Everyone is climbing on the bandwagon when it comes to social media, and any guru worth their salt will tell you that if your company is not on the Net in a social media context, then you are losing out.
But it’s also true that some social media work better than others, depending on the product or service that you sell. In a South African context, researchers and soothsayers will tell you that the Big 4 to focus on are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
For Facebook, because of the awesome global reach of the medium, this is probably still your best bet for creating mass awareness – as long as you pay for the privilege. The way the network is structured now, the chances of generating organic growth are slim, which is a smart move on the part of Facebook, because it means guaranteed revenue for them. In short, you have to pay for advertising if you really want Facebook to take off.
Twitter is more limited to the always-on generation, who are glued to their phones. Unless people see the utility of Twitter, or it’s a vital part of their business, then a considerable part of the population will tell you that they are too busy to use it. If in doubt about Twitter, rather do than don’t.
Instagram and Facebook are practically joined at the hip, so if you’re big on Facebook then you can use Instagram as an add-on, with a greater focus on pictures rather than words. Use the filtering to lend an authenticity and retro-hipster vibe to your pics, which will go down really well with the trendy crowd.
Pinterest’s demographic at this stage is largely women, so if you run a cake decorating business or do hot corporate clothing for movers-and-shakers, then this is probably a solid bet for you.
Also, remember that although many people around the world use social media, the demographic is still slanted heavily in favour of the youth and urban markets. If you’re targeting an elderly person in a rural area, social media is probably not your best media choice from a marketing perspective.
Go forth and socialise!