Social media has become the new way to connect in today’s world. Instead of a letter or phone call (which seem so last century), more and more people are turning to social media to connect with their friends all over the world. This has lead to the advent of all new ecosystems in which businesses can market their goods and services. While everyone knows that the answer to “Should I market to my customers online?” is a restounding “Yes!”, the understanding the role that each platform plays takes time and exposure to completely understand. In an attempt to help ease the learning curve, I’ve personfied each social media network into the kind of personalities that show up in your day to day life.
Snapchat – “The Annoying Teenager”
Snapchat is the the annoying teenager that does the latest dance that you don’t quite understand; they use phrases like “lit”, “squad”, and “yeet” – even though you think that they’re totally rediculous phrases and don’t quite understand their meanings. It’s the platform that the latest generation of kids has grown up with, are all too familiar with, and spend way too much time on.
Your need to market on Snapchat varies; if you are marketing products and services to teens and young adults (think super-expensive sneakers, the latest video game, or the latest fancy coffee drink), it would be beneficial to have a Snapchat and spend time showcasing the features and benefits of your product/service via Snapchat Stories. If, on the other hand, you happen to market to an older crowd (dental service, doctor, or psychologist), Snapchat may be something to keep an eye on, but not put all of your effort towards using as a marketing platform.
Instagram – “The Hustler/Boss Lady”
Instagram is the mid-twenties, early thirties person you know who is all about “hustling”,”the grind”, and “no days off”. They like to tell you all about how much they are working, how busy they are, and show you the fruits of their labor. On the flipside, it’s important to balance all the hustling and grinding with the tropical beach vacations, equisite meals and drinks, and good times with friends.
Instagram is a great place to showcase your products or services. You want to show off all the cool and interesting things that are happening in your business, or perhaps the latest product that you just finished working on. Instagram is a great way to show off the progress you are making if you are just starting a business – for example, you can share on your Instagram Story the buildout of your yoga studio, getting people who are a bit older than the Snapchat crowd (and therefore have more disposable income) interested in what you are doing, compelling them to come down to visit your new studio when you are finished with the buildout.
Twitter – “The Loudmouth”
Twitter is the person that we all know who wants you to know everything that they are thinking. Even though you may not have asked, Twitter is there, telling you each thought as they pop into their their head. Twitter often has no filter, and just “tells it like it is”. While having one of these people around is often interesting and intriguing, get a bunch of people like Twitter in a room and there is bound to be a back and forth between a few of them, each of them arguing the virtues of their perspective.
Twitter is a great platform for short bursts of information. For example, if you want to make a push to alert people of an upcoming sale – Twitter is the place. You can post more frequently without the worry of oversharing. Twitter is a great place to alert a lot of people frequently about your products or services.
Facebook – “The Jack Of All Trades”
Facebook is the person you go to when you aren’t sure where to start. Need to fix a simple car problem? Need to know where the nearest health foods store is? Need to know a good chiropractor? These are all things that Facebook knows and can back up with real feedback from real people that you know. Facebook knows where all the solutions to your various surface problems lie, and tells you with certainty.
Facebook is the go-to platform for marketing your business for free. Anyone can start a page and watch it grow exponentially when good content is produced. At this point, it is a must that you have a Facebook page that shows the basic information about your business. Though having a Facebook page is the first step, it is more important that you have engagement – a conversation between you and your customers – answering their questions, building excitement around your products and services.
E-Mail Marketing – “The Upstanding, Reliable One”
E-Mail Marketing is the one person that you see in your office – they’re always there, and they’re always on point. Any questions about how to get something done? You go to E-Mail Marketing to get your question answered, because they’ve been there the longest, and know what they’re doing. It’s as if they are an extension of the business – they know all the ins and outs, all the quirks, and can drill down to the core issue, providing a reliable solution to problems that arise.
E-Mail Marketing is the lifeblood of your marketing – without it, your business cannot stay afloat. E-Mail will always be the direct line of contact to your customer. Since E-Mail Marketing has been around for so long, your customer will be most comfortable answering questions through this medium. It is also important for answering questions that your customers might not be comfortable sharing with the world, especially if you are in a niche like dentistry, medical, or chiropractor.
Google Ads – “The Connector”
Google Ads is the person that you ask when you need to find a new product or service. They are “the guy who knows a guy” who will get you what you need. Always a networker, Google Ads is always introducing people and making connections across similar industries. You happen to really like the acrobatics class that you take, but someting hurts and you need to find a chiropractor or massage therapist? Google Ads is the person that you ask.
Google Ads is great for marketing your business to the largest audience in order to create leads and sales. With its large network of ads across various platforms (Google AdSense, Google AdWords, Google Display Network), Google Ads has been around for quite a few years but still is a tried and true method to generate leads and sales for your business.
Facebook Ads – “The Know-It-All”
Facebook Ads is much like Google Ads in that they connect people, but Facebook Ads happens to take it to the next level. Facebook Ads is the person who is a wealth of information – they can tell you not only what people are around you that you need to connect with, but also their age, whether they’re married, and what other interests they may have. “You need to find someone who does chiropractic care for 25-38 year olds and is kinda cool and hip?” Facebook has the answer, and can back it up with social proof.
Facebook Ads are a great way to niche down into finding your ideal customer who will frequent your business. Facebook not only knows where you ideal customers live, but their age, marital status, and the one hundred and one other things that interest them. Facebook Ads is a great way to discover your ideal customer archetype and understand them on a more holistic level, allowing you to market to the things that they find important.
YouTube – “The Storyteller”
YouTube is the one person that you will get lost in conversation with. YouTube is the kind of person that you need to set aside at least fifteen minutes to talk to. They like to tell stories, and they want to share every detail with you. They are a great source of entertainment when you have the time, but you understand the downside is that you will be investing a bit of time to understand new information or to be entertained.
YouTube is a platform for long-form marketing. If you’re someone who is selling the latest workout guide, YouTube is a great way to detail some of the killer workouts that are in your new book. If you’re someone who sells car parts and wants to show your customers how to install them, YouTube is your spot. Understand that YouTube can be great for showcasing information that can build intrigue about and motivation to buy your products.
So there you have it – the social media platforms, personified. I’m wondering if I have missed anything or if I should have included some more up and coming platforms (What persona does TikTok exemplify?) I’m also curious to know how the roles of social media platforms will change in the future.