Which social media networks are right for you?

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Social media allows us to connect with people from all over the world, both as an individual and as a brand. But social media platforms are not a one size fits all proposition. 

 

When designing our social media output, our primary consideration is always our audience and how we can best connect with them. We consider who we want our content to reach, and the social media platform they would look to for our kind of content. 

 

However, it’s also important to consider which social media network you like using. If someone finds using a particular social media platform difficult or frustrating, they’re unlikely to put in the time and effort necessary to create a consistent and coherent social media presence, and the content will appear half baked and inauthentic as a result.  

 

To develop and build a social media presence, another central factor is allocating the necessary time. This includes not only creating content and sharing it but engaging with networks on social platforms and surveying other social media users in the same industry or content space. While this reaps significant rewards, it can be a time consuming process, so if you’re time poor it may be wise to outsource your social media content. 

 

Another key consideration: what kind of content do you want to put out? Is your content output primarily visual? Are you focusing more on video? Content should be tailored differently to each social media platform – it can focus on the same broad theme or topic, but the same raw text and visuals can perform very differently between platforms. 

 

With all of these factors in mind, we’ve put together a brief rundown of the major social media networks to give you a sense of how to maximise the different advantages of each platform. At Anouska & Co, we always recommend putting out a wide range of content across several social platforms, to extend your reach as far as possible. 

 

Facebook
The biggest of all the social media platforms, Facebook accordingly hosts the most diverse kind of content. From text, to imagery, to video, to external links, to livestream content – Facebook’s overwhelming dominance of the social media landscape means that the platform is an ideal place for you to aggregate all your social media output. 

 

Facebook is useful for sharing content and engaging with your personal network in particular. Creating a Facebook Business page also enables you to run ads on the platform and utilise Facebook’s sophisticated ad targeting software, enabling your content to reach a much broader audience who are likely to be interested in your business. 

 

Another advantage of Facebook is the sheer size of its audience. Over a billion people are active on Facebook - yes, that’s ‘billion’ with a ‘b’. And as Facebook continues to diversify its services, people will increasingly treat it as a one stop shop, meaning in the fullness of time, more people will access your brand online through your Facebook than your website. 

 

Instagram
Instagram is the best place for all of your visual content. For anything where it’s more important to you that people look at an image or video rather than read the associated text, Instagram is best suited for you. 

 

Instagram offers a range of ways to directly connect to your audience. Still images or short videos will appear in your feed, while the IGTV feature allows you to post videos longer than a minute. The ability to livestream through Instagram also gives you the opportunity to directly connect with your audience in real time. 

 

The primary audience of Instagram is young people. 90 per cent of Instagram users are younger than 35, and 75 per cent of all users are between 18 and 24. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram means you can also run ads through Instagram, as long as the account is connected to your Facebook Business page.  

 

Twitter
Twitter is optimal for primarily text based output. If your brand persona is witty, edgy and succinct, Twitter is the perfect platform. While there is the capacity for multimedia output, the bulk of the content on Twitter are 280 character missives, designed to be snappy and off the cuff. 

 

Twitter is especially useful for connecting with people in the media industry. Journalists from around the world use Twitter to network, both with each other and potential sources. If you want to position yourself or your brand as an authority on the news within your industry, Twitter is a valuable place to share your commentary and opinions. 

 

The number of users on Twitter is fewer than other social media networks. However, it does have 139 million daily users, meaning its user base is highly engaged with the platform. People also said the main reason they use Twitter is to find out about the news of the day, meaning it’s the perfect place for you and your brand to become part of the larger cultural conversation around issues. 

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a much more diverse social media brand than people imagine, as we have discussed previously. Somewhat similarly to Twitter, content output on LinkedIn is primarily text based. However, it lends itself more to longer form writing like blog posts. 

 

If you want to position your brand as a knowledgeable authority in your industry, LinkedIn is an excellent platform. Thought leadership is a hugely important part of LinkedIn’s content, with high ranking professionals from every industry connecting with each other and sharing their insights on their feeds. 

 

Accordingly, the demographic breakdown of LinkedIn is slightly different from other more traditional social media platforms. Up to 100 million people use it every day, and around 61 million of those are ‘senior level influencers’. This means your content can be shared and accessed by significantly powerful people, which allows your content to gain legitimacy in a more efficient way than on other social platforms. 

Emma Bartlett