion & food. Photographers do use this sporadically, and maybe you can use it too for that purpose, but research shows that it works best for these platforms only.
(Part 2 coming up soon covering Vine, YouTube and other platforms)