There are so many social media channels these days, with new ones coming on the scene with a great deal of buzz and excitement, and then either falling by the wayside due to low verified accounts and worse yet, even less active users (examples: Ello, Myspace, Friendster, Del.ico.us, and now soon Vine).
So how do you know which ones you should invest time and advertising? Which one will reach your specific audience? Which one will cause the greatest impact to your brand, not just in the number of registered accounts but active, regular users? Let’s take time examining several of the most popular social media channels, as well as some of the bookmarking sites that you can promote your content and blogs.
Facebook is the LEADER, not just because it’s one of the oldest but it has the most monthly active users by far. Facebook has over 1.6 billion users, the largest of any social network. In its eleven-year history, it has become a fixture of the daily online experience. Nearly half of all Facebook users are active each day, including the weekends. When they visit Facebook, they spend an average of 18 minutes per visit! Facebook is also one of the best places to market your business locally: It is estimated that more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses use the platform to advertise their business.
- In a survey conducted in 2015, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site.
- For the first time, almost half of all online adults 65 and older (48%) use Facebook. Up from 31% of seniors in 2012.
- Facebook accounted for 43% of referral traffic, while Google accounted for just 38% in August 2015. (This is huge because Facebook brings more traffic to websites through links that Google does! Another huge reason for you to have a consistent engage presence on Facebook, so your website’s traffic increases.)
LinkedIn is hands-down the most popular social media site for professional networking including job recruiters, employers, job searchers, promoting your resume & professional portfolio, human resource professionals and headhunters. LinkedIn is great for people looking to connect with people in similar industries, networking with local professionals and displaying business related information and statistics. But how about business owners?
LinkedIn has in recent years trying to build a presence for Business owners with their Company pages and Showcase Pages, which are niche pages off of a company page. They allow a company to promote specific products or market to a specific buyer persona. LinkedIn users can follow singular Showcase Pages without following the business.
- The share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn is 46%, compared to just 9% of high school grads.
- Males make up 56% of LinkedIn’s userbase.
- There are 39 million college students or recent graduates on LinkedIn.
- There are now 433 million registered Linkedin users.
Businesses can use Twitter to interact with prospective clients, answer questions, release latest news and at the same time use the targeted ads with specific audiences. Twitter boasts 1.3 billion registered accounts but only 310 million active users, worse yet 44% started an account and left without ever sending their first tweet. Why? Many people find Twitters format a bit daunting especially to regular Facebook users, and many are not sure what type of content attracts attention to such a global audience. So what content is popular on Twitter?
Twitter’s focus is on global news, celebrities’ thoughts & announcements, as well as politician’s rants and opinions. (How many times were tweets featured in the last election? Answer: too many.) Another interested statistic: Journalists make up 24.6% of verified accounts, 83% of world leaders are on Twitter, and 79% accounts are OUTSIDE the US. So if you or your target audience is interested in concise yet breaking news in the US or globally, then Twitter should be considered. Yet I’m not completely convinced this is the best place to promote a small local business, especially if your social media marketing time is limited.
- 65.8% of US companies with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing
- Demographics: 60% of Twitter users have a college degree, some college education or currently a student, and 54% are making over $50,000 per year.
- Sad stat: 71% of Tweets are ignored only 23% generate a reply.
I encourage all my clients to have a presence on Google+, not for human eyes for the eyes of search engine crawlers. A 2015 study conducted analysis across the 2.2 billion users on Google and concluded that while the “active profiles” on Google+ amount to 111 million users, only 6.7 million users have 50 or more posts ever, and only 3.5 million have 50 or more posts in the last 30 days.
Then why USE Google+? Google+ is not Twitter with quick, concise updates, and it’s not Facebook for relationship building and content marketing. What makes Google+ still a contender among its competitors is that Google+ is “promoted by the biggest technology platform on the planet.” And that is reason enough to post consistently with key-word rich marketing content because that content will be prioritized by Google. What happens on Google+, stays on Google.
With its high concentration for women, small businesses whose target audience is mostly made up of women should definitely invest in Pinterest as more than half of its visitors are women.
- Women dominate Pinterest with 71% of active users being women. 44% of online women now use the platform, compared with 16% of online men.
- 75% of Pinterest Usage Takes Place on Mobile Devices
- 93% of Pinners Shopped Online in the Past Six Months
- Millennials account for more than one-third of Pinterest users worldwide
Launched in 2010, now owned by Facebook since 2012, you may be surprised to hear that Instagram has one of the most active and engaged user base. With over 300 million active users, Instagram has caught the attention of a growing number of brands — both large and small. With such high engagement, Instagram is the perfect platform to connect with customers, listen to their feedback, and build relationships.
- For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (55%) use Instagram.
- Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users. Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men.
- Instagrammers are more active, users now share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day and Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day!
- 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.
Other Social Media contenders:
- Snapchat: has grown immensely registering an average of 100 million daily active users as of May 2015. More than 18% of all social media users use Snapchat. It’s an image messaging application software to share videos and pictures, both of which will self destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them.
- Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website, and boasts more than 36 million registered accounts and 231 million monthly visitors.
- Tumblr: Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website, it’s one of the most difficult to use social networking platforms, but it’s also one of the most interesting sites. Cross between Facebook, Twitter and a Blog.
- Flickr, pronounced “Flicker,” is an online image and video hosting platform, popular with users who share and embed photographs.
- WhatsApp: is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The app relies on the Internet to send images, texts, documents, audio and video messages to other users that have the app installed on their devices. 1 billion use the service.
- Vine: With over 40 million users, Vine is a video sharing social media app that allows users to share 6-second video clips with their followers. In October 2016, it was announced that Vine will soon be shutting down. Why? “By July 2016, over half of Vine’s top 9,725 accounts had either deleted their profiles or stopped posting to the platform since the start of 2016, according to research by Makerly.”
- YouTube: the largest and most popular video-based social media website. YouTube has over 1 billion website visitors per month and is the second most popular search engine Google.
- Bookmarking Sites: The positive effects of social bookmarking for publishers of news sites, blogs, and other websites are outstanding. Social bookmarking can introduce sites to others with relevant tastes and drive traffic and valuable backlinks to your site. Some examples are BizSugar, delicious, Diigo, Digg, Flickr, Kinga, StumbleUpon, Newsvine, Reddit, Sitejot, etc.
STATS REGARDING USAGE:
Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users. The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28% of the total time spent on the internet.
So in conclusion, take some time to find the right channel or channels for your brand. Develop a plan, be consistent, engaging and responsive. Tell your story and build relationships. If you need training, social media management or marketing, call Startup Production for more information.