Why Should Your Company Be Social with these 5 Social Media Networks?
Social networking, the practice of expanding the number of one’s business contacts by making connections through individuals. The potential to facilitate such connections online is unparalleled with the opportunity to make contacts through the Web using social media platforms. Each platform establishes interconnected online communities offering beneficial business opportunity.
The following are the 5 core networks businesses should be connected with and the benefits of using them.
Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the internet with over a billion monthly active viewers who log on at a minimum once a day. With over 11% of the world’s population having a Facebook account, there is a potential customer for every type of business. Facebook users are broken down as follows:
57% Female, 43% Male
- 46% over 45 years, 22% 35-44 years, 18% 25-34 years, 14% 13-24 years
- 57% college- or university-educated
- 11% on incomes over $100,000, 47% on incomes $50,000-100,000.
Facebook pages are by far the most common social media being used by businesses of all sizes. Businesses in many countries are increasingly establishing Facebook pages because of the potential benefits.
The site offers a low cost marketing strategy; the ability to share information about your business; to share pictures and videos of your business and in real time through the use of the Facebook Live feature; the opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers by posting and receiving messages as well as providing customer support; the ability to increase your business profile and raise brand awareness by encouraging ‘Likes’ so customers can receive updates on their wall; the ability to steer traffic to your website; and the opportunity to target advertising.
Instagram is an online mobile photo and video sharing social network that enables users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other platforms. This platform has a reported 150 million users which are broken down as follows:
- Over 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35 (making it an attractive platform for brands focused on the 18- to 34-year-old age bracket)
- 68% of its users are female
- 17% are urban users
The benefits of using Instagram for business include: visual marketing (customers like and want images and Instagram is an entire feed of visual stimulation); high levels of engagement (the ratio and number of like and comments surpasses those of other social media sites); high visibility combined with the strategic use of hashtags which can significantly boost the exposure of a photo; photos are not archived making them easily accessible even to new followers; photos illicit reactions which can create an emotional connection to your business or brand; and it allows you to drive traffic to your site.
Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings that disappear seconds after being viewed, has become incredibly popular in a short amount of time. The ap has an estimated 82 million users and logs over 400 million messages daily. Snapchat users are primarily between the ages of 13 and 25.
The set time limit (between 1 and 10 seconds, although the new Snapchat Stories features allows content to be visible for up to 24 hours) is perfect for delivering time sensitive offers (such as coupons and giveaways) to customers, delivering a call to action that creates excitement and a sense of urgency; and Snapchat allows businesses to give people a unique look at their brand by taking people behind the scenes through the use of the Stories feature (a combination of pictures and 5-second videos)
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Twitter has 302 million active users (80% of which are mobile users) sending out over 500 million tweets per day. Twitter users are younger adult urban residents with males making up the higher percentage of users.
As a marketing platform, Twitter offers many benefits to businesses such as: increasing brand awareness; promoting business content; boosting website SEO and driving traffic to your site; the opportunity to receive instant feedback on products and services and gathering information in real time; and by increased reach and direct access to high profile individuals.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service whose goal is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. Linked in has 433 million users in over 200 countries and is available in 20 different languages. 21% of users are under the age of 35 and 79% are males.
LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers with an affluent and influential membership it is used for professional network unlike its other social media counterparts. It offers distinct business and marketing benefits such as: the ability to accomplish real world networking quickly and effectively as well as providing an opportunity to grow your network (ie. Using mutual connections with third parties to assist in making introductions with suppliers, partners or future employees); increased exposure through the creation of company pages to feature products and services; and it also offers a great opportunity to receive recommendation from past employees or clients which increases credibility.
In conclusion each of these platforms offers a number of marketing benefits which is why it is important for businesses to be active on these sites or applications and harness the power of social media.