Comparing Social Media Platforms: Where Do You Even Start? Part 1.

Repeat after me, “Social media is not a waste of time”.

Repeat it again and again.

With yet another article in the popular news claiming social media is dead, many business owners tend to stop and start to over-analyse. Done wrong, social media marketing will be a waste of time and resources. Business owners need to realise that simply opening twenty accounts on twenty different platforms will not deliver any benefits for the business.

Here is why your social media efforts haven’t taken off:

  • You are on the wrong platform.
  • You are not speaking your prospects’ language.
  • You are not doing social media marketing if all you do is retweet posts from insert “random-big-brand”.
  • Your content isn’t tailored to the platform.

Social media is excellent for three tasks that every business needs:

  • Generating leads.
  • Brand building/buzz building.
  • Customer service.

Done right, it can replace most other marketing channels. But businesses need to know that social media marketing is not randomly retweeting quotes or hitting the Like button on every Facebook post you see.

A distinct lack of planned social media strategy is the main reason businesses fail. The news is filled with stories of big brands getting it wrong. It’s enough to give small business cold feet when they see brands like Krispy Kreme fail so spectacularly on social media.

With that said, social marketing has moved away from company-to-buyer marketing.

You need to be careful about blowing your own trumpet. People just don’t believe hype anymore. With 67% of us basing buying decisions on product recommendations from friends and family. Only 20% of buyers believe what a brand says about themselves, (people believe Amazon comments more than they believe what you say about your business!).

Choosing which platform to work from can be hit or miss. Each platform has its’ best practices, core demographic, language, ideal content format, custom tools etc.

People will be motivated to share your message, on social media, if:

  • they feel they’ll win a prize i.e. use sweepstakes.
  • your content has a strong call-to-action.
  • they’ll get access to something exclusive.

Sounds like a breeze, right? There are a few differences to note. What works well on one platform may not take off on another. Well, let’s walk through the most popular platforms, based on active user base. But, before we dive into how different social media platforms are, let’s talk about how similar they are:

Let’s take a look at Facebook.

With it’s wide reach, largest user base, (1.39 Billion active users) and relative ease of use, you would expect marketing on Facebook to be a walk in the park. It’s often not the case as the platform has also become a haven for bots and click farms. These are accounts that just like your posts, but have NOTHING to do with your market. They basically send fake social signals to appear natural, but they are not.

While it is important that you get fans, you also need to have a level of interaction. Your business needs fans that actually do something for your page/brand. Businesses must be wary of using these figures when assessing their analytics data.

Social media has advanced from mere chatting with friends to platforms that transform banter into serious collaborative discussions. The curse and blessing of being constantly connected/reachable versus the ease of communication between customers and brand, social media is here to stay. Join us next week for the concluding part of this post.

Tired of being confused? Let Search and More create your next social media campaign; one that yields a positive ROI. Contact us today.

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