For many companies social media has become an integral part of their overall marketing strategy. Social media marketing allows companies to see what their customers are saying about them and lets them actively engage in those discussions. Knowing which social networks your customers are most active on can help your company save time and money.
Below are several popular social media networks, broken down into who uses them, what they are used for and what types of companies would benefit from being on that platform.
Facebook is the world’s largest and most popular social network with approximately one billion monthly active users. Facebook allows businesses to create their own profile page, filled with information, photos and videos which users can then “like”. Approximately 90% of US based companies currently use Facebook to engage with their customers.
Successful updates on Facebook include images, videos and links that can draw an emotional response. Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for example – short videos of people participating in a good cause – which spread like wildfire on Facebook, making it one of the most successful Facebook campaigns.
All industries can benefit from a well maintained Facebook account.
Twitter is the second most popular social media account with 274 million monthly active users. Twitter allows businesses and individuals to create their own profile pages, where users can share 140 character or less messages called “Tweets”. Users can follow other users, favorite tweets, reply to directly to a tweet, and send direct messages to other users. 100% of your followers will see your tweets, making Twitter a more cost effective marketing tool for businesses.
Twitter makes it easy to reach and communicate with current and potential customers. Businesses should use the platform to share their expertise and knowledge by sharing blogs, press releases, industry news, and other relevant information.
All industries can benefit from a well maintained Twitter account.
Google+ is connected to Google’s email platform, Gmail. The typical Google+ user spends just 3-7 minutes on the site per month, making it one of the most disengaged user networks. Businesses, however, should use Google+ despite the lack of user engagement. Google pulls business information into the SERPs, making it imperative for companies to ensure their information is up-to-date.
Not only should companies keep their business pages updated, but they should also participate in industry-specific Communities. This allows businesses to share their knowledge and expertise with people/groups who have the same interests. Communities can also be customer-specific, allowing businesses to help customers make better-informed decisions.
All industries can benefit from an up-to-date Google+ page
LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals. This network is like a virtual resume, allowing users to list their experience, education, and skills, all while connecting with other professionals. Businesses can create company pages and update them with company information, job openings, and more.
Because LinkedIn has a limited user base, it does not necessarily have a strong chance of leading to direct sales. But for most companies, LinkedIn is a strong tool for maintaining visibility and brand awareness.
An occasionally updated LinkedIn company page can benefit businesses in the B2B, Information Technology, Finance, Insurance, Retail, Legla, Real Estate, and Advertising industries.
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, right behind Google, with over one billion unique visitors each month. YouTube is unique in that anyone can upload and share their content freely. And because it is owned by Google there are also a few SEO advantages to using the network, especially for businesses.
Google tends to favor websites with embedded YouTube videos, so creating a video and uploading it to YouTube, then embedding it to your website and sharing it that way can actually positively help your website. YouTube offers a wide variety of options for users, allowing them to tag videos with keywords, add annotations, add music and special effects, and more.
Because of YouTube’s appeal and broad reach, it is recommended that all businesses create and maintain a YouTube account. By taking advantage of Hangouts, businesses can provide monthly or weekly video segments on industry-specific issues to keep users engaged.
All industries can benefit from a well maintained YouTube account.
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking platform that allows users to create virtual pinboards of images, videos and links that fit a theme or collection. Companies can also have business accounts, creating pinboards around their services and products.
According to a 2012 study, upwards of 70% of Pinterest’s users are women with an annual household income of over $100,000. Most pins relate to food and drinks, do-it-yourself projects, arts and crafts, women’s apparel, home decor and travel. Companies that sell retail products, apparel, furniture, clothing or highly visual products/services can benefit from Pinterest.
A well maintained Pinterest account can benefit companies in the Food, Hospitality, Retail, Gaming, Clothing, Real Estate, Automotive, Entertainment, and Construction industries.