Welcome back to the Summer of Social, a Vendasta blog series aimed to provide you with tips and tricks to create the most engaging, relevant, and interesting social media strategies for your clients.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, oh my! Wait, what’s Snapchat all about? Does Google My Business count as a social networking site? 

So you’ve decided to offer social media services to your clients. The next key step is deciding which platforms you should be focusing on. Still not convinced businesses need to be on social media? Read the first blog in the Summer of Social series, which explains why and how to get your clients started with social media. 

Alright, it’s time to dig our toes into the sand and get started. How do you go about deciding which networks are best for your clients? Well, like any good marketing strategy it’s not about doing all the things, but about doing a few things properly. Crafting relevant social posts for a variety of networks can be difficult and take up a lot of time. Additionally, if a social network is inactive it can reflect badly on the business. 

To make a strategic decision, it’s important to keep your client’s target social audience in mind. This will largely affect which networks you choose on behalf of the business. 

So what are the networks your team should be considering for your clients? Here’s a complete guide:

Facebook

This social networking site is one of the oldest and most widespread. Facebook is a far-reaching platform that boasts 2.23 billion monthly active users from every corner of the globe. Businesses can choose from a variety of options, including professional pages, paid post promotion, and native advertising. This platform has users of all ages, of which 53% are female. However, Facebook’s senior (55+) demographic is growing at a rapid rate. 

Facebook is a great network if your client operates in a foreign market. Unlike other sites, Facebook is used all over the world. This network is also great for clients who work in small/niche markets. Facebook is home to many “groups” where people with unique interests congregate. 

Facebook is best suited for text and image or video combinations. Posts without a visual element are not as successful in terms of reach and engagement. Is your client looking to promote local events and build a community? Facebook is a great network for just that. 

The biggest challenge? Facebook has a low organic reach. If your clients are not looking to spend money to boost their posts, they will have lower reach. 

Instagram

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is quickly becoming a big player in the social media world. Since its creation in 2010, teens and millenials have adopted this application all over the world. Its international following is similar to that of Facebook. The platform’s primary demographic are those aged 18-29, of which 68% are female. 

If your client’s target social audience involves either women or millennials, this network is a must. If their brand offers a product unique to women, this is the perfect place to promote it. 

Instagram is all about images. In order to be successful on this social networking platform your clients need to be able to produce high quality images and videos. If your client is already a visual brand and position themselves as very personal, Instagram is for them. Users can be picky. If brands do not post high quality images, it can reflect poorly on the brand. 

The biggest challenge? Instagram requires creativity. Not all images are created equal and to excel with this network they need to be unique and stand out.

Twitter

This platform is unique amongst the social networks. This is largely because of the heavy sharing aspect of Twitter. This network provides your client with the opportunity for wide reach. Smaller than others, Twitter has 326 million monthly active users. Its primary demographic are those aged 18-29, of which 53% are male. It is a great network to be on if your client’s audience are teenagers or millennials. Funny, thought-provoking, and interactive content does well amongst these groups.

Twitter is largely a text based social networking site. Users can only ‘tweet’ 280 characters per post. While images and videos are accepted, the majority of posts are text only. If your client relies heavily on images to get their messaging across, this network may not be for them. 

Twitter is an excellent platform for news, public relations, and connecting with influencers. When an event is going on or a hashtag is trending, it can be a great way to join the conversation and make a mark on behalf of your client. 

The biggest challenge? Since there are so many tweets posted every minute, the posts themselves have a short lifespan. If your client’s social media strategy involves posting only once a week, this network is probably not for them.

LinkedIn

This social networking platform is very business-oriented. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other businesses and professionals. With 590 million monthly active users, there is plenty of opportunity for your clients. LinkedIn’s primary demographic are those aged 25-54, of which 56% are males. If your client’s target social audience is slightly older, this could be a good fit. 

If your clients operate in the B2B landscape, LinkedIn is a must. This is especially true if they sell B2B within small or niche markets. This platform is excellent for lead generation, and unlike other forms of social media, its primary purpose is business connection. Companies are searching for businesses and services like the ones your client offers. Are your client’s recruiting? LinkedIn is the place to be. 

Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn relies less on media content and more on text based updates. This network is a great place to find connections and employees, but not the most ideal place for large-scale marketing campaigns. It’s important to note that images and videos are still accepted and encouraged through this platform. 

The biggest challenge? Users of this social media platform aren’t as active as they are on others. Many users don’t post or even check the site daily. Therefore, if your client is trying to reach people in a timely manner, it’s probably not a good fit. 

Pinterest

This platform is all about the images. Pinterest allows users to ‘pin’ or save pieces of information using images, videos, and sometimes GIFs. Pinterest boasts 250 million monthly active users. Unlike the other social networking sites, this one is 80% females, of which the median age is 40.

Users search for pins largely by images, so if your client has the resources to display high quality images, this may be the platform for them. Does your client have a blog they post to frequently? This could be a great place for them. Pinterest is excellent in driving traffic for blogs and e-commerce retailers. 

The biggest challenge? At times, custom images are required, which can be more work for either your client or you. In order to stand out, these images need to be sharp and beautiful. 

YouTube

If you've ever watched a video online, it most likely came from YouTube. With 1.9 billion monthly active users this social media giant cannot be overlooked. This platform has users of all ages, of which 63% are male. 

YouTube is a great choice for your clients if they are already skilled in producing video content, as this is the only form of content posted to YouTube. If your clients have a physical product they are selling and can feature, this platform is better suited for them. Does your client solve problems for their customers? YouTube might be a good fit. This network helps to solve problems with how-to tutorials. 

The biggest challenge? Making YouTube videos takes a lot of time and resources. If your client doesn't have the ability to do this, it might not be a good fit.

Snapchat

You may have heard a lot about this social networking platform; it is one of the newest, afterall. With 310 million monthly active users, this network seems to have taken the world by storm. However, because it is newer to the market it has been mostly adopted by younger demographics. In fact, 69% of its users are between the ages of 13 and 17. If your client’s demographic is under the age of 21, this platform could be the perfect fit. 

‘Snaps’ or messages sent out through this platform disappear after 24 hours. This means that businesses on Snapchat must provide frequent content. However, the quality of that content is not as important as with other platforms. 

The biggest challenge? Since content disappears after 24 hours, there is no one place for users to go to learn about your client’s business. If this sounds difficult to you, you’re not alone. Very few businesses use Snapchat, especially small ones.

Google My Business

Time for possibly the most abstract social network: Google My Business. How does it differ from the other networks? Well it’s sort of a cross between a listing and social network. Once users verify and optimize their account, it will be easier for customers to find them. It also allows them to post about their business. These posts will be published on Google when users search for your client. 

Did you know that over 56% of small businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business Listing? That’s pretty crazy when 86% of consumers use the internet to find a local business. It is difficult to pinpoint specific Google My Business statistics, however, it is safe to say that if consumers will be searching for your client’s brand, they should be posting through this platform. 

Images accompanied with text and links do the best through this network. If your client has frequent events, an insightful blog, or new products, this will most likely be a good fit. Great posts for this network? What's new, events, products, and new offerings.

The biggest challenge? The expiry date. Posts published to Google My Business are removed after 7 days.

Want to make posting to a variety of social networks a breeze? Well, then you need Vendasta’s Social Marketing. Social Marketing is a white-label social media tool designed specifically for agency-to-client collaboration. Allowing your team to manage local business’ social accounts in a scalable way. AKA posting to a variety of different networks in one fell swoop. 

Alright, it’s time to get to work! Take time to strategize which networks would be best for your clients and keep your eyes peeled for the next blog in the series. 

Questions? I’d love to hear how it goes for you!