Social networks have become an essential tool for businesses of any size, completely revolutionizing the relationships between companies and customers. Do you know how they work and which ones are the most used?
What are social networks?
Social networks are online platforms that allow connection between people, or between people and companies, through a system that consists of sharing content (in various formats) with which other people can interact publicly. In addition, they usually also allow private conversation between two users, a feature that makes them very useful for Customer Service.
Some of its features include:
They generate community. It is a two-way and interactive communication medium, in which users participate both by creating content and reacting to it. In this way, a relationship is created that favors loyalty.
They are based on sharing content. Users of social networks create their own content (user-generated content) and, in addition, they can become speakers of the content of other users or brands through the option of sharing them.
Continuity. To achieve success in social networks, a long-term strategy is convenient: being relevant implies generating content continuously.
Social media has changed the way people and brands interact, but they have gone further: they have evolved to also become a perfect platform for advertising. Thus, they can be used to share content on a regular basis (not paid, which is also known as organic), something that generates a connection with followers and builds loyalty, or to advertise that allows companies to make themselves known to an audience higher and sell more. Both missions are fully compatible.
What are the most used social networks?
Following data published in the report ‘Digital 2020’, prepared by We Are Social together with Hootsuite, users of social networks use them an average of 2.5 hours a day. The report provides data in addition to the number of users of the most popular platforms:
It is the most used social network, with more than 2.44 billion active users. It began as a way to share photos with the user’s close social circle, and today it is a powerful platform that unites users and brands through content. They include, for example, the marketing functions of the business pages, which allow adding dynamic business hours and various forms of immediate contact with companies. In addition, its paid ad platform, Facebook Ads, is one of the best and most versatile advertising platforms on the internet.
This video platform has 2 billion active users and is also the most visited website after Google. The video marketing is a strategy to consider for many brands since 90% of internet users spend time watching videos and 51% in seeing ‘vlogs’ (a popular way to call blogs in video format ) and YouTube one of the main platforms to share them.
With 2 billion global active users, Instagram is the photography social network par excellence. Some of its most popular tools include stories (ephemeral content that is kept for 24 hours in the user’s profile) and the possibility of live streaming. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so advertising can be done on this network using Facebook Ads.
The social network that has grown with the most power in the last two years, today is close to 1 billion users. Its success is based on allowing users to create, edit, and watch short videos of great dynamism, and its triumphs among Generation Z (those born after 1995).
It consists of a professional social network, with 663 million active users, which allows online networking. It is one of the key tools to generate a personal brand or attract talent to a company. In addition, it is a network widely used in B2B environments to establish alliances with client companies.
Around 380 million people use Snapchat, an application that works in a similar way to an instant messaging app: the user sends photos or videos to their contacts, which will only be available for a certain time. Like Tik Tok, it is very focused on very young users. Although in the United States it is one of the main social networks, in Spain it has never enjoyed great popularity.
The platform that popularized posts with less than 140 characters has 340 million users, being especially popular with men between the ages of 25 and 34. Together with Facebook and LinkedIn, it is one of the most used networks by businesses in Spain.
Advantages of Social Networks
Businesses that use social media have at least the following three advantages:
Approach potential clients on the platforms they are already using. Social networks have changed the way in which brands interact with their customers, managing to consolidate the brand image, but also an increasingly personalized customer service (for example, through personal messages and user comments).
A lower cost than traditional advertising. The possibility of publishing on social networks for free has democratized the possibility of being known: through a content strategy on social networks, any business can promote its brand, product, or service.
Ability to generate paid advertising campaigns with a high level of segmentation. The data that social platforms obtain from their users allow companies to initiate paid advertising strategies on social networks and direct their messages to a very specific audience, also delimiting the geographical area of the advertisement, thus multiplying its effectiveness.