They say "Facebook is for the people you used to know, LinkedIn is for the people you know now, and Twitter is for the people you want to know". The essence of this statement gives you an idea of how best to use these networks for Social Media Marketing. But before you can use these networks within a Social Media Marketing Initiative, you must first understand how they work, then find the right combination of these new media tools that will help you tailor your message to your audience.
In later posts in this series, we’ll delve into the specific social media marketing platforms and online marketing tools, but for now, let’s review some of the most popular networks, and give you an idea of how they’re currently being utilized in the social networking space. This overview can help you plan your current Social Media Marketing Initiative, or tweak an existing one, if you’re finding that your message doesn’t seem to be resonating as you’d like.
- Your Home Base (i.e. Your Website/Blog): All of your online activities should eventually lead traffic to a web property that you own outright (e.g. yourwebsite.com). This “Home Base” is the center of all your social media efforts, and should be the featured landing page across all of your social networks. This is a way that you make sure that you always have one primary web space that can’t be taken away on a whim, or when another company’s Terms of Service (TOS) dictate a change of how you can use their site. (Note: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other webspaces that allow you to set up a free or paid account still own those accounts, and their TOS explicitly makes clear that they have the right to grant or deny you access to it).
- Facebook: Facebook is the world’s most popular social network and can be used to reach two-thirds of online adults. The platform provides an easier way to find and engage your audience, and is especially appealing to women and adults under 50, most notably from ages 18-29.
- Twitter: Twitter provides “real-time” news and info updates and leads the current conversation happening on any given topic throughout the globe. With nearly 1 in 5 adults using the service, it’s a great way to find industry leaders and like-minder tweeters (i.e. Twitter users) and level geographic barriers to communication. Twitter is also very youth-oriented and mobile-friendly, given that nearly a third of its users (30%) are under 29. It also holds some distinct characteristics given its major appeal to urban-dwellers and African Americans who make up a large percentage of its daily users (28%).
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the least “social” of the social networks, but is a great way to connect with past colleagues and professional organizations. LinkedIn Groups are a particularly popular way to connect like-minded people around a specific topic or industry affiliation, and it’s often the first place people look to reconnect with former coworkers, bosses, and business contacts.
- YouTube: YouTube is powerful as a social networking tool, because it is the 2nd largest search engine, in addition to boasting “more than 1 billion unique users [visitors] each month”. Thus, YouTube is a great platform that can be used to showcase your expertise on your topic through tutorial or informational videos, and reach an audience that’s primed for an audio-visual message.
- Google+: Google+ tends to have tech savvy/professionals intent on utilizing the power of cloud-computing and the G+ network of tools (Hangouts, Events, Communities, etc.). The large number of users with a Google account, coupled with a major push from the company to integrate their user’s experience across their product offerings makes Google+ an interesting prospect in your online marketing arsenal, if your audience has shown an inclination towards their tools.
These 5 potential social web spaces are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s more with Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Location-Based Marketing, and other ways to reach people on the social web, but for now, please answer the following:
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