Social Media Marketing only exploded in the last 10 years or so, possibly because of the increase in internet use and mobile. Right now there are many platforms to talk of, some have come and gone, the likes of My Space. But one may ask what social media is all about, it’s about connecting people, friends, followers, brands and online conversations. Social Media Marketing is excellent for building brand awareness especially for consumer brands. The brands driving social media marketing are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp and not so much LinkedIn because its more of a professional network than social.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is King of social media. The platform used to be popular only with with young people particularly teens, but today the young and old use the platform. Facebook has a strong presence on mobile and high engagement. One important factor to consider when developing campaign strategy for Facebook is it is driven by network bundles in developing countries. Networks offer affordable data bundles that have become popular but limit access to Facebook. Facebook also has good ad targeting options such demographics, location and interest.
While Facebook is more about friends and brands, Twitter is about brands and conversations. Breaking news often trend on Twitter with high engagement and open conversations. Twitter is popular with celebrities and it is also good for sharing news and conversations. Twitter however has a small audience particularly in developing countries but it has a niche loyal audience. As a marketing platform it is one to be added to the mix, especially if one wants to reach the wider world.
When it comes to video, YouTube is King. Not only do people watch video directly on YouTube but YouTube videos are also embedded in other websites thus increasing its reach. Demand of video is also increasing as data cost continues to decrease in developing countries. Businesses can run video campaigns on YouTube that reach internet users as they watch video on the platform or other websites. YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world and can be used to reach users with intent.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and is primarily an images social media platform. It has a strong presence on mobile through their mobile app and is popular in developed countries. It also has a niche audience who follow celebrity culture, particularly the young.
WhatsApp and SnapChat
WhatsApp and SnapChat are popular messaging platforms used across the world. WhatsApp has over 1 billion monthly active users with a strong presence in developing countries. The platform is limited in its use as a marketing tool, it needs creative campaigns that are driven by users sharing content.
SnapChat on the other hand is popular in developed countries, particularly among the youth. The platform has been struggling to gain user traction but it has potential.
Sometimes mentioned as a social network but it is a professional network. LinkedIn is used mostly by professionals and has a small audience who occasionally use the network. The network does not have the audience size of Facebook but has higher quality audience. LinkedIn campaigns are good for Business to Business marketing or reaching users with higher buying power.