A quick guide to the most used social media platforms

Are you posting effectively? Do you know what the optimum characters to use in a post for each platform are?

Not every platform is for every business; however, choosing the right social media sites, and regularly engaging with your audience, is essential. Below I have outlined information on five social media sites to help you determine which platforms are a good fit for your marketing efforts.

Image: Pixabay

Facebook allows brands to communicate with their current and potential audience directly, which is why marketers put a lot of effort into generating likes and fans. Approximately one in two Australians use Facebook daily, and it has 15 million monthly active Australian users. The most common age group of users is the 25 to 34-year-old age group at 29.7%. Therefore, if this age bracket is your target public, this could be the prime target demographic for marketing efforts and engagement. Ideal content length for Facebook post is 40 – 80 characters.

YouTube is reported to be the biggest online video platform worldwide, containing a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media content, and is a valuable advertising solution. Approximately one in two Australians use YouTube, and it has 15 million unique Australian visitors per month. Videos up to two minutes in length receive the most engagement and can increase conversions on a website by 80%, and many marketing professionals name video as the best return on investment. Ideal content length forYouTube is 70 characters for the title and up to 5000 characters for the video description.

Twitter allows users to send short 140-character messages, and currently ranks as one of the leading social networks worldwide. Millennials make up the biggest percentage of all generations using twitter. So, if they are your target audience you can reach them on this platform. More good news is 93% of people who follow a business or brand on Twitter plan to purchase from them. Ideal content length for Twitter posts is 71 – 100 characters, and hashtags linking to a broader issue or conversation are useful.

LinkedIn is for business professionals and is used to build relationships: connect with associates, colleagues and likely consumers. It is the second most popular business platform, after Facebook, utilised by 82% of large businesses, 41% of medium-sized businesses, and 35% of small businesses. This platform is chosen to increase authority and professional appeal amongst mining organisations and leaders. Ideal content length for LinkedIn posts is 16-25 words, and hashtags linking to a broader issue or conversation are useful.

As at June 2018, there were more than 1 billion monthly active users of the photo-sharing social networking app, Instagram. Instagram users are mostly below the age of 35, and the platform is one of the most popular social networks amongst teenagers. Instagram is the best social media platform for engagement, ease of use, target market penetration, and building brand awareness. Even so, University of Missouri-Columbia reported most users engage in social news and entertainment. However, this study also identified several strategies for increasing engagement, such as: news images that are aesthetically pleasing and empowering, simple clean images, images that are friendly to the eye, and posts with visible facial features. Ideal content length for Instagram is 138 – 150 characters and 5 – 6 hashtags.

Whatever platform you choose, it is important to create and select content which will receive high engagement, increase awareness of your brand, encourage website visits, and provide a return on investment. The goal is to engage the target audience, so I suggest identifying your key messages, set your online marketing goals, then choose which platforms to post regularly on.

Please contact me if you require any professional support, strategy and content creation or team training.