Social media is arguably the single most affordable organic marketing channel. Even start-ups and micro businesses without an online presence are still able to push insightful and engaging posts to a huge audience without any significant investment.
With the ever-growing number of platforms, tools and agencies available to manage campaigns, you may be wondering how best to approach a strategy in the coming months. Here are a few FAQs and trending insights about social media.
How big is the audience?
Social media is often touted as having ‘billions’ of users, but how many people are actually out there?
According to data compiled in April this year by DataReportal, nearly 4bn users now log into sites such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok regularly, which is almost half of the world’s population.
With a potential audience that big, it is no wonder brands are tailoring content campaigns as part of wider social media management.
Which platform is the most popular?
While relative newcomers Instagram and TikTok have the potential to become the most popular sites, Facebook continues to reign supreme with a staggering 2.6bn monthly active user base during the first three months of 2020.
Mark Zuckerberg’s platform is also the most popular for consumers and marketers, making it perfectly suited for content and social marketing.
Which platform is growing the fastest?
TikTok is currently enjoying a boom period, especially in the UK and the US. The short-form video sharing network had 4.9m users in the UK last year, but this is expected to rise by 67% to 8.1m before the end of 2020 and increase to more than 11m by 2023. Instagram was the previous ‘hot’ platform, but its growth rate plateaued at 6.7% in the US last year.
What is the average hourly usage per day?
People are spending more time with social networks than ever before, and eMarketer expects daily usage to grow 8.8% to 82 minutes per day this year, up from the 75.4 minutes in 2019.
Social media has been a place of comfort for people amid the pandemic, with many users looking for relevant, informative and engaging posts and content from brands they follow.
When is the best time to post?
Social media is an ‘always on’ channel, so there is never really a single time that can be defined as the best for a brand to post. The optimal time depends on a range of factors, including your industry and target audience.
Taking a closer look at the performance of recent posts you have published will provide data and insights that can inform decision-making here.
While there are no hard and fast rules for post timings, a study by Sprout Social found that Sunday was often the worst day to publish and that Tuesday to Friday were the best days. On Twitter, for example, global engagement peaks at Wednesday and Friday at 9am and troughs on Saturday.
How regularly should I post?
Deciding on the frequency of social media posts is easier than the timing, as most experts agree that publishing one post per day should be the baseline.
Posting more regularly is definitely something you should be open to if you believe that it can drive better performance from your campaigns. Whatever you decide, make sure to document it within a publishing calendar.
Which platforms should I use?
With billions of users and an ever-growing number of viable platforms, it can seem like a logical step to manage accounts across every popular site, but this can be difficult if you don’t have a strategy in place.
The platforms you opt to use should be based on your needs. For example, B2B marketers will find value in LinkedIn, while other B2C marketers will not.
It may be preferable to focus your efforts on two or three platforms to begin with and move from there. It is best to be a master of a couple of channels where audiences are really engaged and anticipating your content rather than stretching yourself too thinly across a myriad of profiles and struggling to keep up.
Is it easy to get started?
As noted earlier, trying to get something up and running without a strategy can be counterproductive. It is easy to open an account and publish content, but you really need to create a plan of action to deliver consistent, trackable results.
As part of this plan, you should set a few meaningful goals, research your audience, establish KPIs and metrics, analyse what your competitors are doing, and then set up a publishing calendar.
From here, you can start creating and posting content. Doing a bit of research and laying the groundwork for a long-term social strategy will help you deliver the results you need.
How do I get more followers, likes and shares?
A robust strategy will not only get your social media plans off the ground but will also be key to attracting new followers and making your posts more shareable.
If you want to deliver growth quickly, you could outsource your social media management to an agency. This is a useful option if you lack the time and resources to devote to social right now and need expert assistance with publishing posts.
Outside of third-party help, you can target growth by steadily building your social media presence, producing a piece of content that goes viral, and focusing on engagement.
How can I get ahead on Instagram?
TikTok is the new kid on the block, but Instagram is still a great platform for brands. Most users on Instagram are Millennials or Gen Z, with the average user aged between 18 and 34. This group makes up 64% of the user base, so it is ideal if you want to target a younger audience.
Users on Instagram have around 150 followers on average, but the majority are personal accounts and not business-based. Since its launch back in 2010, more than 50bn photos have been uploaded and around 100m pieces of content are still added to the site every day.