Social Media Networks
With a dizzying amount of social media networks that exist, and new ones popping up every day, it can be a confusing task to choose which ones you should be focusing on for your business – especially, if you are a newbie to using social media.
Keep it simple by focusing on the primary social media networks, like:
Each one of the social media networks has the same purpose, which is to help promote and market your business through online communication. Each one also has its own unique set of advantages or tools that make it different from the other social networks.
Facebook is the number one social media website on the Internet. Facebook has more than 800 million registered users; these users spend one-third of their Internet time on the site, with roughly half visiting the site every day. This equates to people spending about 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook, Facebook allows its users to connect with friends, family members, co-workers and other people they know. But, do not let this fool you into thinking Facebook is just for staying in contact on a personal level.
• The average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
• About 7 out of 10 Internet marketers are using the Facebook “Like” button on their business website and business content or plan to implement it in the near future
• Over 700,000 local businesses have active pages
• The top three reasons people connect with a brand on Facebook is: (1) To learn about new products (35%); (2) To receive coupons and discount offers (37%); (3) To advise people they know what products/services they support (41%)
• 30 billion pieces of content, which include web links, news, blog posts and more are shared on Facebook every month
The moral of the story is that large pools of your ideal clients on Facebook, and they are using it often, most of them on a daily basis. You can leverage this as a way to communicate with your existing customers, as well as reaching entirely new audiences.
YouTube is a video-sharing social media website. Companies upload how-to, advice, tips and tricks videos that pertain to their industries, promoting their businesses in the process. The videos do not have to be professionally shot and edited. In fact, the majority of the videos on YouTube are amateur videos.
Even as an amateur, you can use computer-editing software to easily add a banner along the bottom or top of your video to promote your business, or simply mention your business contact information in the video.
If you are wondering why you should bother, take a look at the numbers:
• In one year, the number of advertisers on YouTube increased by 1000%
• 20 million YouTube videos also get uploaded to Facebook each month
• There are over 2 billion views on YouTube daily
• Every minute, 24 hours’ worth of video content is uploaded to YouTube
• 9 billion video streams are served on YouTube monthly
LinkedIn has more than 50 million members worldwide, with approximately 1 million more members joining every month. LinkedIn focuses more on professional social networking than either Facebook or YouTube.
As such, LinkedIn allows each user to upload information about their professional background, including their current company and position. LinkedIn has sharing tools and groups, similar to Facebook, but, again, the focus is strictly business-focused.
LinkedIn is similar to a real live networking event at a hotel meeting or ballroom, but instead it is done with an online networking site. Many professionals use LinkedIn to find businesses to outsource to or professionals for a temporary project. The advantage here is that users can see highlights from your company’s professional past, connect directly to members of your staff and see recommendations.
Need another reason?
• LinkedIn has more than 365,000 company profiles
• More than 12 million small-business professionals are members of LinkedIn
FourSquare is one of the most innovative social media tools because it targets the mobile society—people that are always on the go, always on their cell phones—but still want to share with other people where they are and what they are doing.
As an added bonus, users of FourSquare get special discounts, coupons and deals when they use mobile devices to “check-in” to a business location.
In other words, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you would use FourSquare to encourage customers to help you spread word-of-mouth advertising by offering those who check-in at one of your locations a special deal, coupon or offer.
For example, an iPhone user walks into your clothing store and hits the check-in button on FourSquare. Immediately, the customer receives a coupon on his or her smartphone to save 20% off any purchase they make from your store that day. FourSquare can also tell customers what sales and specials you have going on in the store as well.
Another innovative part of FourSquare is that it can lure new customers into your store if they are near your store. Assume your clothing store is in a retail shopping strip mall. FourSquare uses geo-targeting to locate the user of the cell phone to identify where the cell phone user is and sends them alerts of all of the stores that are offering specials or deals.
Even if the person was there to visit another store, knowing they will receive a 20% off coupon for shopping in your clothing store may draw them in to look around and entice them to make a purchase.
Approximately 3 million people are checking-in on FourSquare.
FourSquare primarily offers four types of programs:
1. Check-in Specials: These are special offers that are received when the user checks-in at your business location.
2. Mayor Specials: A mayor is someone that reaches a status for sharing and recruiting others to use FourSquare to check-in at location. As a loyalty reward program, mayors receive special deals that regular members do not.
3. Frequency-based Specials: Frequent shoppers are rewarded with special discounts. This is similar to any loyalty program, similar to the old punch card system, except it is a loyalty reward program that takes place online and on mobile devices.
4. Wildcard Specials: These are just random specials that run on FourSquare as members check-in to specific location.
FourSquare is an especially effective tool for location-based businesses, but Internet-only businesses have also been able to put the tools available online to good use for word-of-mouth advertising, rewarding loyal customers, drawing in new customers and staying in touch with existing customers.
Twitter claims to have 190 million users and that more than 100 million Tweets flying around the “Twitter-sphere” on a daily basis
The most interesting thing about Twitter is that it limits what you have to say or share, which is known as a “Tweet”, to 140 characters – not 140 letters,140 total characters, including spaces and punctuation.
In other words, it keeps to the “KISS” rule, Keep it Short and Simple.
For businesses, Twitter is an effective way to share quick snippets of information, like a promotion, appointment cancellation or quick tip.
Almost all business Tweets should include a link, where your Twitter followers can go to obtain additional information on the Tweet. To save on characters, most social media experts suggest that Twitter users use a URL shortening tool, which shortens the length of the URL shared.
This way, you won’t eat up too many of your 140 characters.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!