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22 Feb 2023

Social media muddle - How to choose the right social media channel

There's TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest... We have various social media channels, and it can all turn into a swamp where we can waste a lot of time. The fragmentation of digital marketing can be a headache for many communicators. A company doesn't have to be everywhere on social media. The first step is to find out which channel is the best for your business.

Since social media is part of marketing communications, we should start with some basics. Without a strategy, it’s impossible to advance in a productive and effective way. This is also true for social media, as scrambling here and there wastes time rather than producing results. 

First and foremost, it’s good to know who the company wants to reach, i.e. the ideal audience and target group. What is a typical target audience member like? How old are they and where are they geographically located? What are their needs and challenges and, above all, how can the company help them overcome these challenges? Choosing the right social media channel should be based on the target audience’s needs and the core message of the service or product. Why is something done, who is it being done for and how is it being done?

Next, it’s a good idea to go into the specifics of the different social media channels in order to find the most relevant one for your business.

Facebook: Still the most popular

Facebook is still used by around 70% of Finns, so it offers opportunities for many businesses. It’s a good choice especially for B2C companies offering consumer products and services. Many consumers also use Facebook to search for information about events and companies.

Facebook is easy to use, as you can just create a page and post images, texts and videos on it. The communication can be varied. In practice, however, it’s worth investing in paid advertising. Organic posts, i.e. posts that are not advertised, reach a relatively small number of people. Paid advertising on Facebook is effective and you can get good results even with a small budget.

Instagram: A more visual choice

Instagram is the second most popular social media channel in Finland after Facebook. It allows users to share photos and videos. Compared to Facebook, Instagram is therefore more focused on sharing visual content. It’s also popular amongst B2C businesses.

Instagram users are typically younger than Facebook users. While the number of older users is steadily increasing, a significant proportion of Instagram users are youngsters and young adults. Currently, the short and entertaining videos called reels get the most visibility on Instagram. If you’re interested in videos as a format, reels are a great option.

The stream of photos on Instagram is lively and can be utilised with a simple visual narrative. It can be used to introduce day-to-day operations or to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the company, for example. Through Instagram, you can bring the company closer to the customer.

LinkedIn: A channel for professionals

LinkedIn is the most important channel for professional networking. It has less users than Facebook or Instagram, but its user base is formed more selectively. LinkedIn focuses on the value that a post brings, i.e. how it can be helpful, useful or enjoyable for readers. Mere entertainment is not enough on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is popular with B2B companies that trade with each other, as it allows them to reach various professionals. The platform can be used for professional discussions, finding new jobs or employees, as well as for trading. The posts focus on texts, images and videos. Paid advertising is also possible on LinkedIn.

Pinterest: Inspiration from beautiful images

The vast majority of Pinterest users are women, and just under a million Finns use it. It’s a photo and link sharing platform. It's mostly a place where people go to look for inspiration and entertainment via beautiful imagery.

Pinterest is ideal for a business with visually striking content. If you're an artist selling decorative paintings, colourful and eye-catching jewellery or if your business arranges the most stunning bouquets in town, Pinterest is the place to be. Pinterest is mostly used by B2C businesses in Finland.

TikTok: An emerging favourite

TikTok's popularity has exploded over the past few years and there’s no end in sight. In Finland, TikTok has more than a million users and almost half of them are aged between 18 and 24. If your target group is young, TikTok can be a great choice.

TikTok is a platform for sharing short videos. It originally started as an entertainment channel, with dance videos as its most popular content. However, the amount of informative content on TikTok is growing and it’s no longer just about pop culture. Advertising on TikTok is also possible by paying for promotion. If you have the creativity and know-how to make short, insightful videos, TikTok can be a great tool.

Twitter: Compact information

The vast majority of Twitter's active users are political decision-makers or media representatives. Users communicate via messages of up to 280 characters, known as tweets. The proportion of male users on Twitter is higher than on Instagram, for example. The most typical user is aged between 25 and 34.

On Twitter, you must be active. The recommended number of posts is up to 2–5 per day. Another essential factor is that you should actively participate in the content produced by others. Twitter is a place for sharing news, having conversations and speaking out about issues. 

If your company starts using Twitter, you should consider what your objectives are and make sure you master the summarisation of messages. Twitter can be a good fit for companies looking to connect with politicians and journalists.

Finally, it's worth remembering that you should prioritise even when it comes to social media. You shouldn’t use all possible social media platforms as communication channels. It’s better to maintain one active channel and learn how to use it effectively than to maintain four passive ones. You should figure out where your target audience is and tailor your messages to them. A passive social media profile doesn’t drive sales and can actually do the opposite. A little research beforehand can help identify the most important and effective social media platforms. It’ll also help in making the most of them in a way that best serves both the business and the customer.




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