Big and small, today brands are feeling intense pressure to stand out amongst their competitors in the ever-changing social media universe. With the goal of successfully engaging those demanding, connected, 3-second attention span potential customers, social media marketing is a must-do for today’s customer-savvy brands.
However, it’s no secret that the so-called Social Sphere keeps getting bigger and more complex. Updated algorithms and notable features mean each network is making big efforts to offer a unique user experience. And this always begs a question for brands: Do organizations need to be present in each of these platforms in order to be successful in the social space?
That depends. A successful social presence is highly contingent on the organization’s business goals and target audience. While the social cosmos keeps expanding, it may be tempting but not necessary to explore every corner of it. The best way for an organization to decide which platform they should focus their efforts in is by first understanding what each channel offers and what type of audiences they attract. What makes sense for a B2B brand may not be a good strategy for a B2C organization.
In this blog, we share a breakdown of today’s top four social channels (measured by greater value per active user) and who you may find there. Keep in mind that in the true spirit of social media, anything can change at any moment. But one thing remains constant. Social is here to stay and all brands must continue to find a way to stay relevant somewhere in the digital landscape.
With 1.96 billion monthly active users today, Facebook continues to be the #1 social platform worldwide. You might be surprised to find that 87% of online users ages 18 – 29 are still on Facebook. In the U.S., 79% of 30 – 49-year-olds are actively on the channel and Mark Zuckerberg continues to upgrade the social network offering services that benefit both users and organizations.
In 2016, Facebook added Live Video, integrated Shopify, Uber, and Lyft, and upgraded their Events and Search features, among others. If that weren’t enough, they also launched Instagram Stories in their photo-sharing application to directly compete with Snapchat. Conclusion: It’s safe to say Facebook is too big and relevant for brands to ignore. Today, B2B companies are using Facebook to inform and promote ads while B2C brands are providing more entertaining and inspiring content to consumers. Both types are reaping benefits from interacting with their audiences on this platform and making Facebook a complimentary extension of their website and online presence.
Social selling has become one of the hottest trends in social media today, and LinkedIn has stepped up as the main (if not, the only) channel for this new B2B sales strategy. Boasting 65 million active business professionals looking to network, get referrals, and mentorships, LinkedIn offers the right prospects for companies that want to interact directly with C-level executives and decision-making leads. What’s more, the platform offers a full Sales Navigator service to organizations wishing to learn more about the social selling game. The service is definitely worth looking into if you are a B2B company and especially a small business.
A couple interesting statistics about Twitter are that 79% of this microblogging site’s 317 million active users are outside of the U.S. and 62% of them are between the ages of 18 and 49. Twitter continues to reinvent itself through multiple feature offerings that keep users plugged in, if not addicted.
With new loopholes around the pesky 140-character count, Periscope Go Live button, Accessible Images, and Native Gif Search just to name a few, Twitter has secured its spot as a top social platform. Both B2B and B2C brands looking to stay on top of their industry or market segment should consider leveraging this channel to drive fast and concise communication with their customers. Think of it as an effective engagement tool that can offer a real-time voice of the customer and drive audiences to other landing pages (such as your website).
Ranking in at #4 with 1.2 billion users globally (half of them being 36 years of age or younger), this free internet messenger app has quickly gained traction thanks to the latest social messaging trend. WhatsApp’s recently added Status feature (similar to Snapchat) has further brought a whole new social dimension to the application. Just like Snap, brands are finding it useful to connect with customers by sharing marketing stories and offering customer support through SMS services.
If customer experience is the new marketing, B2C brands looking to differentiate themselves may consider WhatsApp as a great way to drive customer loyalty. Also interesting to mention, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook back in 2014.
Overall, these are exciting times for organizations of all types to not only embrace but leverage social platforms and their features to reach the right audiences. Marketing and customer experience as we know it is taking on a new level, and the brands that are incorporating social as part of their digital transformation will win at reaching their target customers, no matter the number of platforms they decide to be on.
How are you incorporating social into your customer experience strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.