A Rough Guide To Social Media Marketing
Facebook… Twitter… LinkedIn… Google+... Does this list look like a random list of letters from a bowl of alphabet soup? Then chances are, you’re not taking total advantage of today’s unique business and marketing environment.
Many businesses are not effectively using social media, which is the new word-of-mouth advertising. Social media marketing provides a face in a sea of anonymous information, giving you a leg up on your competition, helping you to reach new customers and keep in contact with established clients.
Below is a basic rundown of the most popular social networks. Use it to help you decide where to expand and explore. Some experts claim that you should stick to one network where you feel comfortable and build your presence, but our research has shown that a combination of networks is the most effective, for reaching the widest amount of potential customers.
Facebook is a great place to start. It has the most monthly users (more than 1.19 billion as of June 2013). Facebook pages and posts are “liked” (or seen and given a virtual “thumbs up”) over 4.5 billion times a day and customers are more likely to purchase products they have “liked.” Facebook is also the most common network for news and information spread among family and friends.
Twitter is the go-to source for news, updates and social interaction. It adds a voice and a personality to your brand. Twitter features a younger demographic than Facebook, between 18 - 49, and it’s on the rise. Twitter’s users increased by 40% in the second half of 2012 alone. 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and shoppers have reported they are more likely to visit brand sites when exposed to brand tweets. Twitter is also useful for finding connections, using the # function.
LinkedIn is the premier virtual business marketplace. It’s useful for building business contacts, promoting brand authority and legitimacy and building customer advocacy. LinkedIn has over 238 million users in over 200 countries, many of which (30 million) are recent college graduates; ideal for when you’re looking to hire. Business leads are three times as likely to convert as on Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is also great for networking by utilizing the many interest groups available.
Google+ is definitely the new kid on the block. It was started in 2011 and has the least members of all the major social networks, at 300 million. But this is really just an opportunity in disguise. The Google+ market isn’t as flooded and there is room to capture attention and build valuable connections with potential clients. Google+ has a higher percentage of male users than the other Social Networks, which makes it a useful place to spread technology news and the handy inclusion of “circles” gives you more control over who gets to see what. As an added bonus, posts that have been given the “+1” show up higher in the search result pages of Google, which is a major win in the online marketing game.
Of course there are a lot of other venues, including YouTube and Pinterest, as well as scheduling, promoting, tagging and engaging with other users to consider in your grand plan. But this will get you started and once you jump in, you’ll see how useful social marketing can be.
If it turns out that social media marketing isn’t your forte, we have over a decade of experience to draw on. Contact us today, to see how we can help grow your company.