Let’s start with Facebook. FB is the industry leader in SM when it comes to a complete marketing package. They also hold the world’s most ACTIVE users (Google claims more, but many are inactive). Facebook fans are loyal and those who browse spend an average of 40 minutes a day on FB! Your audience is on FB. Depending on who you ask the fastest growing audience on FB is women over the age of 55 (who, if you think about it, also happen to usually be the decision makers in buying, dining, traveling, etc.! Bonus). Or, one source reports males ages 17-24 as a fast-growing audience! I couldn’t back that up with a second source, though.

In “The State of Social” published by Social Media Week, a full 96 percent of businesses use Facebook (maybe 95 percent now that Elon Musk has pulled his pages). And ads on FB could cost you as little as $.33 per click (this price is rapidly increasing however, due to lack of real estate for ads).  Add its messaging and bot capabilities as well as a newer Job Posting category and FB is my go-to number one choice for small businesses———BUT———they have to have a solid SEO optimized website and be willing to update it regularly for this to work as part of an overall marketing plan. But more on that another time.

Moving on to the next biggie for business: Twitter. Following close behind FB with 89 percent of businesses using TW to reach target audiences. TW is my go-to for reaching users 18-49 (a combined 62 percent of users). Hashtags are used to attract a certain audience (think search term for the topic of the day), and those hashtags help optimize your profile and target influencers.

Twitter allows small businesses to advertise as well with a low cost per click (CPC) similar to FB. Twitter ad ROI (return on investment) is overall 40% higher than for other media campaigns over a similar time period. Building a detailed audience and avoiding banned hashtags (#dogsofinstagram—although #catsofinstagram is still fine??) will be key in 2018 as TW continues to give FB a run for its money in the 18-49 age group.

If your business does business with other businesses LinkedIn is the channel that social media managers report 70 percent of their clients are using for businesses. Both your personal profile and your professional page (as well as any groups you run or join) need to be optimized/updated/competed/filled-out-to-the-very-best-of-your-ability to be effective. What do you think employers (customers/clients) are going to do when they are making a decision to work with you? Check the Yellow Pages? Nope. If they’re good at their job, they’re going to search you on Google and stalk your social pages for private details! (I know this ‘cause I’ve done it when hiring college interns).

Based on a survey of nearly 2000 social media managers, they’ve determined that 44 percent of LI users are female (almost equal to males), and that of that number, the majority are interested in educational/industry/news/trends AND tips/best practices, while more than half expect engagement from brands.

LinkedIn’s ad platform hasn’t been as extensively reviewed by marketers yet, but it is known that the average CPC is between $2-$5 and that the app offers an $80/month upgrade called Sales Navigator, that is a helpful customer relationship management tool and lead generator.  The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can search with advanced targeting features to discover those with the knowledge or buying power you are looking for.

And then there’s Instagram. Ahhh the beauty of the simple photo…NOT! Instagram for business flourishes with a whopping 70 percent of business responding to Social Media Week have a presence there. While it still presents a mostly photo-based platform, since being acquired by FB, its audience has reached 500M users daily! Of that number, however, 80 percent are OUTSIDE the US. Other fun facts: 59 percent of people ages 18-29 that use the Internet use IG. The most popular hashtags? #follow #love #instagood #cute.

More than 2 million businesses advertise on IG and video views are up 80 percent (but yet another sources says video is on its way out!!). A relatively new feature, Stories (yes, it’s exactly like FB) is gaining ground and it’s rumored that IG is testing a feature to let you share other people’s posts—but only to your story. Please DM me if you have found this feature already (it’s a slow roll out).

Deciding to establish a presence for your business on social media is a big choice…but always keep in mind that social isn’t an end-all, be-all! Without a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines your objectives, goals, tactics, and measurements, using social is just playing around. You need a fully integrated marketing program to harness the power of several tools.

And you can waste a LOT of time if you don’t know what you’re doing or why on social. Having a FB page just to say you have one is not helping your cause. Luckily, there are hundreds/thousands of videos out there to give you tips and tricks for managing your social—and some of them are quite good. But a word of warning: If you’re looking at a FB video that’s more than 8-9 months old, it may already be irrelevant. Choose your videos based on recency rather than key words and you, too, can become a better-educated user of the social media jungle. And you know you can always give me a call or send a message if you have a question!!