Oct 9

Thinking of Jumping the Social Media Ship?

Just make sure your audience is jumping with you

Numerous news outlets are reporting that young people are less likely to use to Facebook, like THIS. And it’s true. Teenagers are instead opting for Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Honestly, I can see the appeal. The trend has many brands scrambling to snag a handle and start snapping.

We’ve had several conversations with clients about social media strategy. We urge our clients to stop and look at the bigger picture. How does social media fit into your overall communications plan? What are your goals? Who do you hope to reach?

Thinking about your goals and objectives will guide you in defining your audience. If your goal is to push out information on upcoming tax changes, posting a story on Instagram is probably not going to reach your audience.

To keep this brief, check out some of SPR’s guidelines for the five largest platforms and how we use them to connect with different audiences.

Facebook – Facebook is undoubtedly the reigning king of social media. With nearly two BILLION users worldwide, Facebook still dominates the social media conversation. With so many users, you can use the platform for multiple purposes, including pushing out urgent information, promoting events and having fun with your audience.

Twitter – Twitter is a great source for news – and the platform most beloved by news media, who see it as a new incarnation of the AP ticker tape. In fact, many breaking news stories emerge from Twitter. Along with Facebook, this is probably the most visible platform you’ll use. Be sure to keep your tweets short and to the point. Use #hashtags. If you’re posting a link, try using Bitly to shorten it.

Twitter recently announced they are beta-testing longer tweets – extending the classic 140 character limit to 280 characters. Some purists are upset by this move while others applaud it. Either way, keeping your message short and witty will continue to set you apart.

LinkedIn – Many people often leave LinkedIn out of the conversation. It’s great for networking, attracting new employees and showcasing your company or organization. It’s also great for sharing and gathering industry news. And of course, it’s indispensable for finding a new job. LinkedIn should be used to connect with potential employees, connecting with industry experts and sharing your expertise.

Example of paid Snapchat filter

Snapchat – Home to more than 158 million daily users, Snapchat is one of the newest kids on the social media block. A majority of the users are young people, and this audience is resistant to advertising. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to start snapping. Lingo Lesson: Snapping is taking a photo or video of yourself to share. After 24 hours, the media is no longer available.

If you want to dip your toe in the Snapchat pool, try creating a customized filter for your next event. Prices start for as little as $5.

Instagram – Instagram now boasts more than 700 million users and that number is climbing. Businesses can connect by visually demonstrating products, events and even culture. More than 40 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram. I admit, about half of those are probably of my dogs and my children.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans between ages 18 and 29 are on Instagram. If you are looking to target millennials, this is your sweet spot. When using Instagram, be sure include a #hashtag, since posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6 percent more engagement.

Bonus: Instagram Stories – I know I said I was going to cover the “Big 5,” but I want to mention Instagram Stories. Snapchat has seen many of its influencers jump ship to Instagram Stories. Like Snapchat, the photos and videos are only visible for 24 hours. The platform also includes fun filters. So why are users dropping Snap for Instagram Stories? I could write a whole blog on why, but simply put, it’s just better. Since Instagram has been around since 2010, many users are already familiar with the interface and functions. It’s easier to engage with followers and stories are much more intuitive than Snapchat, which can feel clunky and cumbersome at times.

After its launch a year ago, brands are still learning how best to use Instagram Stories. The fact that Instagram already has a strong user base thanks to its purchase by Facebook gives it the competitive edge over Snapchat. When creating your social media plan, do not overlook the potential of Instagram Stories.

Finding the value of each individual platform will help your organization tremendously.

Navigating the ever-changing trends and features of social media is an endless job. I’m confident you are doing a fantastic job, but should you need assistance or guidance, tweet us. #WeGotYourBack

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