If you’re not a Gen Z with insider knowledge of the whole social media game, digital marketing can often feel like a hive of unanswered questions.
How long is the Twitter count?
What should I write in a Pinterest pin?
What actually is TikTok?
In this field, there’s so much that is new. By its very nature, social media marketing is ever-developing – it will continue evolving to encompass the latest trends, technological developments, and innovations in user experience.
That’s the great thing about it. It has so much scope for individual creativity, and for users to really express themselves. Although it might not always feel like it, that’s a huge plus point for a small business.
Consumers want to see your creativity, individualism and brand values, and the fact that you are a small, independent business means that, when it comes to trying to connect to your consumers, you’re already halfway there.
So, once you know the basics, the world of social media marketing is your oyster. This blog is here to help you on the first step of the way.
We get that there are an awful lot of social media platforms out there, and it can be incredibly confusing to know which one does what. So, below, we’ve provided a guide to the most commonly used social media platforms, and outlined our top tips to use them to market your business.
We’ve created a summary-for-dummies for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and TikTok. Hopefully, by reading up on the crux of these platforms, you’ll know which ones provide the best fit for your business, and feel more confident using them to market yourself.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in existence. In fact, it currently has a billion active monthly users. Pretty jaw-dropping, right?
An Instagram post consists of an image, which is accompanied in a post by text and hashtags. Because the content is largely visuals-led, it’s essential that the image is attractive enough to draw the consumer in.
If you want a quick refresher on product photography, check out our product photography tips blog.
Also, since Instagram is such an overwhelmingly popular platform, we’ve also given it its own special blog post. You can find our blog post Inspiring your IG by clicking the link.
- The maximum post length is 2,200 characters.
- The maximum number of hashtags in one post is 30.
- Keep the image clean, professional and stylish.
- Your content should be fun and engaging, as this is a great way to stand out.
- Use hashtags to draw new customers in.
- Instagram stories are also a great way to share current, personal and in-the-moment content with your audience.
Facebook is similar to Instagram, but distinguishes itself in a number of important ways.
It allows users to create a written post, which they can opt to add images, videos or links to.
But, it is important to note that the tone of these posts will be different, as the platform appeals to a different demographic.
The average Facebook user is older than its counterparts. According to Statista, UK Facebook users most commonly fall into the age bracket of 25 to 34 years old. Users aged from 13 to 17 represented the smallest user group, with just 4.5% of UK Facebook users in that age range.
As a result, these posts are typically less trend-conscious or targeted at younger people.
It’s certainly worth bearing this point in mind when you create a post (you’ll probably be reaching parents, rather than teenagers).
- Keep your post to-the point – in a fascinating study by Jeff Bullas, it was found that posts containing 80 characters or less gained 88% higher levels of engagement.
- You can opt to add images, videos, links or hashtags to your post.
- Remember the target demographic – you’re more likely to see success by targeting older generations.
Twitter is a notoriously tricky platform to post for. This is because of its characteristic character count. When writing a Twitter post, you’re stuck with just 280 characters.
So, how do you convey meaning in such a short number of words? You have to get to the point, sharp. Be clear and precise with your tweets – there’s a style in that succinctness.
You can also add hashtags, images and multimedia content to make the post more interesting.
As part of your Twitter presence, you should also retweet relevant posts that are being written by other brands in your field. This is a great way to show that you are on top of the latest trends, while also getting your company out there in front of more people.
- Tweets are a maximum of 280 characters.
- You can still use images, hashtags and links in your tweets.
- Make the most out of the platform’s retweet function.
Pinterest is a slightly more unusual platform, in that it’s specifically targeted at creative people.
With it, users can create their own boards of pins (get it, pin board?). These are grouped into different categories, including every creative topic from wallpaper inspiration to wedding dresses.
In order to create a pin, you will need to include a link. This could be a link to your website, one of your product pages, or a blog post on your site. Then, you can write a pin that expresses the artistry in that post, and shows other creatives why they would want to save it.
- You need to feature a link in the pin.
- The maximum length of a pin is 500 characters.
- Remember who you’re trying to attract – focus on the artistry and creativity of what you’re showcasing. For example, you might want to show off how your product looks in a particular room, or recommend a home decor tip.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have LinkedIn. This platform is designed for professionals, to allow them to network, connect with other like-minded worker bees, and share updates about their industry.
As a result (as you can imagine) the tone is largely formal, clean and informative.
This is a great space to attract the attention of urban, modern and sophisticated people, who are more likely to have a bit of extra disposable income to spend on your products.
You can best make your mark on this platform by being informative, insightful, and by giving each post a clear point. For example, if you create children’s toys, you may want to share a brief anecdote around your own experience of parenting, or some interesting childcare statistics that you have found.
- There is no maximum limit for a LinkedIn post.
- Remember that you are trying to connect with professional people, on a formal platform.
- For the best results, create current and informative content.
TikTok is the ultimate Gen Z platform. With it, users can watch, create and share short videos. These are highly engaging, and often feature an accompanying soundtrack. Right now, it’s the fastest-growing social media on the planet.
As you can well imagine from this youthful social media, TikTok is big on its trends. For example, there’s been #TellMeWithoutTellingMe #LearnOnTikTok #TikTokMadeMeDoIt and even #seashanty.
These videos are fun, creative and captivating. Some of the most popular video content out there includes reels, cooking or baking clips, responses to trends, or funny, lighthearted dances. So play around with it, and have fun!
- The posts are in video format.
- Highly trend-oriented.
- Hashtags are also a useful addition.
- The maximum length of a video is 60 seconds.
And there you have it, our brief one-stop tour of the most popular social media platforms right now. Hopefully, with our key points to guide you, you will be able to more effectively connect to your audience when you market your business.
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