There is an ever-increasing number of social networking sites, but paying attention to the top 5 will create the most opportunities for building your brand and promoting your business, in order to increase reach and profits. Things are changing constantly in the world of social media and so knowing where to focus your marketing attention is key.
Currently, the top 5 social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. I haven’t included Pinterest and Youtube, though, because they are more like search engines than typical social media channels. I will mention them at the end as I believe both are important to include. This article contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information check out my full affiliate disclosure. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to help you decide where to focus your social media marketing attention.
Facebook has now reached 2 billion users. It allows individual and business pages, as well as a variety of written, video and promotional content. Despite reports that Facebook is decreasing in popularity amongst a younger audience, it is #1 in the world and #1 where it counts-with consumers who have money to spend.
The audience tends to consist of more women than it does men. Both use social search to learn more about products and services and get recommendations. Women socialise more and keep in touch with friends and family through their account. They are also more likely to access their account on a mobile device.
They participate more in groups, polls and surveys and tend to respond better to ads. The ads at Facebook are highly targeted and a good deal cheaper than the Google AdSense network, so making the most of all the free as well as paid marketing opportunities at Facebook is the best way to build your audience rapidly and stay connected with them.
Twitter has 328 million users. Many people like it because they feel it is fun and easy to use. The posts, called tweets, can only be 140 characters long, so it is a fast way to update your followers about your business. More women than men are on Twitter and tweet more actively. They also re-tweet or share your tweets. This helps you to reach a wider circle of people. Twitter also has an easy-to-use advertising program to help gain followers and feature tweets.
LinkedIn, geared towards businesspeople, has 255 million users with more men than women using the platform. LinkedIn works well to connect with people you know and tap into business-to-business opportunities. They recently added advertising to their offers in relation to lead generation, that is, focusing on getting people to sign up for your email marketing list. They also bought SlideShare, the #1 site for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Use all 3 opportunities to build your brand and reach if your product line appeals to business people.
Instagram is fast becoming the most popular social site for sharing images. 80 million images are shared there each day, and there are 700,000,000 monthly users. It’s fantastic for sharing real-time photos and mini videos allowing you to connect with your audience in a way previously unheard of. There is a great opportunity to build relationships by sharing behind the scenes and snippets of your life that just aren’t possible on other social media networks.
They have recently introduced advertising, too, linked with Facebook ads. So, it can be a great way to get your products or services out there. As well as formal advertising, it has become known for ‘influencers’ where people advertise products and generate an income from that. If you’d like to learn more about how to use Instagram for business then I recommend this course.
Google+ (pronounced Google PLUS) is the youngest of the top 5 networks, but already has 120 million users, mostly men. It links to all your Google activities through your free Gmail account. This also means you can connect it to your YouTube channel if you have one. Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts on Air allow you to use video to attract an audience and meet with prospective customers.
Good social media marketing is all about making connections. If you’re not already using these 5 top sites, open an account to test things out. You may find that you have tapped into a true social media treasure when it comes to finding and connecting with your target market. I recommend not spending too much time on too many of them at any one time, though. Once you feel like you have leant what you need to on one of them and become a bit of an expert, that’s when you move onto another.
Now, before I wrap up I want to just briefly discuss Youtube and Pinterest.
YouTube is the #1 video sharing site in the world and the third most popular site on the Internet after Google and Facebook. It’s a great network to be on if sharing videos is likely to help your business (and it is because people respond very well to videos). It’s used as a search engine, like Google, and is often where people go to find ‘how-to’ videos. It can form a fantastic part of your content planning and social media marketing.
Pinterest is a social media platform that focuses on images. It has 250 million users, with women accounting for 80% of users and a majority of this sector is over 35. It is a visual social network where people pin pictures related to products, services, and more to virtual pinboards related to particular topics. They also re-pin to share interesting content with their social circle.
Studies have shown that around 60% of users have made a purchase based on what they saw on Pinterest, with an average payment of $55. If your products are highly visual, ideal for women, or you wish to tap into a female-centric market, this is the site for you. Again, it is used much like a search engine with people looking for ideas. It’s great for sharing how-to’s, again, as well as infographics and blog posts. I took this Pinterest course which is really great for learning the basics to get you started (whether you’re in Direct Sales or not).
So, as you can see, it does depend on your business as to where to focus your marketing attention. Facebook is the biggest and the most popular so I believe that’s important for everyone. It’s then which others you add into the mix. I, personally, concentrate on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest the most. I post automatically via a drip campaign to Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Youtube is somewhere I haven’t tackled yet, though I do use it for video sharing free training. Once you have become really clear on your avatar/ideal client, you will feel more confident on which of these to focus on. I hope this helps give you some clarity for making that decision.
Once you have become really clear on your avatar/ideal client, you will feel more confident on which of these to focus on. I hope this helps give you some clarity for making that decision.