Social media is a collective term for the online platforms on which users provide the content, with or without editorial or professional intervention. Central to this is the interaction and dialogue between the users.
Social media is therefore truly human work. It puts the users absolutely central. That is the power of these networks: technically, the platform is the only machine that we come into contact with. For the rest, communication is entirely ‘human.’ If you are looking to get more human interaction on your feed, you can buy Instagram comments from real people!
Messages are placed on social media less and less without economic thought behind them. That is also the eternal struggle that social media deals with itself: remaining relevant to the human end-user, and still wanting to benefit from the commercial wishes of advertisers and companies.
Most social media channels work with a feed, which is based on an algorithm. This algorithm is primarily trained by using the channel again and again. The channel automatically recognizes patterns in what you find interesting; you show this using a reaction, a ‘like’ or a ’comment.’ This algorithm is therefore different for each user.
Of course, we know the biggest players in the field of social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. Every platform is unique in its own way, and that therefore offers opportunities for every type of company that wants to use social media as a marketing tool.
Many kinds of social media
Instagram was founded in 2010. Instagram is about photos. You cannot post anything without adding a large picture that occupies the entire mobile screen.
Instagram is therefore mainly built for mobile use. More than with Facebook, Instagram works with ‘hashtags’: you search for specific themes or topics that you find interesting, and you place your photo there if it is relevant to that theme.
Since a while, Instagram also uses profiles for organizations and companies. Advertising via Instagram, however, goes through the same environment as Facebook – it is the same owner, Mark Zuckerberg.
Instagram is especially popular among the youth. It has its own ‘communities.’ Think of mommy and food bloggers. Athletes. World travelers. If you have many followers, there is even a lot of money to be made with an “insta post.” According to the research, use in the 15-19-year old category is highest: 66% use Instagram. Followed by 20-39 years of age, 35% use the platform.
Linkedin is amongst one of the oldest being founded in 2002. LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. Here you do not come for sharing fun weekend photos or for events, but to reach your professional network. With all your business contacts you can make a ‘Connection,’ to stay up to date of each other’s updates and exciting entries.
On LinkedIn, you can find relatively few young people and seniors. Here you come across ‘working’ and ‘looking for a job, between 20 and 40 years.
Was founded in 2011. Snapchat is, for young people, the channel of the moment. No social medium has grown as fast as Snapchat. More than 750 000 000 Snaps are sent every day!
If you want to reach a young, unique target group, you need to get started with Snapchat. Companies are hardly followed – it is indeed a platform for people. That is why it is really only interesting to advertise on Snapchat if you want to work with your company.
Snapchat is a real youth platform. 67% of 15-19-year-olds use Snapchat. Followed by 25% of the 20-39-year-olds.
Was created in 2005. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. The platform has grown enormously since its origin – and especially after the acquisition by Google.
YouTube is there for video sharing. And it’s getting easier to make good quality videos – and we’re getting better at it, which is increasing the amount of user-generated content on YouTube. ‘YouTubers’ is now a concept in the US.
On YouTube, the youth is very active, but adults also eagerly use the medium. For businesses, YouTube offers an exciting way to create and share fun and interactive content – plus, you can also advertise very well.
86% of 15 to 19-year-olds use YouTube. Children under the age of 15 can also be reached very well on this platform. In succession, the target group is aged 20-39 with 72%.
Pinterest was founded in 2010. Pinterest is a somewhat strange duck in the mix. The communication between end users is in fact very indirect. The platform is primarily intended for visual inspiration, which is permanent and sustainable. The approach is a bit ‘gathering’. On your so-called cardboard, you collect images and inspiration that you need for later.
Yet you can also create a company page so that all your visual resources can be stored on one board. It can be interesting if you want to share a lot of visual information with your target groups, such as infographics, or for example photos. It can thus serve as a kind of visual archive.
The age of Pinterest users is slightly higher than that of the platforms Instagram and Snapchat. 25% of the 20-39 year-olds use it, followed by 19% of the 40-64 age group.
Was that it?
These are the most important social media in the US, also for companies. Yet there are more platforms, which are sometimes seen as a social medium. Think of Spotify: you also indirectly communicate with your friends and the community, about your music style and your playlists. Yet this is not a marketing channel for Spotify like for the other social media.