Social Series: The Top Social Networks For MarketersNowadays there are so many social networks available that it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time and effort.  Whether you’re an agency assisting a small business with its marketing or a small business owner yourself, it’s really important to prioritize your social media activity so that you’re engaging the right consumer in an appealing way.

We all know what the major social networks are, but how different are they, and what are the advantages of using each? Read on learn how to tailor your social media strategy to each platform.

Facebook

Though organic reach has decreased drastically for Facebook Pages, it’s still worthwhile for businesses to maintain a presence there.  Facebook has the largest reach of all social networks with the highest level of engagement.  71% of adult Internet users are on Facebook, making it the most popular social network by far. That’s 58% of the entire adult population. Usage among seniors is rapidly increasing – 56% of Internet users 65 and above are now on Facebook. Engagement is also highest among Facebook users, with 70% reporting that they use it daily and 65% of users actively posting, commenting or sharing rather than passively viewing content.

In the past it was enough for a brand to simply have a page and post content- users would be able to see the content and react.  Nowadays, to be seen by Facebook users, it’s important to use the paid media features.  As such, Facebook has introduced some exciting new advertising tools for marketers recently: Lead Ads, location-based services, and Instant Articles could have a big impact on how brands connect with users in the future. For now, Facebook Ads allow businesses to reach highly targeted audiences and access rich demographic data, providing insights that are crucial for online marketing success.

 

Twitter

Microblogging for the masses. With the ability to connect with anyone in the world who has a Twitter account, including celebrities, brands can get their content in front of a lot of people in a very short amount of time.  Additionally, with the new Google/Twitter agreement tweets will soon be indexed in search engine results providing marketers another vehicle for content distribution and indexation.

Although Twitter has struggled to maintain market share, it remains a top social network for brands and has relatively good reach to an active audience.  23% of adult Internet users are on Twitter, 19% of the entire adult population. Twitter users tend to be urban dwellers, college-educated, and have a household income of $50,000 and above. 36% of Twitter users say they use the site every day, a 10 percent decrease from the previous year.

58% of Twitter users also use Instagram, which is a pretty significant overlap—so cross-posting photos and videos could be a good way to get more eyeballs on your content. Due to the character limit, crafting Tweets that are short and engaging (and leave room for a hashtag and/or URL) is a skill all social media marketers should master.

 

Google+

Google+ is the search engine’s social network that continues to evolve and grow.  In the past year alone, Google Places was combined with Google Business to create Google My Business- a platform designed to help businesses manage all of their information for Search, Maps and Google+ in a single location.  Having a complete, up-to-date (and verified) Google My Business page gives your brand greater visibility in search and all of the other Google properties.

20% of online adults say they visit Google+ at least once a month, and 70% of Google+ users are male. The top occupations of Google+ users are engineer (29% of users), developer, software engineer, designer, teacher, and web developer. Though Searchmetrics estimates that shares on Google+ will actually overtake shares on Facebook by 2016, a very small percentage of Google+ profiles are actually active. For niche professions like SEO, marketing, engineering and programming, though, Google+ and Google Communities offer rich interactions and content sharing.

Hangouts is one of the platform’s standout features, providing text and video chat and even automatic upload to YouTube when content is recorded using the “Live on Air” feature.  In addition, Google indexes all public posts to Google+, so the more you share your content, the easier you make it to find.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a popular photo-sharing app and social network that is quickly gaining popularity.  While available on both mobile devices and through the web, the vast majority of users are on mobile.  26% of adult Internet users are on Instagram; that’s 21% of the entire adult population. The largest age group on Instagram is adults aged 18-29 (56% of users) and the majority of Instagram users are in suburban or urban environments. Nearly 50% of Instagram users say they use it daily while 31% report going on Instagram several times in one day.

Due to the image-based nature of Instagram- lifestyle, travel, fashion and food content do particularly well on this social network.   When posting on Instagram, make sure the images you post are clear, crisp, and high quality.  The ability to use hashtags, tag users and post captions of up to 2,000 words with photo and video content gives users great flexibility and makes it easy to build awareness of your brand very quickly. In addition to posting, brands can use hashtags to run promotions organically, or take advantage of Instagram’s new advertising capabilities.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers networking and publishing tools for professionals.

LinkedIn is a great place for businesses to find talent and publish high-quality, vetted content. Company Pages allow you to profile your business and show off content from your company website, blog, and other social media profiles. LinkedIn is one platform where thorough persona research is key, since most people are using it for networking and employment reasons.

28% of online adults are on LinkedIn, which is 23% of all adults. As expected, it’s very popular with users with a college education, who are employed, and who live in higher-income households. 50% of adults who graduated college use LinkedIn. From an engagement standpoint, 13% of LinkedIn members use the site daily.

The type of content you’ll share on LinkedIn is very different from what you’d post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Long-form articles, clean, professional copy, and useful infographics are all popular on LinkedIn. The goal is to put your (or your company’s) best foot forward and keep things polished and professional.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular media-gathering and curation tool that covers a broad set of categories and industries. Any business that sells a product should be on Pinterest. The ability to create photo and video context for a product helps brands connect with broader audiences that may have related interests.

28% of online adults use Pinterest, which is 22% of all adults and is growing significantly each day. This is one social network where there’s a sizable difference in gender of users: 42% of online women use Pinterest, compared to 13% of men.

With 17% of Pinterest users reporting they use the site daily, it’s important for marketers to make their time there count.  Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is very visual and you need to make sure the images you post are clear, crisp, and high quality.  In addition, using the description field to target specific keywords will make your pins more searchable and able to be found.

The nice thing about Pinterest is that it allows you to get creative by targeting popular groups, tracking Pins, and taking advantage of trends.

 

reddit

reddit is a voting-based link-sharing platform. Its users operate in relative anonymity and have low tolerance for spam or promotional content. Specialized subreddits offer users the ability to interact around specific topics or types of submitted content.

As of June 2015, there are 36 million reported reddit users; 6% of adults use the site, and its most prominent demographic is 18-29 year-old males. The site reports 169 million monthly visits; there are 853,824 different subreddits, though only 9,601 are currently active. Reddit users view 7.55 billion pages every month. Interestingly, the average sales order value for a customer referred by reddit is $52.96.

Why it’s important to small businesses: reddit users are highly engaged and generate a staggering amount of content per day. Brands that want to make an impression on reddit must do so in a very authentic, organic way, or their content will simply be downvoted and in some cases, their account could be banned for engaging in commercial promotion.

To succeed on reddit, your brand must target the subreddits (and users) most relevant to your offering. Post with caution; many subreddits have active moderators that will remove posts or ban users trying to use a subreddit for profit. Focus on providing quality, engaging content to users and keep branding discreet.

 

Of course, it helps to have one tool that can help you navigate all social networks from one dashboard. UpCity’s social content marketing solution can do that for you.

Swing back for next’ week’s post on determining the best content to share on Social Networks.

 

Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/frequency-of-social-media-use-2/

Source: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats/2/

Source: http://www.codefuel.com/blog/google-demographics-for-2014-and-2015/