Social Media 101: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
What social media platforms should I be on? How often should I post? Which social platforms do my target audiences use?
If you’re not a social media expert, these questions can be overwhelming. And usually what happens is that instead of finding the answers, organizations just do what feels right. They create accounts across five platforms without knowing what makes each unique.
Here’s your guide.
Facebook is the platform of the people. It has the most users of any other social network, and it’s got the most features for organizations to utilize.
- More users than Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat combined
- Only 6% difference in usage among 18-29-year-olds vs. 30-49-year-olds
- Facebook wants to own video
- Prioritizes posts containing videos uploaded directly to Facebook
- When you go Live, Facebook works to “build an audience,” which greatly increases the likelihood of people seeing your post
- 85% of viewers don’t turn on the sound when viewing videos, so if possible try to include captions
- Fun fact: 21 seconds is the optimal length of a Facebook video
- Facebook algorithm
- It’s important to understand how Facebook works. Your company page posts aren’t seen by everyone who likes your page. In an effort to customize news feeds with content users most want to see, Facebook limits the reach of company page posts. A small percentage of your most engaged followers will see your post appear in their news feeds. If a lot of people in that group like, share or comment on the post, it’ll get pushed out to another group of people who are fairly engaged with your page but less so than that first group. And so on and so on. Get it?
- Facebook boosts
- There’s a way to bypass the Facebook algorithm, and that’s by paying to boost your post. And the bang for your buck here is insane. By investing the equivalent of $1/day to Facebook boosts, you can increase your reach by thousands. Even organizations with small budgets can swing $30 for boosts every month.
Let’s not spend too much time here. Twitter’s important in terms of credibility when people are searching for your organization, but as an effective communication tool, it’s pretty awful. There are 500 million tweets each day.
That’s 6,000 tweets/second! It’s so hard to stand out. Let’s take a look Justin Bieber for example. The guy has 98 million followers, but most of his tweets get about 100k likes. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, in reality, it’s .103% of his total follower base. Extrapolate that to your follower base. Is it worth it?
Instagram is a must if you want to reach the ever-coveted Millennial. The Instagram stories feature was a huge move for Instagram, pulling a lot of Millennials away from Snapchat and creating a new medium through which to share content. From personal experience, the story feature has been great for Angel Oak.
- 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35
- Instagram stories has 250 million daily users, more than Snapchat’s entire app
- Influencers on both platforms have seen engagement rates 3-5x higher on Instagram than Snapchat
- Strategic hashtags can attract new audiences to your content
So if Instagram is killing it, is there even a reason to consider Snapchat? It depends. If you’d like to reach high school students (iGens), then absolutely. Earlier this year I polled a group of 42 high school students about their social media habits. I was shocked to learn that not a single one used Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. All of them were active on Snapchat. The key to penetrating this demographic is figuring out how to leverage Snapchat.
- 60% of users are younger than 25
- Users spend an average of half an hour on the app/day (Instagram=15 mins)
- 65% of users create content while most Instagram users mainly browse
- Requires creativity
Hope this post was helpful. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about leveraging your social media efforts.
– Seth Crawford, Digital Marketing Specialist