Social media’s expanding prevalence in the daily lives of consumers, its rapid growth and competition, make it difficult for companies to decide on which social networks to include in their marketing efforts. Although this selection greatly depends on many factors, the following summaries of today’s most popular social media networks will help begin the process.
Over 1.44 billion active monthly users make Facebook the top social network in the world and a necessity for all companies. Even though marketers are growing frustrated with its decreasing organic reach, Facebook remains a great arena for company updates, news, customer service and much more. Its many targeted ad products promote awareness, build network growth and drive website traffic and sales.
Like Facebook, Twitter is used to share updates, photos, videos, etc. With updates limited to 140 characters or fewer, Twitter’s brevity keeps viewers’ attention and enables the network’s rapid pace. Although its monthly audience is less than Facebook’s, roughly 302 million active users, Twitter is valuable for most businesses, especially those with frequent news and offers. Twitter ads are also similar to Facebook and utilized for targeted awareness and promotion. A recent agreement with Google enabled indexing of tweets by Google’s search engine, creating obvious value for search engine optimization (SEO).
With a growing audience of 47 million active users per month, 85 percent of whom are women, Pinterest’s importance is increasing for many businesses. Poised as the scrapbook of the internet, its users organize online images by “pinning” them to themed “boards.”
Trailing Facebook, Pinterest is the second largest referrer of website traffic. Its ad products are currently in testing and being rolled out slowly to more businesses.
Instagram, a Facebook owned company, is a social image platform that allows users to share quality photographs with built-in filters and editing tools. As people increasingly prefer images to written content, Instagram offers great opportunity to visually showcase a business, its products and daily operations.
While Instagram is currently working with large corporate partners on developing and testing its advertising solutions, it does not utilize an algorithm for deciding organic visibility of updates. In other words, every follower of an Instagram handle can potentially be exposed to that handle’s content. Posting to Instagram is only possible via a smartphone although images can be viewed on any computer or mobile device.
Google+ hasn’t released user statistics in a while, but the estimated figure is around 300 million active monthly users, primarily comprised of tech, marketing and other business professionals. Aside from updates, news, company info, photos and videos, Google+ is a great resource for SEO. With the exception of huge brands, most companies won’t receive much engagement on Google+. Nonetheless, maintaining a G+ profile is crucial since it’s appears at the top of Google search results.
A leading social media network for professionals, LinkedIn’s original utilities for discovering job opportunities and recruiting employees remain popular, but the network has evolved for sharing professional news, industry insights and the like. LinkedIn’s ad products are a valuable resource for organizations that want to target consumers based on profession, experience and salary.
With over a billion users, YouTube, a Google property, is the leading social video platform in the world and the second largest search engine. It allows companies to creatively showcase their value while promoting their brands, products and services. Quality videos that offer humor, knowledge or entertainment are easily shared across other social media properties, further extending their reach and virality.
Paid advertising on YouTube is highly refined and targeted. According to YouTube’s statistics, more than a million advertisers, mostly small businesses, use its ad platform.
Which social media networks is your business using for its marketing efforts Share your comments and questions below.