While typically companies often start with Facebook and Twitter, there are a number of Social Media Networks used for online marketing. Below is a quick summary of some of the key social media networks utilized for social media marketing, and how they tend to be used.
- Facebook – Facebook is the largest and most well-known social network in the world. It’s often the best place to start your social media marketing activity. Due to Facebook’s size, pretty much any demographic or customer type can be found here. People who “like” your Facebook business page or content posts, are called Fans on Facebook.
- Twitter – Twitter focuses on micro content (messages can only be 140 characters or less). It is viewed as the next most important social media network behind Facebook. Its character limits, use of symbols, and rapid pace of interaction have attracted a younger demographic along with news junkies. People who follow your business’ Twitter profile are called “Followers” on Twitter.
- YouTube – YouTube is a video-oriented social network that can be used to share promotional and educational videos. If you have a product, service or location that makes for interesting video content, YouTube should be considered as a marketing channel. People who follow your company’s YouTube channel to watch your videos are called “Subscribers” on YouTube. Note that online video viewing surpassed TV viewing in December of 2012 and company’s whose product enable them to product quality video content can have much to gain from leveraging YouTube.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is used for business contacts, connections and sharing corporate info and updates. If you are selling to businesses, i.e., Business-to-Business (B2B), then the LinkedIn network will likely be valuable to your marketing efforts. People or businesses that connect with you on LinkedIn are called “Connections”.
- Instagram – Instagram (which was acquired by Facebook) is rapidly gaining prominence in social media. Instagram is based on sharing photos through filters that allow people send images quickly from their daily lives. If you have a product that lends itself to images and if you are good at taking photos with your mobile phone, tablet or digital camera, then Instagram is a social media network to consider leveraging.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is also rapidly growing in popularity. Its users tend to be predominately female (~70%) interested in browsing content (images) of others based on topics or themes of interest. Pinterest users can save images to one of their own “Pin boards”. Pinterest can be a valuable social media marketing network / application – particularly for ecommerce businesses that target female customers.
- Google+ – Google+ is a large social network similar to Facebook. Leveraging Google+ tends to help improve your placement is Google search results.
- Blogging/Blogs – Many companies utilize blog functionality on their main website or as separate site as a means of creating and sharing information such as articles, news or events. Providing news articles and information can produce a number of useful benefits to your business. For example, the information you provide can help position you or your business as an ‘expert’ in your industry or community. Also having content on your website can help your website receive better search rankings, resulting in more SEO traffic (free website traffic) from search engines like Google and Bing. WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are the most prominent blog platforms and are all supported by IntellaSphere.