Which social media platforms are best for customer outreach?
Brands need to know who their top customers are and understand which generations gravitate towards which platforms.
Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers on the channels where they feel most comfortable. The problem for brands is that there are so many popular social media platforms that it’s hard to know which of them are the best for reaching their customers.
Let’s see how brands can determine which social platforms are most appropriate for their core customers and which platforms are used by different generations.
A consumer-centric omnichannel approach
With new social media platforms popping up daily, the challenge is knowing which ones brands prefer for marketing, advertising and outreach. Here are some of the most popular social platforms today, according to a January 2022 Statistical report:
- Facebook – With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook remains the top dog in the social media universe.
- facebook messenger – Facebook’s messaging app has over 988 million monthly active users.
- WhatsApp – Another popular messaging service owned by Meta, WhatsApp has 2 billion monthly active users.
- instagram – Another Meta property, Instagram has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users.
- Youtube – As the second most active social network, YouTube has nearly 2.6 billion monthly active users.
- ICT Tac – With one billion monthly active users, TikTok is rapidly growing in popularity and is regularly used by Gen Z as a search engine for local businesses.
- Reddit – With 430 million monthly active users, Reddit is one of the largest discussion networks on the Internet.
- Twitter – This popular social commenting platform has 436 million monthly active users.
- pinterest – This popular photo-sharing network has 444 million monthly active users.
- Snapchat – With 557 million monthly active users, this messaging service remains hugely popular.
- WeChat – As the second most popular messaging app, WeChat has over 1.2 billion monthly active users.
- Quora – Although not exactly a social network, Quora still has an active community of 300 million monthly active users.
- LinkedIn – This professional business social network has 830 million members.
Joe Karasin, Head of Growth at Circle thea generational platform, told CMSWire that the value of a social channel is somewhat dependent on brands’ goals.
“If someone is looking to convert sales on their website, then Instagram and YouTube may be the best channels. If you just want to create awareness and provide content, TikTok might be the best choice. The best strategy is to take a consumer-centric omnichannel approach, so this understanding is critical to marketing,” Karasin said.
Related article: Understanding the link between social media and a great customer experience
Publication on social networks, influencers and advertising
Since most brands have a social presence on major social networks, they have several marketing options:
- Use their own social media presence to post images, videos and messages.
- Work with influencers on social platforms to endorse, review or talk about their products and services.
- Advertise on social platforms so that ads appear after relevant searches or users show interest in specific keywords.
Each of these options — which aren’t mutually exclusive (brands can use all three if they choose) — has its own merits and drawbacks. Determining which option provides the most benefit and will reach the brand’s target audience largely depends on the strategy and objectives of the campaign and the audience segment the brand is trying to reach.
Ronn Torossian, Founder and President of 5WPRa New York-based PR agency, told CMSWire that every marketing campaign should have a strategy, largely because strategy determines the methodology they use for each social platform.
“Companies need to define each strategy for each social media platform they are going to use, as each platform will be different in different ways, which means companies need to understand what will work best to ensure that the content is going to generate engagement with a target audience.
Most brands regularly post content on their own social networks, so it can be difficult to capture the attention of customers and potential customers, especially when brands try to create content that is not considered purely advertising.
Although social media is a medium that allows brands to show their personality and character, the content that brands post should remain consistent with the brand voice and values. Humor and lighthearted content allow customers to see the human side of a brand.
Presentation is everything
Customers understand that brands are businesses whose goals include profitability, but they don’t want to be continually bombarded with sales pitches or advertising copy.
Because a brand’s strategy affects how it markets on each platform, Torossian said that means changing the idea of original content in terms of presentation and formatting, whether in a written format or more visual.
“Some of the things businesses need to consider are why the business chooses to use the specific platform, the audience it is targeting, what content will work best on the platform and engage the audience, the brand messages the company is trying to promote and all the ways the content can be made unique so the company can stand out from the crowd,” Torossian explained.
Influencer marketing is often an extremely effective way to reach niche audiences. According to a Insider Intelligence Report, in 2019, Instagram was used by 69% of marketers who work with influencers, followed by YouTube with 11%. A more recent Insider Information Report 2022 reported that this year, 66% of influencer marketers will use TikTok.
Advertising on social media platforms gives brands the opportunity to showcase their products and services using images, text, and video. On YouTube, for example, brands can create video ads that play intermittently while users watch related videos.
Brands can target users based on their Google search history and YouTube viewing behaviors. Google estimated that 70% of users bought a product after seeing it on YouTube.
Related article: Find your target audience through social media
Social Media Generational Preferences
According to Karasin, while there are exceptions to every rule, it’s safe to assume that the newer a platform, the younger the user base will be. “Certain channels, such as Reddit, tend to have a wider range of users across varying demographics,” he said.
The data made available through the various advertising platforms allows brands to target people from specific generations. “On Facebook, for example, because we see the most engagement from an older user base (from millennials to baby boomers), we create content that is relevant to people in that age range. “, said Karasin.
“On Instagram, we tend to see a different range, which includes young millennials and Gen Z to Gen X.”
CircleIt has different appeal for different generations. “So a Facebook ad might be more about preserving your legacy for future generations and telling your story, whereas the same type of ad on IG would focus on finding your roots and learning about your ancestors,” Karasin said.
Aneesh Dhawan, CEO of knita consumer insights startup that provides market data on Gen Z and millennial audiences, is in a great position to understand how to market generationally through social media.
Dhawan said brands really need to understand the generations they want to market to. “Not just their values, but the way they express them, the trends they care about, and ultimately the messages that will resonate with them. When trying to understand Generation Z, for example, brands have always struggled to get and hold their attention.”
He added a warning that some brands are acting from a place of desperation by using slang or trying to tap into Gen Z humor without really understanding it, which Gen Z considers “worthy to grind his teeth”.
True organic outreach is the most effective way to reach this generation. “Gen Z responds best to marketing that is authentic, fun, and aligned with their values of social responsibility,” Dhawan said.
“The truth is, building lasting brand loyalty takes time and often requires a commitment to invest in valuable consumer insights to understand what drives this group.”
To be successful, brands need to be acutely attuned not just to what content and messages resonate, Dhawan suggested, but also to how to effectively articulate the brand story.
Effectively engage specific consumer segments
Marc Bealprofessor of communications at Rutgers University, told CMSWire that there are more social media content channels than ever that brands can use to reach consumers, but to effectively engage specific consumer segments, brands must take the time to really understand which channels are preferred by each generation. of customers.
“In my immersion into Gen Z, the big three – YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram – are the channels brands need to leverage to try to successfully engage this cohort.”
Beal said Gen Z don’t consume traditional media such as network and cable TV or even Facebook, which their Gen X parents prefer. “Gen Z also gravitates toward communities of common interest like Discord and Reddit, online audio communities like Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse, and emerging channels like BeReal.”
Beal suggested that content created for Gen Z should be concise, intelligent, informative and, in many cases, entertaining.
With so many social media platforms available for brands to conduct marketing and advertising campaigns, it can be difficult to determine which platform is best for their goals.
Brands need to strategize for each platform and decide if they’re going to reach customers by posting on their own social presence, working with social influencers, or using targeted ads.
Finally, brands need to understand how each generation uses social media to approach them in a way that is authentic, organic, and well accepted by each generational group.