By Alicia Frost, Social Media Specialist
I might sound a little biased saying this, but social media really can do wonders for your practice. It may feel overwhelming when trying to decide which platforms to utilize because they all seem so different, and it may be hard for you to keep track of all of them.
While there are a number of social platforms with a variety of purposes, the most important platforms that will aid in your practice’s brand development and management are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Each platform can be seen and used as a way to connect with different demographics while serving relatively the same purpose. This may seem like a lot of platforms to manage at a given time, but I can assure you that, with the right strategy, it will become second nature to you and your team.
Facebook continues to rule the social media community, both in terms of name recognition and number of users. If you are looking for a way to address industry-related questions or concerns, Facebook is the perfect place to do that.
Aside from addressing questions and establishing your credibility, your content has the potential to reach an extremely large audience, making your content creation that much more worth it. Facebook has options like “paid boosted posts” and “paid ads” that allow you to choose the content you wish to promote to a large audience.
Being aware of Facebook demographics can help you better meet the needs of your prospective clients so you can tailor your content strategy on the platform accordingly. According to Hootsuite, here are the demographics of Facebook users by age range:
- 82 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds online use Facebook
- 79 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds online use Facebook
- 56 percent of online users ages 65 and up use Facebook
If your practice is looking for clientele ranging in age from 18-65+, you can really benefit from Facebook and its high volume of users.
There is no social network more catered to business professionals than LinkedIn. Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn users fall within the age group of 30-64, whereas 23 percent are aged 18 to 29. LinkedIn is a great way to reach an audience of established professionals, which is always necessary.
People utilize LinkedIn for a purpose of recruiting, job searching, job posting, and to find valuable industry-related content. LinkedIn users want to grow their professional standing and credibility, giving you the opportunity to reach a number of people who will take the time to learn more about your practice and refer you to other professionals in their field.
The LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog states that the most successful brands on the site do the following three things:
- Continually update users on industry news.
- Release new and engaging content tailored to specific audiences.
- Add a voice to relevant conversations that their audiences care about.
If you are looking to expand your practice/brand in a more professional way, utilizing LinkedIn will help get you where you need to be.
Twitter users are actively discovering and interacting with businesses through the social network. Sixty-six percent of Twitter users have discovered a new small or medium-sized business while using the platform, and 94 percent plan to make a purchase from them and continue to interact with them on the platform, according to data gathered by Hootsuite.
Twitter’s demographics vary greatly in comparison to Facebook. There are very few users over the age of 40 and even fewer over the age of 65. You can use this age discrepancy to your advantage.
If your practice is struggling to connect with the younger generations and you want to drive more awareness among millennials and generation Z, then you should definitely be utilizing Twitter.
Aside from your efforts of connecting with Twitter’s primary user audience, your content should correspond with that as well. Utilize hashtags to reach more people, use the character limit to your advantage by being straight and to the point, and share fun content aside from just industry-related content.
Since Instagram launched in 2010, it has become the go-to platform for visual storytelling around the globe. Fifty-five percent of all 18- to 29-year olds online in the U.S. are using Instagram, according to the Pew Research study. Twenty-eight percent of 30-49-year-olds and 11 percent of the 50-64 age demographic also use the platform.Instagram, like Twitter, has a large audience of younger people. This does not come as a surprise. As technology has grown drastically since the baby boomers and generation X, millenials and generation Z enjoy the simplicity and aesthetically pleasing aspects of Instagram.
Instagram allows you to make a point without saying anything. Creative and fun pictures get great engagement and have the ability to show people who you are. This is your chance to show your clientele what your brand is like “outside of your office doors”.
Instagram is very important if you want to actually connect with people, especially the younger generations. If your practice gets good reviews and has great returning customers but you don’t see a lot of engagement with your brand online, on social media platforms, or just not a lot of talk surrounding your brand, it’s time for you to start showing some personality with visual storytelling!
Quality Over Quantity
These are the four platforms that are essential in building and maintaining your practice’s/brand’s image. Although I only mentioned these four, there are many others that you can utilize such as Pinterest, Youtube, and Snapchat. We do however realize that marketing time and budget are often limited, and it's important to maximize your efforts in the areas that your business does well in or could potentially do well in. It is vital to not stretch yourself too thin, especially if you are unfamiliar with these different platforms. A stronger presence on fewer platforms might be better than being on every platform but having a weak presence. Keeping your audience and brand identity in mind is key. Each of these platforms has different user demographics and provides different benefits for connecting with potential clients and marketing your practice.
If you think your practice needs some social media attention or want to learn more about how to utilize these platforms and beyond, Page 1 Solutions can help guide you in the right direction! Feel free to contact one of our sales and marketing consultants at 800-368-9910 to learn more.