Some entrepreneurs might be tempted to think that social media marketing is just a passing fad that will soon be forgotten. The statistics, however, paint a very different picture. According to Social Media Examiner, 83% of marketers have said that social media is important for their businesses.
Make no mistake about it. One of the most effective ways to engage and expand your audience across the web is through the use of social media sites. However, not all of these sites are created equal, and that’s why were giving you a rundown of today’s most important platforms. This list serves as a short and straightforward guide to help you pick the right social media sites you can use for your business.
For all the talk about Facebook becoming irrelevant in the near future, one might think that the social networking giant is just a few years away from becoming the next big thing to fall. However, these naysayers will not be happy to know that in March 2015, the site’s monthly active users reached a staggering 1.44 billion active users. In February this year, its market capitalization has risen to $212 billion. Facebook is undoubtedly still the king of social media sites. According to Hubspot, some 80% of social network users prefer to connect to brands using this platform.
Among all social media sites, Facebook has the distinct advantage of being able to spark conversations and spread them through the participants’ social network by appearing on those people’s news feeds. Facebook also offers a variety of advertising options, which allow businesses to create targeted ads for different audiences. You can set your budget and track the results of your campaigns.
The world’s most popular micro-blogging site, Twitter had 302 million active users in May 2015. The website’s users capitalize on personality and succinctness in order to gain followers. As opposed to the longer messages than can be distributed via sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter users can only create 140-character “tweets” at a time. However, with the help of the hashtag (#) feature which the social media site introduced a few years back, users are able to find relevant topics quickly.
Third-party tools like HootSuite can also be used in conjunction with Twitter to conduct geo-location of potential customers. If, for instance, you have a business selling comic books, you can use the geo-location feature to search for individuals tweeting about comic books within a 25-km radius from where you are using the platform.
LinkedIn is the preferred social networking service of many businesses, recruiters, and people looking for employment. Globally, it has around 364 million users.
Compared to other sites, LinkedIn is more professional networking-oriented, so it’s a very good platform to use if you want to build a robust network of business partners, clients, and industry contacts. Additionally, it’s also a great place to find new talents.
Instagram is an image- and video-centric social media site that you can use to your advantage if you have the “sensual” type of products and services. It is popular among businesses that deal with content about lifestyle, fashion, travel, food, and celebrities.
However, even if your company does not sell such products and services, the minimalist site can still be used to document your organization’s activities. From day-to-day office happenings and charity events to company tours and parties, there are so many things you can put on instagram that will help showcase the human side of your organization. Make sure to use hashtags to optimize the distribution of your content.
Instagram has more than 300 million active users today, up from just 100 million three years earlier. This user base is expected to grow even faster in the coming years.
Pinterest is another image-centric social media site that can be used by businesses to upload, share, and manage images and videos known as “pins.” Statistics have shows that Pinterest has a higher retention rate among women, so you might want to consider setting up a Pinterest page if you have a business that has a largely female customer base.
Businesses engaged in retail can use their Pinterest page as a virtual shopfront where they can showcase their latest products. They can even indicate the prices of the items and include a variety of other information.
Lastly, if your business creates video content, then YouTube is definitely a must-have social media site for you. From comedy sketches and tutorial videos to news reports and music videos, you can create interesting content and take advantage of YouTube’s connection with Google. YouTube videos tend to appear prominently in Google’s search engine results pages.
According to Social Media Today, the video-sharing platform is now the second-largest search engine in the world, even bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL combined.