Social media brand promotion requires a lot of effort, including regularly crafting original, on-brand posts and consistent daily attention. It’s no wonder that it’s tempting to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to social media, especially considering that there are plenty of tools available for scheduling and publishing posts simultaneously on all platforms.
This strategy may have had its efficiency benefits in the early days of social media, when it was more of a satellite project than the core of a campaign. Nowadays, however, for PR strategies to be successful, they should be tailored to each channel, with the target audience and content style in mind.
The primary reason for this is that there are vast differences between social media platforms in terms of who uses them the most, the type of content the audience of each channel expects, and the level of engagement that can take place, among other factors. Put simply, social media platforms are too different for the same piece of PR content or the same strategy to work equally well on each.
Just because we tend to generalise platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn under the blanket term ‘social media’, it doesn’t follow that each works in the same way and is equally suited for specific topics. Just as Forbes and InStyle are both high-end magazine publications, so Snapchat and LinkedIn are both social media platforms – belonging to the same category of media, but vastly different in practice.
Rather than trying to create a universal content strategy that will be acceptable on all platforms, it’s far more preferable to focus on two or three social media networks that best suit your brand. By playing on the strengths of each platform, you’ll ensure more efficient branding and a more loyal audience.
Facebook is the most widely-used social media platform, with two-thirds of U.S. adults registered as active users. It’s the recommended outlet for a strategy that includes a mixture of visual and written content, including live videos, and public events. If you’re aiming to reach an older audience, Facebook is also the best bet - 62% of internet users aged over 65 use the platform. Users over 65 are a definite minority where it comes to social media users, but Facebook is where they appear most often.
Twitter is most popular with the millennial generation. Specifically, men aged 25 to 34 constitute the largest Twitter age/gender demographic (19%), followed by women aged 18 to 24 (12%). The platform is best suited for developing and sharing your brand messaging and story, sharing positive reviews, and interacting directly with your audience. Interestingly, in contrast to most other social media platforms, text posts perform better on Twitter than images, and images better than videos. So, save your visual content for Instagram or another site, and use Twitter primarily for text posts.
Instagram is worth considering for strategies predicting a high proportion of high-quality visual content. In terms of basic demographics, the majority of Instagram users are aged between 18 and 34. Interestingly, Instagram marketing is also considered to be highly effective at reaching online teens: studies show that 73% of U.S. teenagers consider Instagram to be the best way for brands to inform them about new products.
LinkedIn is widely known as the most ‘serious’ of all social media platforms. Used for professional development and networking, it’s the best outlet for corporate interaction and reaching a specialised audience. The majority of LinkedIn users are aged 36 to 55, with 45% of all users holding positions in upper management.
Snapchat and TikTok
Both Snapchat and TikTok are the recommended platforms for reaching younger audiences. Almost 70% of TikTok users are aged 13 to 24, while for Snapchat, that demographic makes up 90%. The majority (over 60%) of Snapchat users are female.
These platforms are both highly visual by design, and using them to your advantage requires an awareness of the current trends and the ability to adapt. Many PR professionals and marketers find that a brand deal with an influencer is the way to go with these platforms, although it’s also worth noting that both have affordable advertising plans.