Social can be – socially – exhausting, so with so many channels to choose from, how do you know where to put your time and energy?
As a startup, we are always trying to do more with less, so to save you some time, I’ve taken our hard-won insights on social media and broken them down into an easily digestible format – so you can cut to the chase when deciding where to build your online presence.
Consider this a guide to best tactics and target audiences of the top eight social media channels on the net right now. In this blog, I’ll be going through the top four general use social channels that most everyone should be on (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+), and next week’s blog will focus on four more specialized social channels (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest). So without further ado…
How large: 1.55 billion monthly active users (MAU)
Pricing: $0.27 – $2.00 cost per click
Who it’s good for: everyone, but especially local businesses, retail products, brands
Who to target: your customers, your target audience
Types of content: video, graphics, events, related news, updates about your company and activities
Facebook is a juggernaut. With 1.55bn MAU, they are by far the largest social network on the internet. You could consider this the “home” of your customer – for most people, it’s their private space for sharing personal anecdotes, celebrating weddings and births, and surrounding themselves with like-minded people.
If you’re a local business, you can use Facebook to give your customers instructions on how to find your store, or get reviews and recommendations on your services from customers. By using sponsored posts and targeting criteria, you can limit the reach of your posts to get at your most valuable prospects.
Making sharable content is always key, but particularly key here since even with non-paid posts, Facebook will circulate posts even more that are already performing well and extend your post past your direct audience.
How large: 400 million registered users, 100 million MAU.
Pricing: $2 – $8 cost per click
Who it’s good for: business-to-business companies
Who to target: your target audience, influencers
Types of content: career-related, hobby-related, press releases (only on company page)
LinkedIn does not have the daily or monthly frequency of users that other networking sites have, but when users visit it, they are in a career-focused, professional-goals mindset.
While sponsored posts can do well on LinkedIn, keep them news- or education-friendly. Otherwise, the best ways to engage and get the most out of LinkedIn is by becoming active in groups. Post blogs or interesting news, engage in discussions, comment on other people’s posts. This is a way to engage directly with your audience and with influencers that you may want to build relationships with.
How large: 320 million MAU
Pricing: $12.16 average CPM (cost per 1000 impressions)
Who it’s good for: everyone
Who to target: press, bloggers, influencers
Types of content: tips, blogs, videos, news, graphics, live event updates
Twitter may not be as large as Facebook, but it is vociferous (read: LOUD). It is perfect for getting the attention of press, analysts, influencers, and bloggers.
Tactics to use: Jump on trending hashtags to get involved in larger discussions/gain new followers. Get guest-bloggers to write for your blog and tweet about it, introducing you to other influencers and their wider audience. Form relationships with press and gain credibility as a company.
How large: 300 million registered users (October 2013)
Pricing: $1-$2 cost per click
Who it’s good for: everyone, but especially local businesses
Who to target: your customers, your target audience, influencers
Types of content: events, sales, reviews
Google Plus is great for some things – especially if you’re a local company. If you register your company on Google Plus, Google will unlock “Google My Business” for you, allowing you to edit your business’s information on Google Maps, in search, and more. It will also give your customers a forum to provide reviews and feedback that you can respond to.
While having a Google Plus page is great for getting your company integrated into the Google family, using it as a social tool is another story. Depending on your industry, your influencers may be on there, as with Twitter, so use similar tactics: add them to your circles, be part of their discussions.
As with most Google products, it’s integrated with Google AdWords, so you can target your promotions or educational resources/program in front of people who are looking for it.
Well, that’s it for now. Stayed tuned next week for the four niche networks you might be considering – YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Feel free to contact me (Lori) on Twitter if you want to talk more marketing strategy in the meantime!