Putting Social Media to Work

by Danny Leffring

In today’s day and age, most people are using some sort of social media. As a business owner, are you using social media to reach your target audience? Do you know which platform is going to reach the most people? A quick Google search will tell you the top five social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. These platforms have a wide variety of audiences. Additionally, they are all free to use. However that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them; some will be a better use of your time than others. 

Facebook is primarily used by mid to late 30-year-olds. Currently, they have more than 2 billion users, allowing you to reach a significant amount of people. Although they have many users, Facebook is primarily a way for families and friends to share photos and messages with each other to show off their latest vacation or the birth of a child; it is not necessarily a business platform.

Instagram is primarily used among Millennials and younger groups. This platform is used to show off the user’s latest creation or what they had for lunch, using a picture and limited text. People are here to look for beauty and unique creations. If you are selling a product, Instagram could be a good fit if you are willing to put in the time and effort to take quality pictures.

Twitter is primarily used by adults aged 18 to 29 years old. People use Twitter to post comments about current events including politics, sports, and celebrity gossip. Twitter users are looking to be informed and are not interested in flashy images. 

LinkedIn is primarily used by 25 to 64-year-olds. They have a wide demographic as the site is primarily used for business. People who use LinkedIn are looking to recruit new employees, find the latest news in the market, and get up to date on the local economy. LinkedIn is not for posting pictures of your family vacation. 

Snapchat is primarily used by 18 to 44-year-olds. People use Snapchat to send fun pictures and videos to family and friends. Pictures are viewed and then disappear. You can also add filters to enhance the photo or give yourself a dog tongue, clown face, or a variety of other add-on graphics. 

This is not is exhaustive list, and only highlights the top five. Knowing how each platform is used and which is best for you and your company depends on your target audience and the product or service you are selling. As a business owner, you have a specific marketing budget and you want to have those allocated dollars do the most they can. 

My advice would be to do some research, brainstorm specifically what age group you would like to reach, and then use the platform that will best target that group. For most businesses, focusing on one or two social media platforms will be a greater return on investment then a broad approach. Technology moves fast, and in order to keep up you need to be constantly learning and adjusting how you use the new tools provided.