It is common belief that a brand should be on all social media networks to cast the marketing or audience net wide. That is wrong. What you need to do is get onto the most popular platforms and maintain a strong, constant presence. This way you can stay on top of things with fresh content and immediate responses to questions and comments. There are just too many social media networks and there is risk of having a scanty, image-compromising presence by trying to be on all of them.
The top four
We’ll be examining four leading social media networks. They work differently and are popular among millions of users. It is important to learn how each one works to get the most out of it.
An estimated 1.55 billion people use Facebook each month. 665 million users are active daily, generating up to 645 million local business page views on a weekly basis. Facebook has remained at the top over the course of 12 years, since it’s existence. Studies show users spend an average of 18 minutes per visit on the platform, which is enough time for you to get their attention with postings or paid ads. Facebook is also a valuable marketing tool because users are connected to at least 80 pages, events or groups and you have the chance to capture their attention as well.
With all these people online at any given time - leaving messages, browsing through business products and photos and chatting, you need to have a business page on Facebook. You need to update your page daily, not only with promotions but also with relevant, engaging information. You also need to stay on top of questions or comments made on your page throughout the day.
Twitter has also stood the test of time. There are approximately 310 million active users. The average user on this network has about 200 followers and spends an average of two and a half hours on Twitter each day reading and sending about 300 Tweets, which holds a lot of potential for marketing. At least half of registered Twitter users are active every day and about 30% get on the network more than once a day.
Twitter isn't ideal for lead generation but it is very effective for creating brand loyalty. Studies have established that over 85% of Twitter users relate more to a brand or business after following them on this network. Captivating tweets pull followers and also get them retweeting which is how brand loyalty can be built. With its 140-character limit, Twitter is mostly used for business rather than personal socializing, which is why it is has become the top network for breaking news. You can use it to give information on your unique selling points and enticing promotions.
There are over 270 million LinkedIn users and counting. This network also has 2.7 million business pages. LinkedIn is perfect for B2B marketing rather than B2C marketing because of its base of professionals. One of LinkedIn's best features is the groups of professionals with similar interests. You can use these groups for targeted marketing by sharing product information and content that is relevant to a group and giving your business contacts. Groups can have hundreds to thousands of members making for large, target markets. If not for direct sales, LinkedIn is a great network for getting exposure.
There are an estimated 359 million active users on this platform. Google Authorship, the world's top search engine and a social media network that ties everything together has made Googleplus a leading social media platform. Hangouts, hashtags and +1s have made the deal even sweeter with a powerful algorithmic factor and a wide audience forum. Google+ needs to be updated daily and it necessary to interact not only with your users but also other business pages.
Google+ is also great for marketing because of the search ranking advantage. If you have a page on this network and someone is searching for your brand or business, your page and recent posts will be displayed whether they follow you or not.
Other networks to consider
There are other networks that are worth being on. You can use the image-focused Instagram and Pinterest to show the other side of your business by posting photos of company events and community outreach events. You can also post photos of your products and perhaps those of satisfied customers as testimonials. YouTube is also ideal if you will keep interesting videos coming, and Foursquare is ideal for brick and mortar businesses.
Narrow it down
To see ROI on investments made into social media marketing, get on the top four leading networks. Maintain a strong and constant presence with daily updates and immediate response to questions and comments. Make the buttons to your pages easy to find on your website and don't get on other networks without the time or resources to establish and maintain a strong presence. Better not to be there than be there with sparse, old content.
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