Which Social Media Network Is Right for You?

News Which Social Media Network Is Right for You?

In an age where we live half our lives online, it’s no surprise that we’re constantly told to employ social media in order to market our companies effectively. But ‘social media’ can be a frustratingly broad term, and it can be a trial to work out which one is right for your business. Here we take a look at some of the biggest players, and how they can help you conquer your online market.

Key Focus: Largest and broadest social network in the world
Facebook is hailed as the number one global social network, with over 1.23 billion users. It’s invaluable as a marketing resource as it’s specifically designed to encourage people to build connections with each other and the things they like. Facebook makes itself as easy and transparent to use as possible while simultaneously offering an impressively complex array of analytical tools. This makes it easy to create focused ad campaigns for a carefully refined demographic, keeping followers updated while also offering special deals or holding online contests. If after reading this article you still feel unsure about the needs of your business, a Facebook page is often a comfortably safe option.

Key Focus: Short, regular updates catering to a receptive audience
Twitter actively encourages brevity with its 140-character limit, so you’ll have to become adept at crafting short and concise messages with clear meaning. Most of Twitter’s 236 million users access the site from their mobile, making it the perfect site for those always on-the-go. The lifespan of an average tweet is extremely short, so regular updates are key. This is conducive to creating conversation, and gives you a fantastic opportunity to visibly communicate with your customers. The re-tweet function takes only a few seconds, and is a gloriously simple way of letting your customers know you’re listening to them. Twitter does feature image functions but text is predominant, so if visuals are your thing they might be better saved for Pinterest or Instagram.

Key Focus: Rapid visual content for a younger audience
What Twitter is to text, Instagram is to visual content; it’s a quick-fire mobile-based network with a focus on image-sharing. With the catchy nickname of the ‘generation app’, Instagram is known for being widely popular with the younger generation; 90% of its user-base is under 35. It’s a demographic with a notoriously short attention span, so the lifespan of the images is accordingly short. You’ll need to regularly post eye-catching visual content and keep actively engaging with your audience in order to find success.

Key Focus: Attractive visuals with a creative flair
Like Instagram, Pinterest is dedicated to the sharing and re-sharing of visual content. A hub for designers, artists and photographers, it’s a perfect platform for those in the creative industry to showcase their work and draw in new followers. Around 70% of Pinterest’s user-base are adult females, and more likely to be active on their mobile devices. Pinned posts have higher chance of going viral (especially if they are promoted by a highly-followed member), potentially reaching millions of followers worldwide. You’ll have to work hard to keep your content visible in the ocean of vibrant content cultivated by Pinterest, so striking and high-quality images or artwork are necessary to reap rewards.

Key Focus: Social interaction augmented by innovative SEO
Google now boasts its own rapidly expanding social network with a view to rival Facebook’s, with a few important distinctions. Establishing yourself firmly on Google+ has positive impacts on your appearance in search results, making it an immensely valuable marketing tool. Because of this, Google requires some analytical thinking in terms of your content; you need to be aware of SEO techniques and include relevant keywords. Also useful is Google Circles, allowing you to split your followers into handy segments in order to specifically target your information at certain groups or demographics. While it’s not yet as large as some of its rivals, if utilised correctly Google+ can return lucrative results.

Key Focus: A professional network especially suited for business-to-business marketing
As a professional platform, LinkedIn’s 364-million-strong audience is accordingly older, well-educated and more formal in tone than the other social networks. It doesn’t overtly cater to any particular industry, and self-employed creatives and freelancers can find a home there just as easily as management professionals or technology specialists. LinkedIn Groups is the social side of the site that allows people or companies in similar industries to post and share content, discuss topics, recruit for open positions or do some good old-fashioned networking. This feature is the one that users keep returning for, so you need to make sure you are included and involved in the right Groups. Also of interest is LinkedIn’s recommendations feature, which allows customers or clients to leave glowing endorsements on your personal or company page for all to see.

Still stuck on your decision? SO Marketing experts are always on hand to help, so feel free to fire over an email to [email protected] for some friendly specialist advice.

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