Before jumping into specific channels, it’s best to look at social media as a whole. While all the social media channels have their quirks and differences, there’s also a lot of overlap in how you approach them.
Should you even be using social media at all?
When does it make sense to make social media part of your marketing strategy?
How do these channels fit into the rest of your market funnel?
What are the trends sweeping across all social media channels?
I recommend getting a solid grounding in how social media works, then going through the different channel options to pick the one’s that are right for you.
Facebook has definitely gone through a period of ups and downs over the years. For a long time, lots of businesses invested heavily into building their pages and audiences. Then Facebook completely changed how those posts end up in the newsfeed. The organic reach got so limited that Facebook became a “pay-to-play” social network by default.
You can still lead with a content and value-based social media strategy but it’s really difficult to get traction with paying to post your Facebook posts. Every Facebook strategy needs a dedicated budget to promote posts.
Even with the extra hurdle, Facebook is still the heavy-hitting social media channel. You can reach anyone on earth and Facebook’s targeting is extraordinarily detailed. You can get anyone and everyone that you want. Facebook is still the starting point for any social media push.
Instagram has become THE social media network. It’s easy to generate content for, has solid engagement, and still has a true flywheel that you can build over time. As you build your audience, you can still depend on being able to reach them with every post unlike Facebook which became “pay-to-play.”
For any B2C brand, a thriving Instagram account is absolutely essential. I wouldn’t waste any more time before getting started:
YouTube has gained a ton of momentum in the last few years. The search volume is almost as big as Google and the user engagement is off the charts.
The one major downside is how much effort and money that great video content requires. There’s certainly shortcuts and corners to cut in the beginning, but it’s always going to require more effort than some of the other social networks.
That said, YouTube is worth the effort. Use these guides to ramp up quickly:
Surprisingly, LinkedIn has become one of the hot social media networks lately. The engagement on LinkedIn posts are off the charts, easily outpacing Twitter profiles and Facebook pages.
If you’re B2B, I strongly recommend that you make LinkedIn a core part of your social media strategy. It’s too hot to pass up right now.
Pinterest doesn’t get nearly as much attention in digital marketing circles as it should. Yes, the Pinterest audience is overwhelmingly female. You should strongly consider making Pinterest a priority if your target market skews towards females and you have a highly visual product.
Check out our Pinterest guides to get started:
Twitter used to be one of the heavy-hitting social networks. If you wanted a serious social media strategy, you had to have an engaging and active Twitter account.
These days, Twitter isn’t considered a required channel for a social media strategy. The half-life of tweets are exceptionally short, it’s really difficult to get them to go viral, and a lot of people have decided to avoid Twitter because it’s too difficult to use. While it can still be worth pursuing, it’s definitely no longer a requirement.
If you think it could be a good fit, these guides break it all down:
There’s always a new up and coming social media channel to start looking into. If you’re looking to push into channels that most teams haven’t spent much time on, start with Reddit and Snapchat.