Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool

Social media is one of the most powerful forces in modern marketing. However, not every site is best for every business-marketing venture. The rise of social media sites has led to a large number of sites vying for your attention, but spreading your marketing time and budget too thin can leave you with little time and attention to the sites that really matter.

Understanding Demographics

The biggest mistake that social media marketers can make is to concentrate their efforts on the wrong sites. The best way to understand which are best for your business is to know your target demographics and the demographics of the site you want to use. For example, Pinterest users are overwhelmingly female. A full 85 percent of Pinterest users are female, and more than 40 percent of all adult women in the U.S. use the site. If your demographic is young men, concentrating your marketing efforts on Pinterest will be a waste of resources.
More Americans use Facebook, and it is more evenly distributed among men and women. However, its average age of users skews younger than with Pinterest. To understand which sites to use, take a look at the average age, income and gender of your customer base and compare them to the leading social media sites. 

Different Formats

In addition to the demographic differences, there are also differences in the formats that social media sites use. Instagram is a highly visual site that allows people to post pictures with captions. If your business is not one that would be best served by frequent visual images, another site may be better. If you want to communicate many times a day through short messages, Twitter is perfect. If you don’t have enough time for multiple messages, Facebook may be best. 

Advertising on Social Media

Most social media sites today offer paid promotion services. These social media ads can help amplify the message you’re pushing out on your social properties as well as help grow your following. However, it’s also possible to create a message that reaches your account’s followers organically. While this is clearly a less expensive option, it does require you to have a lot of people following your account in order for your messages to be seen by a large audience. You may decide to use paid advertising when your account is newer in order to bring up your number of followers. Then, you can use the sites to promote your message for free.