Social Media Sites: How They Work, and Which Ones to Choose

An active presence on social media sites can vitally aid a business’ SEO by providing new sources of engaged web traffic as well as strengthen relationship with their audiences via direct communication. Most social networking sites have built-in analytics for performance evaluation, and you can use them to study user behavior and draw attention to your blog posts as our discussion of blogs details. The question is not about whether you should use social media platforms, but which ones you should use. Ask not what social media can do for you, but what you can do on social media.

This choice ought to depend on the platforms’ applicability to your niche audience, and the content you post to each should meet platform-specific optimization standards. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube can all serve as primary platforms, and sundry others appeal to particular niches (e.g. Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Snapchat).

 

Facebook

Here’s some wisdom about Facebook that we’d Like to Share: with 2.0 billion users as of 2017, it stands as the most popular social network. This makes it ideal for Business to Consumer (B2C) ads, since you can find a niche for any business there. Whatever audience you’re targeting is practically guaranteed to have a Facebook presence already. Of course, this also means that you’ll have competitors on there from the start. Marketing well on Facebook requires good, standout content that gets users to stop scrolling.

Facebook users often scroll past videos without activating the audio, so yours ought to catch attention immediately via text overlay. Besides that, a Facebook page should keep users up to date on blog posts and events. Facebook’s built-in analytics provide an in-depth look into demographic and psychographic data based on users and market sizes. They also provide stats on impressions, clicks, click-through-rate (CTR), cost, average cost-per-click (avg CPC), conversions, conversion rate, total conversion value, and cost per converted click.

LinkedIn

If you’re linked into LinkedIn, it’s probably because you want to make business to business (B2B) ads. Sponsored content blends in on LinkedIn – just as well, since everyone goes there for business purposes already. This makes it a lower-competition platform because there is less sponsored content for users to wade through.

However, this also means that companies with professional audiences and B2B emphasis make progress with it. If you have these, plus a budget for the more expensive CPC, then you should seriously consider using it. LinkedIn allows you to post job offers, news, and other professional content such as articles or blog links. Like Facebook, it also provides analytics on demographics, psychographics, and stats.

Twitte

A little bird told me that Twitter appeals to ample demographics and has an effective system for targeting their interests. Hashtags and keywords allow your posts to appear on users’ feeds with little indication of their status as ads. However, Twitter users will flit from one shiny post to another unless they form a nested interest in your content. If you wish to gain any leverage on Twitter, make sure to flock with your birds of a feather: demonstrate a strong sense of character within the 140… sorry, 280 they provide to you.

Twitter content should consist of time-sensitive news, blog links, and neat GIFs. You may also consider posting short videos to Twitter, so as to carry the torch for its dear departed Vine. Given Twitter’s wealth of demographics, it has in-depth analytics as well.

YouTube

We recommend YouTube, the largest video-sharing platform, to those committed to promoting quality videos. The videos ought to last between 20 seconds and 2 minutes to keep viewer attention. All demographics have a niche there, but you should only join if you know you can post frequently enough.

As our post on YouTube optimization describes, optimization relies on tags, transcriptions, and content relevance. The title, description, and tags should contain keywords that people won’t notice for how readable and descriptive these areas are. Think of keywords as a dog whistle played at a frequency only search engines can hear. You can create default tags for each video, ideally consisting of your brand name and keywords. It also helps to specify tags for events and optimize the first 130 characters of the description that viewers see. Closed captioning and transcriptions both aid hearing-impaired viewers and turn up in search engines, so you should definitely use them.

Ancillary Social Media Sites

No one can keep track of every social media platform online, since trendy new ones arise all the time. Therefore, your choice of these others for your social media campaign relies on their relevance:

  • Instagram: Facebook now owns this image-sharing platform, so you can use Ads Manager on it as well. This makes for ideal targeting, though it has a high CPC and lower conversion rates due to its younger demographic. Use it if you can creatively market to millennials without saying “how do you do, fellow kids?”
  • Snapchat: Like the Norwegian one-hit wonder band A-ha, Snapchat stories will be gone in a day or two. In the meantime, Geofilters allow you to reach users within the radius of your building and alert them to events. Use Snapchat if you have a younger demographic.
  • Pinterest: This platform resembles a magpie’s nest even more so than Twitter does, for all the shiny things users collect. Try it if you have a B2C slant and an aesthetically-pleasing product, such as jewelry or desserts.
  • Google+: People joke about it being the Hufflepuff House of search engines, but you shouldn’t dismiss it immediately. Besides its easy connectivity to YouTube, Google+ posts will appear in Google’s search index. I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords!

There’s a social media platform for every audience and too many to use all at once. Pick the ones that work for you, and then tell all your friends.

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