Social Influence – Lesson 3

Visit Social Media Big Dog

There is an ever-increasing number of social networking sites, but paying attention to the top 6 will create the most opportunities for building your brand and promoting your business, in order to increase reach and profits.

Currently, the top 6 social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to help you decide where to focus your social media marketing attention.

Facebook

Facebook now has more than a billion users. It allows you to set up personal and business pages, and a variety of written, video and promotional content. Despite reports that Facebook is decreasing in popularity, it is #1 in the world and packed with consumers who have money to spend. 

The audience tends to consist of more women than it does men. Both use social search to learn more about products and services and get recommendations.  Women socialize more, and keep in touch with friends and family through their account. They are also more likely to access their account on a mobile device.

They participate more in groups, polls and surveys and tend to respond better to ads. The ads at Facebook are highly targeted and a good deal cheaper than the Google AdSense network, so making the most of all the free as well as paid marketing opportunities at Facebook is the best way to build your audience rapidly and stay connected with them.

Twitter

Twitter has over three million users. Many people like it because they feel it is fun and easy to use. The posts, called tweets, can only be 140 characters long, so it is a fast way to update your followers about your business. More women than men are on Twitter and tweet more actively. They also re-tweet, or share your tweets. This helps you to reach a wider circle of people. Twitter also has an easy-to-use advertising program to help gain followers and feature tweets.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, geared towards businesspeople, has over two hundred million users with more men than women using the platform. LinkedIn works well to connect with people you know and tap into business-to-business opportunities. They recently added advertising to their offers in relation to lead generation, that is, focusing on getting people to sign up for your email marketing list. They also bought SlideShare, the #1 site for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Use all 3 opportunities to build your brand and reach if your product line appeals to business people.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social media platform that focuses on images. It too has over two hundred million users, with women accounting for 80% of users and a majority of this sector is over 35. It is a visual social network where people pin pictures related to products, services, and more to virtual pinboards related to particular topics. They also re-pin to share interesting content with their social circle.

Studies have shown that around 60% of users have made a purchase based on what they saw at Pinterest, with an average payment of $55. If your products are highly visual, ideal for women, or you wish to tap into the female market, this is the site for you.

Instagram

Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing app and social network that was created in 2010 by founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In 2012, Facebook purchased it for one billion dollars and it currently has more than four hundred million active users with more than seventy-five percent of those users outside the U.S.  

Since its launch more than thirty billion photos have been shared on this popular network. Unlike other social networks, Instagram is completely photo and video oriented, allowing users to post mages and short videos of up to 15 seconds. There are no text updates like you can use on Twitter and Facebook.

Because Instagram is primarily a mobile app, to use it to grow your influence you'll have to download it to your mobile device and sign up for an account. While this does have some disadvantages it is great for doing business on the go.

Google+

Google+ (Google PLUS) has over a hundred million users. Consisting mostly of men. It links to all your Google activities through your free Gmail account. This also means you can connect it to your YouTube channel if you have one.

YouTube is the most used video sharing site in the world and the third most popular site on the Internet after Google and Facebook which makes Google+ a good fit for gaining influence from both channels.

There are also Hangouts and Hangouts on Air which allow you to use video to attract a larger audience and meet face to face with your followers which can help grow your influence very rapidly.

Good social media marketing is all about making connections. If you’re not already using at least one or two of these sites, what are you waiting for? Go open an account and start growing your social influence.

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