8 Pieces of Social Media Marketing Advice [Research]
If you could only had one social media option to support your business goals which one would you choose? Chances are you said Facebook without a second thought. As the 800 pound gorilla of social media, it should be a no-brainer but is it really the best for your business?
Roughly half of the respondents named Facebook as the most important social media platform in Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which surveyed a cross section of businesses using social media in their marketing mix.
As Syncapse research revealed, Facebook drives revenues. Besides, there’s something to be said for a large audience of engaged users. Actionable Marketing Advice: Create a Facebook presence and be active there.
What’s interesting about Social Media Examiner’s data is how the other social media venues measure up.
- 16% of respondents considered LinkedIn to be their most important social media platform. LinkedIn is building out its content marketing offering but that’s probably not part of respondents’ consideration. As UMass Dartmouth Inc 500 research revealed and LinkedIn financials support, many businesses use LinkedIn to support their human resources efforts cost effectively. Additionally, LinkedIn is useful to expand and develop professional relationships with suppliers and distributors that result in sales. Actionable Marketing Advice: At a minimum, polish up your presence and participate regularly on LinkedIn. Further, check out SlideShare, its sister site focused on presentation-sharing, that is gold for generating business leads.
- 14% of respondents considered blogging to be their most important social media platform. Blogging helps achieve most key social media goals. Since blogging is an owned media entity, this makes sense. Hubspot research showed that blogging at least twice a week helped increase sales leads. Also, blogs support building your email housefile and reduce search optimization costs. Actionable Marketing Advice: Establish your blog and create fresh content at least twice a week.
- 12% of respondents considered Twitter to be their most important social media platform. Twitter is useful for building your thought leadership and engaging in the social media conversation. Businesses like Comcast have leveraged the power of Twitter to respond to customer service inquiries. That said, Twitter doesn’t allow the breadth of information that LinkedIn or a blog does. Actionable Marketing Advice: Develop your Twitter following by regularly curating relevant content. Otherwise, you’re talking to yourself!
- 4% of respondents considered YouTube to be their most important social media platform. YouTube is often underestimated as a social media platform because it’s often categorized as a video platform. That said, Orabrush and Blendtec, with limited investments, have built their businesses based on the power of their video series. Many businesses overlook the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Actionable Marketing Advice: Create a set of videos to represent your business. Understand that just like potato chips, you can’t view just one.
- 2% of respondents considered Google+ to be their most important social media platform. Despite its association with Google, Google+ still lags expectations. While Google+ shouldn’t necessarily be your only social media platform, it should be a significant aspect of your social media marketing mix. Actionable Marketing Advice: Build your Google+ presence and following to ensure that you’re prepared for it’s eventual growth. Also interact on the site regularly.
- 1% of respondents considered Pinterest to be their most important social media platform. Pinterest has been the visual darling of the social media world. It’s scrapbooking gone social. For many businesses, it’s still in the testing phase Actionable Marketing Advice: Offer visually engaging content and make it easy to pin. Also, test building relevant pinboards on your key topics to build your brand. It’s breaking out of its consumer-only focus.
- 0% of respondents considered Tumblr to be their most important social media platform. Tumblr is the social media platform that few marketers knew about before yesterday’s announcement of its sale to Yahoo. Tumblr is a visually engaging, microblogging site whose sweet spot is the 12-25 year set. Actionable Marketing Advice: Test the platform by starting a visually engaging Tumblr.
The bottom line is that while Facebook draws its power from the number of people who regularly engage on the site and its evolving targeted advertising offering, you still must have a social media home base that you own. As MySpace and earlier incarnations such as Friendster showed being the top dog of social media doesn’t guarantee your presence for the long term. A blog is a social media entity that provides ownership and control of your content and interactions without the risk of disappearing.
Understand that your social media marketing isn’t a desert island where you can only bring one platform. Establish your blog as your home base and engage on a variety of social media venues.
What’s the most important social media platform for your business and why?
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The world’s online footprint continues to expand at astonishing rates, leaving us with big shoes to fill when it comes to online customer service. This is especially true in the B2C sector, where, as Twitter recently published, tweets aimed at B2C organizations are growing at 50% per year, with more and more people turning to social media to interact with the brands they use on a regular basis.
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