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Which Social Network is Right for Your Company?

Social media has grown to be the greatest advertising space in the business for two reasons:

  • It’s (essentially) free
  • Its content is organic, which means users will engage more than traditional advertising

But you can’t take the same message and blast it across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. In fact, some industries shouldn’t even be touching all four of the major social networks. Identifying your audience and knowing where they live (what social network they use) is crucial. Then you have to craft the message to specifically fit that network. Luckily, hundreds of companies have done this already, and there is definitely a blueprint for the process.

Facebook: Broader, Older Audience

Facebook controls a huge percentage of the social media market. According to a 2014 Pew study, 71 percent of online adults use Facebook, and they are more likely to be trusting and have closer relationships compared to users of other networks.

Facebook users are also getting older. As our parents, and even grandparents, use the service, their kids want nothing to do with it. That’s bad news for Facebook’s future, but great news for marketers who want a large audience with lots of purchasing power. For example, identity theft protection service LifeLock puts a lot of content on its Facebook page, not necessarily selling its services, but educating adults about the risks of identity theft.

Twitter: Media & Quick Coverage

Websites that rely on constant updates, like blogs and the media, thrive on Twitter. While most news sites are equipped to post live updates, users will always look to Twitter first for second-by-second coverage of major events—from political debates to major sporting events.

The New York Times uses Twitter on two fronts—it links to its website for major news stories, but will also tweet live coverage of major events before writing a more in-depth article for its online or print publications. That gives readers a chance to know the story as its happening, and then follow up with a well-researched analysis.

Pinterest: Design, Fashion, and Lifestyle

Clothing brands, especially independent labels, have a good thing going with Pinterest boards. Pinterest has an overwhelmingly female user base, so brands creating yoga clothing to indie dresses have a space to show off the latest trends. Pinterest is also a beacon for home improvement ideas, so lifestyle companies can thrive here too, sharing anything from wall designs to cool kitchen ideas.

Instagram: Photographers & QSRT

Instagram is an ironic place for photographers because its pictures are small and low-resolution, but they just can’t beat the exposure. Instagram has more than 300 million uses around the world and every photographer worth knowing posts their content to the social media app. Even National Geographic posts some of its best award-winning work to Instagram to help promote its name.

Restaurants and coffee shops have also made great use of the photo-sharing service, as it’s the perfect landscape to show off dishes and lattes. Websites might still be the best place to see hours of operation, location, and menus, but Instagram will always be where the best pics of food and drink live.

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