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.
Currently, the top 5 social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to help you decide where to focus your social media marketing attention.
Facebook now has more than 1.7 billion users (2016). It allows individual and corporate pages, and 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 socialize 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 310 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.
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 at 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.
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. YouTube is the #1 video sharing site in the world and the third most popular site on the Internet after Google and Facebook. 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.