Social media is swiftly becoming the main way that people interact with the internet. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are all extremely popular platforms that fill different niches in the online ecosystem. Accordingly, social media marketing has become one of the most essential methods of increasing the number of visitors to your site or app.
A recent survey by The Manifest of more than 600 social media users showed that almost all people (86%) use some form of social media at least once a day, and 72% of people use it more than once a day.
Knowing how people use social media and who those users are is essential to making smart, efficient choices about how and where you advertise your business. Every platform is different. The way in which each one displays and promotes content and the type of content that is shared strongly impacts the way an ad will be delivered and the form it will take.
The Type of Content on a Platform Affects How You Advertise on It
Instagram is one of the three most popular social media platforms, with 53% of people reporting to use it at least once a week.
Instagram’s content is based exclusively around sharing pictures, with text only appearing as a caption, comment, or edited into the picture itself.
So, any advertising done on Instagram, whether as a paid ad or as a profile specific to a company, should be very visually engaging, targeted to both stop users as they scroll and to convey information through imagery, with a minimum of text.
YouTube, the second-most popular social media platform, presents another challenge.
Ads on the site usually take the form of short clips before other videos, and companies need to find a way to advertise their product or service in the span of 5 to 10 seconds.
And then there’s Facebook, the most popular social media platform, with 82% of respondents logging on at least once a week.
Facebook presents its users with media of all types, from text-block status updates to pictures of vacations and videos of dogs snuggling with cats. Facebook, and other multimedia platforms like it, allow companies more freedom to create ads in a format that best suits their style and the product they’re selling.
The People Who Use a Platform Affect the Way You Advertise on It
Perhaps more important than how a platform displays its content is who is using it.
Most businesses have a target market for their products or services, and concentrating your advertising to the platforms those people are more likely to use will make your ads more effective and your spending more efficient.
The Manifest’s survey only looked at the difference in social media usage between men and women, but even considering just that factor, there are some surprising disparities.
Women are more likely, in general, to use social media than men. Seventy-five percent of women reported that they use social media more than once a day, compared to 64% of men. This means that for any ad on social media, it’s likely that more women are going to view it than men.
While women use social media as a whole slightly more than men, there are also some platforms they prefer more than men.
Women have a slight lead in Facebook usage, with 83% visiting the site at least once a week, compared to men’s 81%. They also have a big lead on Pinterest. Forty-four percent of women report using Pinterest once a week or more, compared to only 26% of men.
There are still other platforms that are more popular with men. Men report using both Twitter and Reddit more than women, with 51% and 29% of male respondents using each daily, respectively; 28% of women report using Twitter daily, and only 8% of women use Reddit every day.
Some of these differences are quite substantial and should be a major factor when considering which sites or services to advertise on. The proliferation of social media and the preference of different groups for different platforms gives advertisers a unique opportunity to target their ads to smaller and more specific audiences than ever before.
Social Media Use Is on the Rise
Social media use is increasing. Globally, the number of people using social media increased by 100 million in just the first three months of 2018.
The Manifest’s survey found that more than half of respondents reported using YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook more in 2018 than they did in 2017.
YouTube saw the largest increase, with 63% of users reporting that they used the site more in 2018 than in 2017.
Social media is part of the average person’s everyday life. There is no longer an excuse for businesses to not use social media, and companies can work with a digital marketing agency like Be Found Online to create a successful social media strategy.
The continuing growth in social media users suggests that social media isn’t going away anytime soon and that making an investment in social media marketing is one of the best things a company can do to efficiently increase its profits.
Author: Kristen Herhold, Senior Writer and Marketer at Clutch: Kristen produces and markets written content, assists in social media efforts, and guides contributing writers.