Choosing the right social media platform is by far one of the best things you can do to promote yourself, brand, business, or organization.
According to a study by Forbes referenced in an article published on business.com, 93% of Marketers in the United States of America use social media to reach out to their customers. Social networking sites have proved useful and entrepreneurs have increasingly begun to use them to promote their businesses.
In Nigeria, Social media has come to stay and is gaining far reaching traction as exemplified by the recently concluded presidential election which saw President Buhari ride on the wings of Social Media to drive home the message of Change to Nigerians.
Entrepreneurs who doubted social media were bemused by its powers and potentials. However, what some digital marketing firms in Nigeria won’t tell you is that social media itself is one of the strategic components of an effective online marketing strategy.
However, as shown by the image below, Social media traction in Nigeria should not be ignored by any business owner that is hoping to compete and expand market share.
Nigeria and indeed Sub-Saharan Africa has made huge advances in mobile and broadband penetration. An Ericsson Mobility Report shows that in 2014 phone users accessed 76,000 (TB) terabytes of data per month which was double the figure for 2013. And numbers are expected to double per month for subsequent years.
So you tell me will you ignore social media marketing with this huge market staring you in the face. Give it a thought.
I know you won’t and shouldn’t because you are in business to drive the growth of your business and make profit. And that is why I will be helping you choose which social media platform is right for your business and personal brand in this post. So keep reading.
There are many social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are only just a few compared to the vast selection of others which you may have heard of; each social media platform has its specific purposes. Facebook helps users interact with family and friends; Twitter helps you meet random strangers.
Also, you can post videos on Vine or YouTube, or share compelling photos on Instagram or Tumblr. Writers go for Google+, professionals opt for Linkedin. Some daring ones share their location on Path or FourSquare. The options are endless, but which one is best for your business?
To find out which social network is the choice for you, I will need to at least group the social networks to where they belong:
- Socializing Networks: Twitter and Facebook
- Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr
- Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine
- Business oriented networks: LinkedIn
- Authorship networks: Google+
- Location-based networks: Foursquare, Yelp
- Writer based networks and sites: Tumblr, WordPress
Next, we need to know a few facts about each social network, to see what they all have to offer in terms of traffic and demographics. According to a 2014 survey made by Digital Insights blog:
- More than 2 users sign-up for LinkedIn every second.
- 23% of teens consider Instagram as their favourite social network.
- 84% of women and 50% of men stay active on Pinterest.
- Weekends are the most popular times of the week to share Vines.
- 40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile devices
- 70% of Snapchat users are female
- 3 of the 5 most retweeted Vines ever are by Musicians
- There are over 39 million students & recent college graduates on LinkedIn
- 72% of online adults visit Facebook at least once a month
Based on these facts alone, it can be the deduced that business owners whose target markets are teenagers ought to advertise their products on Instagram, users on Vines should post more on weekends, and you might want to join in on the LinkedIn craze. I recommend that you read LinkedIn and its social media marketing perks.
Now that we have grouped the social media platforms, you need to ask yourself some basic question from a social media marketing perspective:
There is no point rushing to join a social media network if you cannot stand it, or wish to learn how to use it or sacrifice time on it to build your brand.
While all the aforementioned are important factors to consider, the following is also imperative: which social networks can users not live without?
Take vine for example, while vines might have many users over the weekend, and you feel you most likely would be freer to promote your business on social media at that same time, Nigerians might not be a loyal society to vines.
Content on vines are mostly video, and not many Nigerians (except the youth) wish to deplete their data watching minute long videos. So people opt for Instagram, another social network which allows users to upload videos along with pictures, but with a fifteen second limit.
If your market is in Nigeria and you want to share multimedia content, consider joining Instagram. The bottom line is, choose a social media network and learn to use it effectively. Some of my best guides from Online marketing Legend Neil Patel on how to use social media effectively are:
You should consider reading them.
If you have thought long and hard at the question I mentioned earlier, but you still are not sure which social media network you want to join, take a look at the following:
- Facebook image posts generate 120% more engagement than text
- Posts with 250 characters or less have 60% more engagement than longer posts
- Thursday and Friday have 18% better engagement than other days of the week
This is particularly good for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). According to a 2014 survey, Facebook is the most popular social media website.
This is a good thing, when you’re opportuned to brand your business to over one billion active users on Facebook. Facebook has many features which allow you post text; send pictures, tag friends, the ideal social media site for involving people.
Anyone can create a page for their business and push followers to share content, thus expanding your customer base over time. Entrepreneurs will do well to create a Facebook page and showcase their products to the whole wide world.
For example, if you run a magazine, it would be a great idea to create a page for the magazine. Invite all your friends to like the page. It would do your magazine’s readership good to get your friends to also invite all their Facebook friends to like the page as well.
You can create events on Facebook to notify likers when the launch will be, where you’ll be selling magazines, and if there will be any fundraising or special end of your parties for the magazine.
- 38% of internet users with an income of more than $75k are on the platform.
- 79% of LinkedIn users are aged 35 or older
LinkedIn is a great Social Media platform for checking out Business Partnership opportunities and Network. Alternatively, LinkedIn is for the job hunter and the “huntee”.
If you are a Human Resources Manager, LinkedIn is yet another site that will ease the process of searching for the right candidates at your organization.
If you were the nerdy kid who volunteered in too many clubs, served as a resident or teaching assistant, and ran for Student Government President, then you’re in luck. While bragging about that to random strangers might hint you literally had no life back in college, these are good pieces of information to add on your Linkedin page, and relevant too. Share your past school and extracurricular activities with LinkedIn’s more than 300 million users.
If you are just stepping out of university, it is best to get a LinkedIn account as soon as possible. That way, you can network with friends from high school, university, your internship place, and soon, future colleagues you’ll make during NYSC, masters, and more.
Although LinkedIn is fast losing its business network edge to Google+ which has a more robust community tool and has more fun factors like hangout, which you can use to catch up on an old friend and even spy on their personal life through their pictures. Experts believe that LinkedIn will maintain its growth as it seems to be the only network that people actual need.
- Twitter is the fourth most used social media platform
- 46% of people log in on a daily basis
- 60% of Twitter users actively post on the site everyday
(B2B and B2C) Ironically, is for the writers and the no writers. With a limit of 140 characters, non-writers have field days expressing themselves without needing to feel oppressed by the literary icons who need pages and pages worth of space to communicate a short message.
But then again, this is a plus for writers because they get to share links of their longer words on other sites via twitter, and still enjoy posting pictures, videos, and short texts to as many followers as they have.
Journalists, bloggers, writers, and news organizations thrive off Twitter. They can express themselves in just 140 characters, and they can share links to their articles and websites in just a few seconds to thousands of Twitter users.
- Instagram is the fifth-most-popular social media platform but has the second-most devoted users.
- 43% of mobile owners aged 18-29 are on the site
- Instagram is the only platform that is actually skewed towards blacks and Hispanics
- 57% of users access the site daily
(B2C) is certainly for the picture-friendly professionals such as restaurant owners, photographers, models, and artists. With just a few taps you can share your artwork or recent photo shoot with the world without having to stress over getting accounts on Shutterchance and Flickr, e.t.c. Moreover, the more likes you get, the more your other people can view your work and if interested, follow you.
- Google+ users are predominately male
- Of the 540 million users, 67% are male
- Only about 300 million users are active on the network
Google plus is a Digital marketers link juice. it is ideal for sharing content, makes content marketing and makes brand awareness simple. The community function is the most exciting advantage of the platform as it gives businesses the opportunity to find and engage like minds.
If you are interested in building a personal brand and establishing yourself as an expert in your field, Google+ is where you should be.
All social media platforms have their unique advantage of having presence, however, to be truly beneficial to your business and personal brand, you should consider mastering each platform that you use.
I would love to hear about your experiences on social media. What prompts you to choose a particular network? How that network works for you.
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