The Ultimate Social Media Guide for 2022
If you look around, almost everyone is busy tapping on or staring at a cellphone. Everyone is somehow consuming multiple data and information, consciously or not. TV advertisements, hoardings and radio are not the only way to place your brand in front of your target audience, and is definitely not that effective either. In today’s digital age, one way to be prevalent in your audience's mind is via digital advertising, especially in social media platforms.
About half of the world is present and active on different social platforms, which totals to about 4.2 billion active users. On an average, people spend 2 hours 24 mins on Facebook itself and let’s not even start on Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. So, if this year's marketing plans do not include social media, this opportunity is slipping right past your fingertips.
What’s so good about social media?
Marketing doesn’t just include promotions and advertisement; it is about communicating effectively so that your customers and target audience understand the brand and its products, or even its core message. Social Media is a platform that allows customers to talk and share about their thoughts, giving you a sneak preview into how the brand is perceived. It provides a channel to engage and build a direct relationship with your target customer.
The rich communication options available in social media, enable your brand to stay on top of their mind. 70% of social media users log in to their accounts at least once a day. Sounds like something you want right? To be the first thing that strikes someone’s mind. Well, the key is to be relevant and social media is one way to keep up with ongoing trends.
These platforms are built in a way that humanizes the brand, help you portray the brand character, create a following, promote content and get viral, plus we know that it is inherently addictive. Social Media Marketing is not only used for promotions, it is a way to gain insights. They have their own systems that give you data on how your brand is doing, if it is gaining or losing traction, how your customers are engaging with your page (very important) and finally how your competitors are performing.
Okay, now I shall ask you to name different social media handles… You probably came up with Facebook and Twitter instantly, and on further thought maybe Pinterest, Quora and Instagram? But did you know that this is just the tip of the iceberg? What most know of social media is basically social networking sites but there are multiple types of social platforms to get your brand out there. Each platform is beneficial to different types of business, so if you want to market well you have to see what platform suits your business. Let’s first dive into the types:
The First one is the most common and often mistaken to be the sole form of social media. Say hello to networking sites. This is created to connect to your family, friends and maybe make some new ones. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connect and allow users to put their thoughts out. Users generate their own content, post for either private or public audiences, create groups to share their interests and have discussions. Basically, it's purpose is to network and get to know people.
Next are image sharing sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Imgur. There are video options in these sites but the majority of their traffic is based on pictures. It is again User Generated Content based but the conversation is over a picture. A picture can speak a thousand words and these sites take advantage of that particular fact, to showcase ideas and products more visually than via loads of text.
Video sharing media like YouTube, Vimeo and Tiktok need no introduction. These sites keep the user engaged with trendy short videos or vlogs or even series. Consumption of video content has been revolutionized ever since YouTube entered the scene.
Community Blogs are one way to push your original content out. Sometimes pictures and videos are not enough and not everyone is ready to run their own blog, hence the existence of shared community blogs like Medium and Tumblr.
While there is communication, sharing of knowledge and discussions on other sites, Quora and Reddit is the go-to place for answers. These sites help in engaging conversations and proper informative discussions, where the information is considered almost legit. Anyone can ask questions and someone in the community will provide a legitimate answer.
Social review sites are checked more than you imagined it would be. 91% of 18–34-year-old trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation while 93% of consumers say that online reviews color their purchase decisions. Reviews are proof of services and products to other potential customers. Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google My Business allows consumers to leave or read reviews.
What to carry to the Battlefield?
Since we know that social media is a powerful weapon for marketing, let's see which type of social media suits which business model, to enable you to effectively utilize social media for your business.
Business to Business (B2B Social Marketing)
As a business to business model, you aim to connect with other businesses as well as your target decision makers. This can be a little tricky because your business contacts may have different goals and needs than an average consumer does, but the goal in social media is not to sell; it is to humanise and create awareness. Social media can be used to produce and push out content, where you can easily educate and build trust in the market or community. By gaining a following, you look more trustworthy and credible, making others want to connect or establish trade with you. So what do you choose from the armoury?
Built in 2002, this is The Networking site for any professional. Let me tell you why. First, there are more than 55 million companies listed in LinkedIn, so it won't be that tough to reach out to any type of business based locally/globally or in your target industry. Second, according to LinkedIn, out of all its users 180 million are just senior level influencers; say hello to establishing professional networks directly with decision makers.
This site needs no introduction. While it may seem as a great outlet for B2C, you would be surprised to hear that business decision-makers spend 74% more time on facebook than an average user; out of 2.38 billion users, 74% of the people say that they use Facebook for professional purposes. So it would be a great idea to maybe have a facebook business page, engage in your niche groups, and be a part of the overall community because eventually that is what Facebook is about.
Most of the business celebrities tweet on a regular basis just to keep their followers engaged. The stock market can be shaken by a single tweet, such is the power of 280 characters. While instagram and snapchat appeals to the younger crowd, Twitters comprises more of the mature audience, with 63% of its users between the age group of 35-65 years. 12% of the worldwide population use twitter to get their news, while there are 70 million accounts who follow twitter topics to stay up-to-date with the relevant discussions.
80% of US marketeers are confident that youtube videos convert. The growing numbers of users in youtube foreshadows that in the future to come, consumers will stop subscribing to pay for TV services. It is a great place to create content visually, gather subscribers and collaborate with other businesses or accounts. Content like product demos, brand stories, vlogs and how-tos circulate like wildfire, while long videos (generally 15 mins) outperform shorter ones.
You may wonder how Slideshare is a part of this article. In case you have missed it, Slideshare is now a part of LinkedIn Media, so now you don’t just have a banner ad, but an entire presentation specifically curated for your audience embedded in your LinkedIn post. This platform receives five times the traffic from business professionals than any other platform, with 1,140 slides viewed per second.
Business to Consumer (B2C Social Marketing)
Connecting directly to your customers, reverting back to their feedback and creating content for a huge group of people can seem like a mammoth of a task. Business to consumer models are more customer centric which makes social media a key outreach method in this digital age. So where exactly do you start?
The original social networking site is the obvious contender for the B2C businesses. Facebook is where most of the world is active and engaging, the king of social media used by 59% of social media users. Relationships can flourish well as you have a direct reach to your audience and the average time spent by a US user is 33 mins. It is seen that young adults prefer using this site as 65% of the users are below the age of 35. So while creating ads on facebook, make sure you tailor it for your audience.
This photo based social media has intelligently used the power of pictures, making 42% of the world log in several times a day. So any business that needs to connect and stay relevant can use instagram to boost their social presence. In terms of demographics, according to Statista, more than half of the global users are younger than the age of 34. This is the originating platform for influencer marketing, where an average business account has a 1.68% monthly growth in account followers.
This is the app that has set the world on fire since its inception in 2017. Due to the pandemic, the app has grown to be the third most popular social media platform, creating a huge market for SMEs. The app is filled with GenZ users, about 60% who in time, will come to be the largest generation of all. The interface of this app makes you explore not only the people you know but also content of different topics and people which makes the discoverability much better than other apps.
Is your target audience around the millennial generation? Well then snapchat is the app for you. While it can’t compete with instagram and facebook, doing business in snapchat is not a bad idea if your goal aligns with their users. With 238 million users in the year 2020, snapchat is an undermined space for marketing. So go create a business account and start your marketing campaign, for users are now spending 35% more time on the Discover section of the app, where users can see content created by other business and public accounts.
As explained before, this social networking site can make or break the world in just a few words, which if used wisely can be a huge boost to your business. With 187 million monetizable daily active users, having a b2c account would ensure a decent following and customer base. The app boast of being the #1 platform for discovery where 79% of the users seek to discover what is new. So if marketed right, your reach can be amplified to several folds, reaching many curious customers.
With 38 million active channels, out of which 22000 have a million subscribers, Youtube is still an unsaturated market, used second most after facebook. This social platform allows you to interact through more content that is not static and more creatively expressed. 40.6% of Youtube watchtime happens on the mobile while the largest user age group is 15-35 years old. There are many ways to keep your audience engaged, like educational videos or animated infographics, AMSRs and experiential videos. It is important to note that videos of higher quality tend to get viewed more if the topic interests the audience.
This app is another platform which encourages the use and sharing of visual information. Here the competition is light, with 500,000 business accounts, compared to 70 million user accounts. Between 2019 to 2020, the number of Genz users have increased by 40% indicating that the app is to rise in the coming years. The fact that most of your pins will be re-pinned and shared more, gives hope that the social outreach will be quite high if directed properly. 25% of social media marketers are using pinterest which again makes this an unmined field, as 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions based on Pinterest.
Are we ready to march on?
Social media is a direct and useful approach to marketing, but it is not always easy. It takes time and expertise to figure out your audience, understand them and eventually gain their trust. But once you have your base and research fool proof, you are literally a click away from growing and expanding your business influence in the ever growing market.