Are you getting enough Social Media in your marketing diet? It’s an important question to ask today because being “social” online has become an essential part of any good marketing campaign. Most companies already have aFacebook and Twitter page, but what about Google+ , YouTube, or LinkedIn? These are the most popular social media sites today, but there are more and growing.
What’s the point? The purpose of a social media campaign is to compliment your existing marketing efforts. Getting socially involved with existing clients is an excellent way to get more people talking about your business. Best of all, once the social media tools are setup, there’s no monthly cost. The only thing it needs is a bit of time spent interacting with your market, in order for your company to stay engaged/popular. Another bonus of ongoing social media is that it boosts your SEO (so this helps improve your website’s search engine ranking).
Why are there so many social media sites and do I need all of them? Social media is a business so naturally the competition amongst this type of media has become fierce. Each of the major players have their own edge. Here’s a short break down of each of the giants.
Facebook is used by an incredible 18 million Canadians (that’s over 53% of the country’s population). In the US there over 163 million users which is also close to 53% of its population. Considering that a percentage of any population may not even be online (perhaps those aged 0-3 and 85+), these numbers are incredible. Are you convinced to get your business on Facebook now? Facebook’s biggest advantages are its vast number of users and its frequency of use. People post links, music, video, comments, stories, photos and all sorts of things on Facebook. Facebook currently supports the largest variety of media post options and this is probably one of the reasons why Facebook is so active. Your business can benefit from being on Facebook if you can get your prospects and clients talking about you.
Twitter is reported to have 11 million users in Canada. That’s much higher than you may have thought so just think, about 1/3 of Canada is already tweeting away. In the US there are a whopping 141 million Twitter users. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is about posting short bits of information. On Facebook you have a wall/timeline (or a page) and the info is organized with photos and all sorts of widgets. On Twitter, it’s a little simpler with a flowing page of tweets (posts). The idea here is to post often by sharing thoughts/ideas, links, or media with those that follow you, or those you follow. This “posting often” trend in Twitter is part of what makes it so popular. Since every tweet is short (limited to 140 characters), it makes Twitter incredibly easy to use/follow, notably in today’s society with many people’s decreasing attention span.
Google+ is a fairly new addition to the social media world. It started when search giant Google decided they want a piece of the pie; so they instantly gave all their email users (gmail and googlemail) a Google+ account. It serves a similar purpose to Facebook but looks totally different as its layout is consistent with the other google products such as maps, places, mail, and the ever popular search (google.com). The idea behind Google+ is to create a social media centre which combines all its programs, so whenever you use google anything you can have the option to share it on your Google+ account. Like Facebook, it has personal and corporate pages which have endless abilities to post/share information. Because of the existing popularity of Gmail, Goolge+ could be on its way to becoming a the next social media titan. It may not surpass Facebook but its importance exists enough for your business to join.
YouTube is the most popular video sharing site, ever. It’s an excellent way to share videos with anyone, privately or publicly. Adding videos to your marketing plan is ideal for capturing the attention of your audience because sometimes text and photos aren’t enough (especially when the competition probably has videos too!). Video sharing is useful for advertising a new product/service and to promote events.
LinkedIn is probably the social networking leader of the corporate world. All employable companies should be on LinkedIn. It first started as a method for individuals to network and has bloomed into a giant featuring company pages, jobs, discussion boards and much more. If your company is not on LinkedIn yet, it’s not too late… jump on it!
When asking yourself what social media to use to promote your business, think about what social media sites your target market is using. Pretty much everyone is on Facebook, a growing number on Twitter, and soon Google+ as well. Many use Youtube to watch videos, but perhaps not daily. Almost everyone knows about LinkedIn but not everyone uses it daily either. Stop and think again WHO you are marketing to and how to get those people talking about you through social media. If you’re a college, for example, you definitely want to be on all 5 social media sites: Facebook and Twitter so prospects/students/alumni can talk about you; Youtube to post promotional or instructional videos; and LinkedIn to help promote how to employ your graduates.
Need help getting your social media going? Have any questions?