Which Social Media Platform? The Top Three

“It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.” – Alexis Ohanian


Each social media platform is different, with a different feel and different users, and so whilst many companies are on lots of platforms, it’s a good idea to start by picking the one that suits you and your company most and managing your activity on that one really well.  More platforms are being developed and launched all the time, and they go in and out of fashion, but as a general rule, stick to the bigger and more established ones unless you have a genuine business reason for being on something new and funky.

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s probably best to look at the top 3 platforms first – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  Here’s our summary of the pros and cons:

Which Social Media Platform? 1. YouTube

YouTube is the world’s no.2 website, behind it’s owner Google.  It is a video sharing site with around 1 billion users, and around 400 hours of video is uploaded to it every minute.  Most of this content is created by users.  These videos can be up to 15 minutes long (or longer for the most popular YouTubers), and on average users watch an hour of video per day.

Advantages

  • Will help with your SEO as Google will rank YouTube videos highly.
  • Can be accessed on TVs and games consoles as well as computers and mobile devices.
  • Allows videos to be embedded on other websites and platforms.
  • Includes great analytics.
  • People can subscribe to your channel

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Disadvantages

  • Only really about video (although YouTube has introduced Communities that allow for other content).
  • Relies on earning money from Google AdSense (which means that ads will be placed alongside your videos).
  • It’s so big, it may be difficult to stand out.
  • You have to have a Google+ page.
  • YouTube has been criticised for hosting and promoting inappropriate content.

Good for

  • Video and TV production companies and those that naturally create lots of visuals/video
  • Estate agents, venues, hotels
  • Games designers and games related companies
  • Companies that want to be found on Google

Which Social Media Platform? 2. Facebook

Facebook is the world’s 3rd most popular website, and half of marketers say that it is crucial to their business.  It is the biggest social media platform with over 2 billion users.  Over half of those use it every day and half are also on Messenger.  As well as Messenger, Facebook also owns and integrates with Instagram and WhatsApp.

Advantages

  • Is the biggest, most well-known and most used social media platform
  • Allows business profiles and includes great tools and functionality
  • Allows advertising, including split testing
  • The promotional tools are quick, easy and cheap
  • Users can subscribe to and prioritise your content
  • Allows you to create specialist groups and communities

Disadvantages

  • Isn’t generally used by younger people
  • Regularly changes its mysterious algorithm and how it does things
  • Has received a lot of bad press recently which has put some people off using it

Good for

  • Any business, particularly B2C
  • Smaller businesses who want a quick and easy web presence
  • Companies who want to target people by via specific demographics, such as age, interests or location
  • Businesses with a strong community feel and loyal following

Which Social Media Platform? 3. Twitter

Twitter started life as an online text messaging platform, but now allows for slightly longer messages, plus images and videos. In fact, 82% of users watch video on Twitter,and tweets with images get 150% more retweets.  It is the 10th most visited site, with around 300 million users, including 100 million active users who post up to half a million tweets per day.  It is more likely to be used by older people and women, and 80% access it on their mobiles.  On average, each user follows 5 businesses.

Advantages

  • It’s concise, to the point and instant.
  • It is inherently linked with news, events and current affairs
  • You can have a business profile and make use of Twitter ads, buy now options and polls

Disadvantages

  • It’s concise, to the point and instant
  • It’s easy for tweets to be lost amongst the constant noise
  • You have to be quick to respond

Good for

  • Businesses related to news and current affairs (media, PR, newspapers)
  • Fast moving industries
  • People with lots to say (authors, commentators, presenters)

If you are considering using social media for your business, make sure you approach it with strategy in mind and seek expert support for training or day to day activity to keep the message accurate.

Blunt advice on selecting which Social Media Platform is right for you
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