Using social media to promote a website, business, cause, or group is no new feature, but many organizations have struggled with finding the right recipe of properly reaching their specific market with success. Many individuals have come up with lists upon lists of tips, tricks and strategies on how to create noticeable ROI through proper use of these popular platforms. Certainly, there are ways to become a social media savant; it has been done, but there is also something to be said about the product and/or service that is being offered…maybe the real key is not the secret recipe for posting the right things at the right time to interest groups of people, but rather using the appropriate social campaigns for what you have to offer. That being said, some may be surprised at some recent trends in the virtual world.
Everyone uses Facebook, plain and simple. Recently breaking through the one billion-user ceiling, it is indisputable that Facebook is the leading social media giant of the world today. People use Facebook for everything from photo sharing to business promotion, to catching up with friends and relatives; it certainly is an all-encompassing platform. The drawback to Facebook is that it has a laid-back, informal aura that makes it difficult to convert views into customers unless the product/service offered is similar to that of Facebook’s personality. Furthermore, the company must successfully be interactive with their fans, meaning that these users (who have already shown invested interest in this product) have to be able to have some sort of input, compete for recognition, or be offered giveaways in order for a Facebook campaign to create significant waves.
The magic behind Twitter is two-fold: first, people and companies love it because it allows them free advertising along with quick ideas, facts and opinions about their favorite topics, teams, celebrities, brands and people; second, Twitter has become so popular that they don’t even have to spend a single advertising dollar to promote themselves. Everyone promotes Twitter for Twitter. There is hardly an event, commercial, or program on television not sporting its own Twitter Handle. On a micro level, in regards to convenience and usability, Twitter is genius because a quick blurb can bring you anywhere in the “Twittersphere” where the more, in depth content is located. On a macro level, a drawback to Twitter is that it can certainly be overwhelming for a user because of the sheer volume of tweets flowing into a virtual space at any given time. A not so small example of this is the Super Bowl this past February: the game average was 4,064 tweets per second, and that isn’t even the highest on record!
One of the younger Internet successes of the past few years is quickly and quietly taking more and more of the professional piece of social networks. Founded for the exact purpose of conducting business and creating professional relationships through online networking, LinkedIn has carved its own path in the realm of social media. Though they have much fewer users than Facebook, LinkedIn can still boast an impressive number of users: over 225 million. Mind you, LinkedIn isn’t aimed at anyone who feels like signing up; it is specifically targeted towards business professionals and students looking to enter into business. Furthermore, LinkedIn is now the top IPO over Facebook according to an article on phys.org. LinkedIn also had a higher success rate during their opening trades, but also recorded a much steadier momentum throughout their trading. LinkedIn not only supports personal profiles that act as online resumes, but also looking for new jobs as well as discussing major business issues. The table to the left from emarketer.com shows the unrivaled popularity among those in financial professions who use social media tools specifically for business. Lastly, LinkedIn provides a platform more appropriate for B2B companies whereas Facebook caters more to the B2C companies that need consumer interaction in order to generate revenue.
In today’s world, which is run by technology, it is almost required for all businesses to have some sort of online presence. This could be a website, a strong social media following, or simply strong customer service through an email/newsletter system. What is important is that each entity chooses the path that is right for them; the mistake here would be trying to force a business into social media fame. Some types of products and services simply aren’t cut out for that method of exposure. This does not mean that just because your company or product may not be the next Facebook success story that it is impossible to hold a considerable share of the market. It only means that you must go about building your brand in a different manner, this is where LinkedIn rules over the others. The honed course of catering to business professionals and their needs is what helps people of all professions network, find jobs, seek input and even possibly find business partners and/or investors. LinkedIn is the businessperson’s version of Facebook and it doesn’t look to be leaving anytime soon.
Author Bio:Scott Cleary is involved with managing the social media and blogging for SysIQ, a global ecommerce company. You can connect with him here on LinkedIn.