– Susu Wong, Founder and Principal at Tomo360
Social media has dramatically changed the landscape of traditional marketing. Print ads, coupons and phonebook promotions are often one size fits all and expensive. Social media is a great tool to help you to segment your customers and demographics, which allows you to have more targeted marketing. The businesses that are capitalizing on social media marketing are converting their prospects to customers.So what is all the buzz with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. Did you know that there are over 1.82 billion social network users worldwide? That number is expected to increase to approximately 2.33 billion by 2017.
Like paper ads, social media is not one size fits all either. There are a variety of social platforms to choose from, but the most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. These social media platforms all provide powerful ways to gain the visibility, credibility and access required to move your business to the next level. It can be overwhelming and challenging to manage all these social channels. How do you decide on the best platform to use for your business?
Twitter is a microblogging site that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages or tweets. Twitter has 271 million monthly active users, and they send over 500 million Tweets per day. It is a platform of choice for bloggers, writers, celebrities and thought leaders to disseminate trending topics and quick updates. Keep in mind that the lifespan of tweets is short-lived and spontaneous, so trendy updates are crucial. For example, if you are owner of a food truck business where you would likely move from one location to another, Twitter is a great platform where you can tweet about your location and specials in real time to your followers.
Facebook is by far the most popular social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with their network. There are over 1.23 billion active Facebook users, where the majority of the users are between the ages of 18-34. In fact, if Facebook were a country, it will be the third largest country in the world, bigger than the U.S.
By interacting with your fans with postings of events, pictures, quotes, community outreach, and contests, Facebook can promote a more personal brand. After all, customers like to give business to a company that they are familiar with.
With Facebook, I would apply the 80-20 rule, where 80% of the content is to develop social friendships with your customers and fans, whereby 20% is focused on your products and services. Unlike Twitter, Facebook posts are not as time sensitive and they have a longer lasting effect.
LinkedIn is a powerful and wildly popular social network for business professionals. There are over 300 million LinkedIn worldwide users, and a third of them are from the U.S. It is a great platform for hiring, discovering sales leads, and connecting with potential business partners. It’s different than other social networking sites because it’s designed specifically for professional networking. It is also a great place to set up your personal profile and showcase your experience as well as your business by creating a company page. There are also many different groups that you can join to interact with other members. Take a look at some of the latest trends on LinkedIn
Google+ is a relatively new and very popular social platform. Since it is integrated with Gmail, YouTube, and Google Search, it has surpassed Twitter in 2013 and is now the second-biggest social platform with 343 million active users. Google+ allows you to share content with subsets of your group called Circles, which are small groups of friends, colleagues and families based on your gmail addresses. You can create a special section in Google+ and share content and pictures targeted to a specific group of users. You can also create reviews on Google+, which can be very visible in Google and increases your search ranking.
In summary, each of these social media platforms has unique followers and demographics. So do your homework before jumping in, check out your demographics, and think how best to promote your brand.
For more information on how to using social media, we were recently featured in an article titled “The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media“, which outlines how to use social media channels for best online reputation.
I will be writing about the benefits of each of the above platform on my next blog. Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our next blog.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]