Whether your objective is to drive traffic & sales to your website or generate brand engagement. Choosing the right marketing channels to invest in is one of the most important decisions you can make this year.
There are many digital platforms & social networks filled with everyday users that are ready to scroll different types of content, which makes the selection even harder for business owners & decision makers. In this article, we will try to answer the following questions : What are the different Social Media channels available ? What differentiate them from each other ? What criteria should we take into consideration before investing in those channels ?
Volume of active Users :
Before tackling the uses of each channel and its potential, here is a list of the biggest platforms in the digital landscape with their respective audience :
Most used social media platforms in the world / Source : Hootsuite
As you can record, Facebook is by far the most used platform with 2 740 Million users, followed by Youtube (2 291) & Whatsapp (2 000). Other Meta products are in the top list as well (Messenger, Instagram ..) along with Chinese social networks.
Reading this graphic can give you an overall image of what great potential those social networks can present to your business, as you can easily reach your target audience if you are active there. However, data changes from one country to another and sometimes it makes no sense to base your analysis on a world wide set of data instead of focusing on your local market (s). Example : Twitter is a very famous social media used on a daily basis by a great number of populations, but if you are selling your products in African markets, Twitter might not be the channel for you due to its declining growth rate and low users volume.
Obviously, our tip number 1 would be to check & list the markets you are operating in, in order to benchmark users volume in each channel before making your decision.
Average Time spent per user:
Another KPI that you should consider before elaborating your social media strategy, which is the average time spent per user on a daily basis on each platform.
Average Time spent per platform / Source : Hootsuite
As per the graph above, Meta Products (including Facebook, Whatsapp, & Instagram) have the highest cumulative time spent, followed by Tiktok 13.3 hours per month. Which can give us a clear idea on where to invest more in terms of time & efforts.
Let’s take the example of Telegram; being active and posting multiple times in this channel won’t be that relevant to your business as users spend so little time on the platform itself and won’t be able to see all of your content. Tiktok on the other hand, can be very impressive in terms of reach thanks to the average time spent by the user, this will result in more space for impressions and content and will need a higher frequency posting to keep up with the channel needs.
Our tip number two would be to align your posting frequency with the average time spent on each platform, so you can make sure that your efforts and content is actually reaching your target audience.
Audience Characteristics & behaviour
Understanding your target audience is one of the most crucial studies that you should conduct, it gives you not only a clear understanding of their needs but also some hints on how to communicate with them, where, and when.
Profile of Instagram’s advertising audience / Source : Hootsuite
Audience characteristics and behaviour changes from one platform to another depending on the available features, types of content, marketing tools, monetization, and many other factors. However, if we want to summarize the most important criteria to look at when analyzing your audience in order to choose the best social media channels for you, here is a short list
We are living in the gender fluidity era and unisex, but we can’t deny that some behaviors are more recurrent among females or males. Numbers are stating the obvious with more female active users on certain platforms (like Instagram) Vs more male active users on others (like Facebook). Being aware of your core audience gender helps you choose the most efficient channel for your brand.
Different age categories will have different user behavior. People beyond 65 years old will tend to use simplified channels like Whatsapp for example, while younger users will prefer a more sophisticated platform that gives them enough features to stimulate their knowledge and experience. Defining the age of your core audience will increase your chances to reach your target and engage it.
Used devices :
Between Desktop, Tablets, and mobiles, each user chooses its preference depending on many factors (country, social category …). However, studying the used devices by your core audience can help you better plan your creative formats and dimensions so the final user can have the best experience. In addition to that, tailoring your visuals to different devices is rewarded from the social media platform itself. (Higher reach). If you use your google analytics the right way you can determine for example the device that most of your users are having, let’s say that you concluded it’s desktop. In this case, you can’t focus your energy on Facebook as only 1.7% of its users are accessing it through Desktop.
Operating system :
Android and IOS are the two leading operating systems around the world, and studies have already proven some differences between both users in terms of behavior, tracking, but most importantly the average lifetime value of a customer. All decision makers should be aware of segmentation between both system users to adapt the investment/Budget forecast …
If you use google analytics to study the operating system of your core audience, the same logic applies here to the choice of channels. Let’s say most of your users are accessing your website through Android; in this case, it would be extremely relevant to focus your efforts on Facebook as 80% of its users are operating under Android.
Share of Facebook access by mobile OS / Source : Hootsuite
Language, Number of likes, comments, shares and ad clicks :
All depends on your local markets here. Sometimes you need to test more than one language (if relevant) in order to engage with your customers the right way. And the same goes for your content, if you have a clear idea about engagement in each channel you would know which type of content you can push on each social media platform (Engaging or informative content ..).
To summarize all of the information listed above, here are the most important things to memorize :
- Choosing the right channels for your business is not only a matter of trends, but it requires a deep understanding of many factors.
- Users volume and the average time spent on each channel can help you decide where to focus your time and energy depending on your country.
- Studying your target audience characteristics and behavior can help you optimize your content in order to reach the right users, at the right time, with the right creatives.
Perf Unit to support your Social Media Strategy :
If you are interested in getting a deeper analysis of your Social media strategy including the most relevant channels for your business, but also on how to optimize your costs, content, and ressources, Perf Unit is here to help you with every aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in order to discuss your needs and objectives.