The marketplace is crowded, everyone seems to be trying their best to take up the most space and make the most noise and this is especially true on social media. The question becomes is there a way that social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat can be effectively used to foster branding (products and services) particularly for rural businesses. YouTube is left out of this analysis and will be considered in a later post.
Utilizing social media platforms for corporate branding is challenging. While Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat do all fall under the label “social media” and there are certain guidelines that are consistent across platforms. The platforms are not all the same and while there is often overlap, the target audiences are different. To be successful a campaign must be creative, take advantage of video and stills, build product anticipation, be consistent, make use of the platform analytics, and perhaps most importantly know their target audience and the demographics of the platform.
While there are similarities between the platforms, all four do have very different audiences and methods of message delivery and those must be taken into consideration. According to a report from Pew Research*, 69% of Snapchat’s audience falls into the age range 13-24 and evenly split between males and female. Only 38 percent of Pinterest’s is in that age range and has a significant difference in gender with 42 % women to 15% for men. Instagram does have a larger share of the 18-24 age group at 75%, and is still 43% women to 31% men. Snapchat is designed for quick read and the post disappear after 24 hours, so any content must be attractive and designed to achieve an immediate action on the audience’s part, Instagram is more personal, and posts stay longer, but since they are still image or video, they must be captivating and consistent. Pinterest’s primary audience is the Do-it-yourself person looking for hints and ideas and when a post is “pinned” it can remain there for long term. Facebook which has been around the longest and is considerably more established is now viewed as the platform for “older” people.
In essence, if the company has products or services geared towards teens a Snapchat campaign is a very excellent choice, if a company has products or services towards professionals, homeowners, or an older audience then Instagram might serve well, and if the company is looking for long-term relationships with products or services without a timeline, then Pinterest might be best. If the campaign is designed for long-term exposure to a wide audience with global reach, Facebook is a strong contender for advertiser dollars.
Regardless of the platform, the campaign must be focused, inviting, and consistent. We suggest regardless of platform, that you start with a website which highlights your company and products, from there it becomes easy to design a campaign. For example, our client The Post Yard in Florence, Texas needed to get the word out about their products and services. We started with the web site and then a Facebook page, and we’re starting an Instagram as well. If you would like more information about our services, please go to our contact page. We’ve been doing this stuff for a long time and we’re from the country.
*Percent of U.S. Adults who say they ever use the platforms
Pew Research, April 2019 Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/10/share-of-u-s-adults-using-social-media-including-facebook-is-mostly-unchanged-since-2018/