The world of social media marketing is a rich one. Not only does usage continue to rise, but marketers are making leaps and bounds in promoting the businesses they work for. As digital communities continue to be built, social media marketing becomes stronger, allowing businesses to promote themselves to the niche audiences they serve.
It’s an incredible upgrade to the world of marketing — one in which some brands are still attempting to get themselves used to. The struggle comes from the fact that traditional marketing doesn’t work like it once did, and the digital world is progressing faster than most veteran marketers can keep up with. Through this, we’ve seen old tactics taking new forms, from general advertising to content creation, to a business’s affiliate marketing strategy.
To any marketers unaware of how to target the more than three billion people using social media nowadays, there is a means to get in. Better yet, if you already have social media accounts but haven’t found success, it might be due to a lack of focus when strategizing, or you might just be on the wrong app. Let’s take a closer inspection at what makes each of the social media platforms tick. You might just find that you’ve looked past the perfect platform all this time.
The Right Social Media Platform for You
You need to have the right approach to make the most out of social media. Moreover, you need to be on the right platform for it to work at all. Before you jump into the deep end of one single social media app, you should consider doing your research to know how each can benefit and hurt your business. Not every app is built the same, and their differences make them great — even if one app is not right for your strategy, it might be beneficial when added as a side strategy along with your main interests. Here are the most popular social media apps right now, and the pros and cons of each.
TikTok has taken the world by storm over the past year, with more than 1 billion users flocking to the site to view, create, and upload short-form videos. Whether based around a joke, dance, or trend, there are a lot of views to be gained from TikTok, and businesses are jumping into the game for that very reason.
Its popularity makes it one of the most sought-after apps when it comes to social media marketing, as people of all ages are flocking to the app to share videos of their own in hopes of getting big. While your business can create its own channel and create unique videos to gain views, you might not fare that well compared to an already established app. Your best option might be to use it for affiliate and influencer purposes.
With some users becoming celebrities in their own right, it’s a good idea to use established stars to promote your products and services, whether it is a plugin of one of their videos or having them share an affiliate code somewhere across their network. With this popularity, you’ll want to jump on before it’s too late. While the app doesn’t look like it will be waning anytime soon, it’s better to establish yourself before anything changes.
Pros of TikTok:
- Currently the most downloaded app
- Popular with younger generations
- Grew in popularity from Asia and is now established in the U.S. and western world
Cons of TikTok:
- Currently does not allow for outright advertising
- Still hasn’t proved itself as a marketing platform
- Not as popular in some European nations
Facebook has seen its fair share of bad news these past few years. Yet, while it has had its share of trouble the past few years, it is still one of the most populated social media platforms, with 2.96 billion users having a profile on the site.
Due to its early emergence in the social media world, Facebook remains a powerhouse. Users can personalize their profiles and share photos, thoughts, posts, and more. Businesses have similar power, being able to create business-themed pages where they can promote events, share menus, foster an events calendar, and interact with customers.
Marketing through the platform comes in numerous forms, where businesses can utilize Facebook for affiliate marketing strategies or by placing ads that are purchased directly through Facebook. All businesses have to do, in either case, is create curated content developed for their targeted audience and place an ad related to said pinpointing. However, it should be said that the user base is getting older when compared to other apps — the biggest growth is seen among the 55+ age group. So, you’ll need to consider what you’re selling and how it relates to those you’re marketing to.
Pros of Facebook:
- Massive audience and reach
- Good for both B2B and B2C content
- Some of the best targeting options available to marketers
- Pairs well with Google Ads
Cons of Facebook:
- The site is lessening the number of ads on its Newsfeed
- Particularly popular among Baby Boomers
- Requires a lot of content creation
Considering visual aesthetics, Instagram is one of the most popular apps, where brands, influencers, and people can congregate to create curated photo and video albums that make their entire profile. Further, they can follow content creators they like to keep up with on content relevant to their interests, whether that is visual art, cooking, music, dancing, etc. Brands can hit it big when it comes to Instagram. The prevalence of established brands and influencers makes Instagram affiliate marketing a great option for any company looking to either a) start an affiliate marketing program or b) expand their marketing efforts from where they currently are.
Authenticity matters quite a lot when it comes to Instagram, too, and authentic brands and influencers can spell good business for any companies looking to expand their affiliate marketing efforts. The personalities present from profile to profile can help a brand establish itself with another audience, allowing for niche audiences to be utilized to spread awareness for your brand’s products and services.
Authenticity comes down to the user base, 60% of which is under the age of 34. These users are, by and large, interested in supporting brands that have a concise brand image and statement and are willing to stand behind it, full stop. It’s important, for this reason, that your business sticks to its guns when jumping onto Instagram, creating content that fits your brand’s character while also only seeking out affiliates and influencers whose audiences are aligned with your own.
Pros of Instagram:
- Superb targeting
- User base that continues to grow
- Popular among Millennials and Gen Z
- Great for affiliate marketing
- Perfect for visual branding purposes
Cons of Instagram:
- Need to create regular visual content for relevancy
- Difficult to create organic traffic on your own
Pinterest might not be the big-name brand as many of the other social media apps, but it has a lot to offer to its users. With more than 450 million people browsing the platform each month, Pinterest acts as an incredible search engine for users looking for images, hobby ideas, and more. Best of all, it’s said by many users that they rely on the platform when making purchasing decisions, such as finding personal outfits, cookware, and interior design choices.
This visual nature of the platform is what gives it its strength. Users visiting the site can interact with an endless trove of photos that can be used for other ventures. Moreover, they can create mood boards that allow them to curate their interests, collecting relevant images all in one place.
It has great potential for that reason, especially for businesses that excel when it comes to visual content creation. Material can be specially made for target audiences. Best of all, users often welcome seeing ads, as they can be useful when making future buying choices, whether for their hobbies or business.
Pros of Pinterest:
- Powerful advertising and search tool
- Content is easy to share
- Unique app to fuel purchasing ideas
- Users are not turned off by seeing ads
- Easy to drive traffic to your website
- Highly visual platform
- Organically ranks in Google Search functions
Cons of Pinterest:
- Requires a lot of attention
- Takes a lot of onboarding work for results
- Not as large an audience as other apps
People around the globe watch over one billion hours of content every day through YouTube, making it one of the most popular websites — and the internet’s premier video-hosting site. The site is rife with content, users, and content creators, making it the perfect place for brands to advertise. Whether you produce traditional ads to play before a video or work with a content creator to have them promote your products and services, YouTube is an avenue that should not be looked past.
Due to a change in advertising models, many creators have begun relying on affiliate marketing to promote themselves, featuring personalized ads for apps like Honey before their videos. That direct line of promotion can be incredibly important for a brand, as having a trusted voice as a spokesperson can go a long way.
Pros of YouTube:
- Premier video website
- Great targeting options
- Second-largest search engine after Google
- Integrates with Google Ads
- Awesome opportunities for affiliate marketers
Cons of YouTube:
- Producing your own videos costs time and money
- Many users rely on AdBlock to avoid pre-video ads
Twitter remains another notable platform, considered the most well-known and influential alongside Facebook and Instagram. With brands flocking to the website in droves to establish themselves as personalities, users are finding it easier than ever to interact with the companies they’re interested in and to make purchases with them.
Remaining fresh on Twitter can be its own problem, along with starting from nothing. Similar to Instagram and Facebook, it’s difficult to generate organic traffic when you have no followers to begin with. In most cases, it requires the assistance of another brand or personality that can promote you to their niche audience. This promotion effort can go a long way, providing you with followers, engagement, and lead generation.
Pros of Twitter:
- Great lead generation
- Quick reaction time from users
- Users are highly engaged with the content they see
- Good traffic with the right audience
- Great for both B2B and B2C companies
Cons of Twitter:
- Lack of evergreen content
- Traffic slow when starting out
- Limited analytics
- Advertising can be expensive
Consider the Future of Marketing
Social media has become a driving force that influences the way modern brands do business. With the power these platforms have, and the continued advancements produced by Silicon Valley, we shouldn’t expect to see a change in the model anytime soon.
If anything, new apps and platforms will emerge, and it will require getting used to — but, by staying on top of the trend, marketers can keep ahead of the game. For those affiliate marketers, it’s important to establish relationships sooner rather than later — before another brand or influencer is picked up by one of their competitors.
If you’re looking to make the most of social media, considering jumping onto the bandwagon today. If you’re unsure how to navigate the situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Refersion. We’re happy to help with your social media marketing and affiliate marketing questions and needs.