With the number of social media platforms on the market right now, it can be difficult to discern what can get you the most bang for your buck. They all work differently, and whatever you pick may or may not get you the results that you want. All the most popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., have different pros and cons, so let’s go over what each site does best.
Pros: Facebook is good with trackable data (like with Facebook Business), and it allows for a much more engaged customer base that can leave likes, reviews, comments, messages, and more. You can have multiple types of posts, and all your content can be under one umbrella.
Cons: Facebook is an older social media platform, and as such is prone to glitches and problems with your pages, especially if you have multiple ones. In 2017, it reported five major glitches with its metrics. It’s also not the best way to connect with a younger demographic; Facebook has the highest percentage of users over 30.
Pros: It’s very simple: you post pictures and a small blurb underneath, and people can leave comments or likes. It’s streamlined and efficient for customers that may not have time to go through long pages of content. It’s also estimated that 70 percent of US businesses use Instagram, and 80 percent of users follow a business on Instagram.
Cons: It can be very limiting—there is only one type of post and only two things you can do to interact with it. Also, if you like the above statistics, you might want to consider that there is an oversaturation of businesses in the Instagram market and that it will be hard to stand out—70 percent of posts don’t even get seen.
Pros: If you are trying to market on a bigger scale and with more personal interaction, it might be good to start here. Twitter is one of the more global platforms on the market, with 261 million international users. Twitter allows for more interaction between you and other companies with the same interests, allowing you to follow each other and be more connected to the people in your business.
Cons: There is a reason that celebrities are the ones that get popular on twitter, and it isn’t their stellar business practices: Twitter has a reputation of being unprofessional. It is also a lot easier for people to see what you do on Twitter: who you follow, what you like, etc., which may or may not be appealing to you.
Pros: LinkedIn was built to be used by professionals. It has a high reputation, and it gives you access to companies and people that are popular. Also, since the average number of connections per person is 400, you have a large network of people that you affect. You get more customer interaction as well. In 2011, LinkedIn reported that its users were almost 50 percent more likely to buy from businesses they’d engaged with on the platform.
Cons: It can feel impersonal. With so many companies on the platform, users may be less likely to interact. It is also less beneficial if you are not already a popular company, or if you are part of a group. In 2014, Breitbarth found that 42 percent of those surveyed described “Posting and/or participating in Group discussions” as their favorite feature, and only 26 percent chose “Searching for people in Groups”; that was a significant drop from only a year before when 60 percent scored Groups as one of their favorite features. LinkedIn also forces its businesses to pick quality over quantity: while you get a lot of engagement from the customers you do have, the number of users on the site is vastly surpassed by Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
You’ll find as you work on social media that there is no silver bullet, no single best solution for meeting all your needs. Each one will achieve a different result. Mixing and matching platforms can be extremely effective for your business, and maybe using all of them is the right move. But picking the right platform(s) can make or break you, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into with each.