I visualize the entirety of social networks online the same as I see countries on the map: each social network with its own economy (revenue & advertising), rules (advertising/community guidelines), and culture (community of users).
If an advertiser is unaware of the different rules and users of each network, they will come up short. As advertisers, it’s important for Hashtagitude to understand the differences between these different networks, so that we can squeeze the most value out of each platform.
Demographics of Social Media
For word count’s sake, we won’t break down numbers for popular overseas networks. Instead, we will share data from Pew Research on America’s most popular social media platforms and how the demographics vary widely across each one:
Pew Research began tracking the adoption of social media in the U.S. in 2005 when the adoption rate was only five percent. By 2011, half of the U.S. population was on social media, and today it’s at 69%. Other demographic stats to follow up on are Snapchat, Youtube, and Pinterest.
In addition to demographics, we must touch on another important aspect of marketing– culture (not to be confused with the “Culture” album by Migos).
Sometimes different social media cultures mix well with one another, and sometimes they don’t. For example, the audiences on Instagram and Pinterest are largely the same: both of these audiences are receptive to inspiring photography. A baker, after editing the caption, can post the same image to Instagram and Pinterest. The image will likely pique the interest of both audiences since the platforms and cultures are so similar.
Opposite of that, the same message sent to LinkedIn and Snapchat will be received differently. The Snapchat user is possibly younger and enjoys consuming bite-size bits of information every 10 seconds. They are more likely looking to be entertained rather than informed. Followers on LinkedIn are looking to make professional connections and share in-depth industry information. If a company is throwing a picnic to celebrate a profitable year, Snapchat would be a perfect place to share the kickball game, but LinkedIn would be a good place to explain how the company was profitable.
Social Media and Advertisements
A few platforms like LinkedIn generate revenue by selling a mix of subscriptions and membership benefits. However, most social media channels keep the lights on by selling the advertising space on their platform. Interestingly enough, 97% of Facebook’s revenue in 2016 came from ad dollars. Unfortunately, advertising on these networks comes with a whole heap of qualifications and platform-specific requirements. Advertisements can be subject to punishment on social media platforms if they do not meet the proper qualifications.
People are often unaware of these requirements (such as the amount of text allowed on an image for a Facebook ad). Other obstacles outside of advertisers’ control can trip them up as well: for example, Facebook states on their ad review process page
Your ad may not be approved if the landing page content isn’t fully functional, doesn’t match the product/service promoted in your ad or doesn’t fully comply with our Advertising Policies.
If your ad affects the revenue stream of these corporations, they will hide or remove it.
Two things to remember while advertising on social media:
- 9 times out of 10 poor ad performance is the fault of advertisers, NOT the social networks.
- Don’t mess with the social media networks’ income streams.
Here are the guidelines each platform has set out:
In this section, learn how to successfully market your brand on each platform.
- Facebook should have links and content to every platform you have an online. This includes a company website, blog, social media, and any other online channels. Use Facebook as your online hub.
- Everyone has a Facebook but your message might not be for everyone. Craft your messaging to your target audience so that your brand voice isn’t lost in the shuffle.
- Share multiple types of content regularly: video, images, and text.
The best thing Snapchat has going for them is their coolness factor for the 18-34 year old demographic (which Snapchat claims to reach 41% of every day).
- If your product or brand is not consumed by millennials and younger generations, don’t bother.
- Stories about company happy hours, fun at the office, influential speakers, or time in the community are excellent for raising brand awareness and company culture.
- Use geo-filters for events or around the office to increase employee advocacy and spread brand awareness.
- With only 140 characters to work within one post, get to the point and be convincing.
- This is no longer the platform to share 10 times a day since Twitter has joined in on the algorithm game. Tweet wisely and relay only the information that your audience would like.
- Helene and I disagree on the importance of Twitter. However, it’s an incredible bullhorn and we can’t deny the impact it has on brand awareness and customer service efforts.
- Twitter is a great place for having genuine, two-way conversations with your audience.
- Find a creative eye and publish quality images. With so many creators on this platform, low-quality content will be quickly overlooked.
- Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags for your posts so that you can gain more traction in hashtag feeds, i.e., gain followers and further engagement.
- Go “Live” or use “Slide Show” at company events and functions to show company culture.
- Instagram content has incredible potential to go viral. A catchy hashtag and engaging caption can go a long way on this platform.
- Keep it professional. Don’t chase followers or likes on this platform.
- Avoid commenting on divisive topics like politics unless it’s aligned with your industry.
- LinkedIn profiles are like resumes, so keep yours up-to-date.
Ready for the next step?
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