During this time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, social media marketing is more important than it’s ever been. In order for your business to continue reaching your customers, it’s essential that you meet them where they’re at online, and there are many social media platforms where you can do this. However, in order to get the absolute most out of your marketing efforts (and your budget), you need to know the rules and culture of each platform and how they can best work for you.
In this post, we’re breaking down each major social media platform and letting you know who’s using it, why they’re using it, which platforms will ultimately work best for your particular business, and how to develop successful social media marketing strategies on each platform. Read on for how your business should be using social media platforms during COVID-19.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: Facebook
Despite having plenty of viable competitors over the years, Facebook still remains the number one social media platform in the world. With over a billion active users spanning all demographics, Facebook has the highest ROI (return on investment) for marketers. When it comes to social media marketing, it still remains the best place to invest your advertising spend.
Who’s On Facebook
When it comes to Facebook, every age demographic is online – although some more than others. About 80% of people ages 18-49 are active on Facebook, 68% of people ages 50-64, 51% of 13-17 year olds, and 46% of people ages 65 and older, a percentage that grows every day. The people who go on Facebook span income levels, interests and belief systems. If there’s a target audience you want to reach, they are probably on Facebook, which is why it’s such a great platform for marketers of all industries.
Why They Use Facebook
75% of U.S. adults use Facebook every day, and people average over an hour daily on the platform. However, even though Facebook is the most used social media network in the world, it’s not a one-size-fits all. Each social media platform is used in vastly different ways, and Facebook is no exception.
The reasons people go on Facebook vary by market, but in general, Facebook is used for reading the news, especially local and time-sensitive news, watching videos, sharing life updates and connecting with friends.
How to Use Facebook for Marketing During COVID-19
Keeping this information in mind, Facebook marketing is most effective for when it is community-focused, supportive and helpful. This is a platform where it is best to lean on the safe side when it comes to copy. While platforms like Twitter and Snapchat allow more leeway in terms of humor and creative license, Facebook copy does best when it is sensitive and tactful, informational and people-oriented.
During COVID-19, Facebook is the perfect tool for building your brand and engaging your consumers virtually. We find that businesses do best when they use Facebook to create an online community, to make their customers feel included and supported, and to keep people informed about the business.
For example, a fitness company on Facebook is more successful if instead of saying “Like our page for fitness tips and news,” they use language such as: “Like our page to join a supportive community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts, plus weekly wellness tips and resources.” The latter instills a sense of togetherness. It’s no wonder Facebook Groups is such a popular feature on the platform. People love joining communities! And especially now that many people are staying home and social distancing, Facebook is one of the first places they will turn to connect with friends.
The most algorithmically favorable posts on Facebook in 2020 are videos, blog posts and curated content. Facebook Live is also a newer feature that gets high engagement. Don’t be afraid to comment on relevant news in a way that relates to your business. Share how, for example, the Stay at Home order lifting will affect your business and how it operates, whether you’ll provide face masks to customers who don’t have them, or how you’ll continue to do at home delivery. Making your business relevant and helpful on Facebook is the best way to market to your audience during COVID-19.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: Twitter
Twitter is a great platform for social media marketing, comprised of over 150 million daily users checking their feeds throughout the day for quick, concise snippets of information. With only 280 characters, every word counts (no pun intended) on Twitter. According to research, 93% of regular Twitter users say they are open to brands getting involved in topics on Twitter. However, the nature of the platform enables a high level of criticism and scrutiny, so brands should have a thorough campaign strategy before entering the Twitterverse.
Who’s On Twitter
Twitter has many similarities to Facebook, but with a much more niche audience. The platform is primarily used by 13-49 year olds, with affluent millennials making up 80% of active users. Over half of Twitter users make $50,000 or more a year. We typically recommend keeping an active Twitter presence for businesses whose audiences are college educated, urban or suburban, and are in the middle to upper middle class.
Why They Use Twitter
Consumption happens at fast rate on Twitter. Active users are on the app for short periods of time each day, with the average Twitter session spanning only about 3 minutes. Given the small window of opportunity to get users’ attention, coupled with the fact that the algorithm is favorable to those who post more often, we recommend businesses with an active market on Twitter to post at least 2-3 Tweets in order to increase visibility.
Like Facebook, Twitter is a place where many people turn to for news. In fact, in 2020 it is still the preferred social media network for news. People check their Twitters to get updates on the world, to see what people are talking about, and to follow trending topics. To a lesser extent than Facebook, it is also used to keep in touch with people in their social circles.
How to Use Twitter for Marketing During COVID-19
During COVID-19 and the ensuing challenges it has caused, a goal all businesses should have when using Twitter is to be a trusted source of relevant content. This doesn’t mean you have to post every new update that comes in, but if it’s relevant to your business, Tweet about it. Use trending hashtags and keep people informed. Share news from the industry, your company or your products. Also, if done tactfully, get personal about your own commentary on the pandemic, and how your company is responding. Brands also do well on Twitter who can use humor tactfully to get users’ attention. It may take some practice, but if you can master the art of Twitter, it can be the best platform for gaining wide exposure and reach.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: Instagram
Of all the social media channels, Instagram places second, after Facebook, for highest ROI. It is also the second most daily used social media platform. Over 60% of U.S. adults use Instagram, and it is for that reason that it works so well for marketers. The tactics for Instagram marketing, however, differ greatly from Facebook.
Who’s On Instagram
If your target market is on the younger side, Instagram is a must. About 70% of people between the ages of 13 and 29 are on Instagram. Just under 50% of U.S. adults between 30 and 49 use the platform, and a quarter of people between 50 and 64. At 65+, that number drops to 8%. The user base also leans female, and is more likely to be used by those in urban and suburban areas.
Why They Use Instagram
Instagram is a different ball game than Twitter and Facebook. Although the platform is also used for sharing about one’s life and staying connected with friends, it is also a place people turn to for inspiration. They look for others who have similar interests, lifestyles, and values. This is why Instagram is such a great place for marketers. People on Instagram are looking for new things to enhance their lives, especially from influencers they trust. In fact, influencer marketing one of the most lucrative forms of advertising on social media.
How to Use Instagram for Marketing During COVID-19
Instagram posts have always been most effective when used with high-quality, high-resolution, aesthetically pleasing photos. During COVID-19, this is more important than ever when trying to grow your Instagram account. Unlike Twitter, your photos speak louder than your captions on Instagram. We recommend sharing high quality photos of your products and your services in action. Another feature of growing importance in 2020 is IGTV, which is becoming a great tool for marketers as more and more people come to prefer videos as their preferred type of content. During the pandemic, your brand can use this feature to show behind-the-scenes moments on the job, what your company looks like as it adjusts to the new guidelines, and how it’s keeping employees and customers safe.
Instagram stories are also great tools for gaining user attention. Sharing slide by slide stories, promoting a blog post, and announcing offers and promotions are all great ways to gain customers’ attention. Even sharing quotes and inspiration is a helpful tool on your story to personify your brand and make people feel connected to it. Feel free to do some trial and error, as Instagram followers tend to be more forgiving than Twitter followers. Once you get the hang of it and master your brand on Instagram, you will find that you can connect with your consumers on a much deeper level in order to address their needs.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: YouTube
YouTube differs from other social media channels in that it isn’t used solely as a social media platform. It is also a search engine, like Google, a streaming service, like Netflix, and a TV viewing platform, like DirecTV. With so many different possible avenues of content, it is a great place for marketers to get creative with their ad strategies.
Who’s On YouTube
Like Facebook, Youtube usage is diverse, spanning nearly all demographics. 85% of 13-17 year olds use it, 91% of 18-29 year olds, 87% of 30-49 year olds, and 70% of 50-64 year olds. At 65+, the number drops to 38%. Both men and women use the app, however the number of men on the platform is slightly higher. Overall, 73% of U.S. adults use the platform, and 51% of those people use it daily.
Why They Use YouTube
As we mentioned earlier, YouTube is used for a variety of purposes, such as sources of information and educational content, comedy, lifestyle, vloggers sharing tips and inspiration, how-to guides on cooking, technology, and much more. The way you use YouTube will vary by who your audience is, so be sure to do research on your specific market in detail in order to tailor your content to their interests.
How to Use YouTube for Marketing During COVID-19
Now more than ever, people are turning to virtual services, and YouTube is a great place to get your audience engaged. One effective type of content is “how to” videos, whether that’s an instructional video on using/installing/assembling your product, or a guide to using your service at home.
In addition to posting content directly about your products and services, sharing about the company, providing behind-the-scenes footage on the job, and showing how you’re helping customers, employees, and even the community during the pandemic are all great ways to gain engagement. People love seeing businesses giving back and being helpful towards those they serve.
YouTube is also another great platform, like Instagram, for influencer marketing. Many vloggers are on the platform from a wide range of industries who are willing to talk about brands to their viewers. In fact, influencer marketing is often even more effective than traditional ad spots that play before a video. By creating high quality videos and getting involved with the YouTube influencer community, you can leverage the platform to grow your brand significantly and gain widespread attention.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: LinkedIn
LinkedIn, a popular social media channel among professionals, is essentially a digital networking platform, used for staying connected in one’s given industry. It offers many features, from job boards to skills training to sharing one’s professional experience. When it comes to your business, it’s a great place for B2B marketing. Businesses often use it to pitch themselves to current and potential clients.
Who’s On LinkedIn
A large portion of the LinkedIn community is made up of college students and young, college-educated professionals looking to grow their careers. With 17% of 18-24 year olds and 44% of 25–30 year olds online, it’s a great place to market to young professionals.
As for those more developed in their careers, 37% of 30-49 year olds and 24% of 50–64 year olds use LinkedIn.This provides a great opening for marketers to reach those in established positions looking for business services and opportunities.
Why They Use LinkedIn
As alluded to above, people are on LinkedIn to showcase their job experience, skills, professional news and updates, and to network with other professionals. Established professionals often use it to scout talent, to keep updated on the industry, and for career insights. They also share their professional accomplishments, and keep connected with other businesses.
How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing During COVID-19
During COVID-19 and the unfortunate impact of the recession, many people are turning to LinkedIn to search for new careers after layoffs and businesses shutting down. This means that the sea of talented professionals in search of work is larger than ever. Now is a great time for recruiting new talent, and marketing job openings on LinkedIn will lead to great results.
Also due to the pandemic, people are looking for business insights and resources from companies that are coping well. Now is a great time to show what your business is doing on a company-wide level to deal with the effects of the pandemic and to keep their employees and customers safe. It is a great opportunity for showcasing company milestones, news, employee spotlights, and industry leadership.
LinkedIn is also a great platform for sharing company services. Webinars, virtual skills training seminars, and other digital services are great ways to keep other businesses and professionals engaged in your company. If you don’t know how to run LinkedIn ads, check out our blog post all about it here. Remember that unlike other platforms, LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity to make an impression on businesses and professionals, and grow your reputation within the industry.
Social Media Platforms During COVID-19: TikTok
If you don’t know what TikTok is, don’t worry. This relatively new app only started gaining wide popularity in the U.S. within the past several months. On the platform, users create video clips between 15 and 60 seconds, typically lighthearted in nature, and feature all kinds of talents, such as dancing, skits, comedy routines, lip-syncing, and more. Because the app is so new, and largely uncharted territory, marketers are still in the learning stage of advertising on the platform, and it is a pretty open arena. In 2019 only 4% of U.S. social media marketers used the platform. This gives you a huge market opportunity.
Who’s On TikTok
If you’re looking to market to Gen Z, TikTok is the way to go. The original target market for the app was those 18 and under. 41% of users are between the ages of 16 and 24. However, the number of adults is on the rise, having grown 5.5 times in the past 18 months.
Why They Use TikTok
People use TikTok, essentially, for fun, comic relief, relatable clips and to learn new tips and tricks. 68% of TikTok users watch content, and 55% create content. People typically share short, attention-grabbing clips made primarily for entertainment. These videos are typically more active than those on other video platforms, like YouTube and IGTV. People dance, dress up as characters and perform skits or mouth to songs, movie clips and speeches.
How to Use TikTok for Marketing During COVID-19
It’s no secret that ever since the Stay at Home order began, people have been more active online. TikTok is a place many turn to for relief from their boredom and to get a break from the current news cycle. We highly recommend avoiding advertising that is too serious, and instead focus on the creative and entertainment side of marketing.
Get creative with TikTok, as it is new territory for all marketers. What we’ve seen to be most effective so far is video ads featuring young people, especially when they are talking directly to the camera, performing tricks, and other ads disguised as native content that are just as engaging as the organic content on the app.
Remember that these statistics are just a basic overview. When figuring out which platforms to use, it’s important to gather information on your niche market based on more than just demographics, but also on lifestyle, careers, interests, values, etc. for a well-rounded market persona. Also, data is always changing, especially since COVID-19. Every day, more and more people are joining social media to stay up to date on the latest news, get relief from their boredom, and find connections in this much more isolated lifestyle. It’s because of this that your brand has a unique opportunity to provide that connection, to show how your business is doing its part, and create a social community for your consumers to be a part of.
Especially during the uncertainty of these times, we know shifting your business’s focus to digital can be daunting, and SND Agency is here to help. We are a full-scale social media management agency with expertise in building a strong social media presence and growing businesses through digital marketing. For help growing your businesses now and in the future, contact us today!