It seems like a new social networking platform pops up every time you turn around. But while the idea of being on all of these platforms is great, most entrepreneurs don’t have the time. They know it's better to be selective about where you establish your social presence, so you can develop a focused and effective strategy.
Sure, you probably already have a company profile on Facebook and Twitter, but the truth is that each network has a unique audience.
So, which platform is right for your industry, and more specifically, for your business? Here’s a rundown of what types of content work well on some of the biggest platforms out there, and which industries fare best on them.
Snapchat is known for having a highly engaged and young audience. It used to be a content-sharing destination but more recently has become a destination for consuming content. Like Twitter, Snapchat is very real-time focused, so the platform lends itself well to anything current. Considering its young, engaged audience, getting users involved in spreading your message is also a key element. When Taco Bell launched its new $1 menu, Snapchat users were a driving force behind the promotion campaign.
Instagram is particularly good for visual industries and businesses, such as fashion and entertainment. But even if your company isn’t in either category, the key is to create stunning visual content. The automotive industry is also very visual. Case in point: Ford worked with visual artists and Instagram influencers to create the content for the 50th anniversary and unveiling of the 2014 Mustang. The results were compelling visual stories that resonated with Ford's Instagram audience.
Facebook is a platform on which you really can’t afford not to have a presence. With more than one billion users around the world, in nearly every demographic you can think of, Facebook is the biggest of the social networks. The caveat here, however, is that Facebook is now a pay-to-play network, so you now have to invest money into advertising there. Yet Facebook has power: As the biggest driver of social-referral traffic, it has become more like an extension of other platforms, and a place from which people and businesses funnel traffic to Instagram and other platforms.
Twitter’s live feed makes it particularly effective for events, breaking news, entertainment and anything happening in real time. Since Twitter has a huge media audience, it’s the place to share content about an event or launch that needs media coverage. Unlike Instagram and some other platforms that restrict link placement, you can include links in Twitter posts. This makes it a good place for sharing, for instance, coupon codes for consumer goods and anything else where driving clicks is important. But don’t forget the visual element: Tweets with images are far more likely to be clicked than those without.
Like Snapchat users, those at Vine tend to be a younger demographic and -- piece of advice -- they're looking for funny content. This means Vine works well for consumer goods and splashy commercials, especially if you are comfortable infusing humor into your campaigns. It’s also a great place to connect with young, relatable influencers, but because of its light humorous nature is not so great for luxury goods.
Pinterest has been called a digital scrapbook, a social bookmarking site and a visual search engine. Its visual search functionality and clean organization makes Pinterest a place where people go to discover recipe ideas, styling inspirations and DIY project ideas. Pinterest is great for sharing how-to content; and since every image is linked back to the original website, it has also become a powerful driver of referral traffic: Pins are seen as an intent to buy. Because of its focus on how-to content, Pinterest lends itself to a variety of industries, including home improvement, gardening, fashion and beauty and culinary arts.
The article originally appears in Entrepreneur.