Popular Social Media Sites Reviewed
Social networking continues to surprise us daily with added statistics of followers and unique website visits. When researching the platforms available I have reviewed the five most popular sites and have summarized each one below.
How it all Started
Have you ever played the game of telephone? It’s an old one played by kids throughout the ages. Everyone sits in a circle and the first person whispers a secret into the ear of the person on their right. This is done quickly and cannot be repeated. The person receiving the secret turns to person on their right and whispers what they think they heard. This continues until at the end of the circle the last person speaks the secret out loud. Then we hear roaring laughter enough to encompass an entire school classroom because the secret is no longer discernible or is often hilariously fragmented.
I cannot help but think about Social Media when recalling this telephone game. Many times we see a post and react either negatively or positively and then put our spin on the information. By the time it reaches 100,000 people it has vastly changed either for the good or the bad. As with anything that requires the input of so many minds, it cannot help but be disjointed.
On the other end of the spectrum you have re-posting without any comments which in most cases is the impetus for information going viral on Social Media. Whichever is the case, Social Media is playing a huge role in how we think, how we react and unfortunately for some of us, how we live. This chart at the top shows us the popularity comparison for the top five groups.
It has become an all-consuming activity. We can’t shut out the light at night until we’ve checked our Facebook page. Sound familiar?
Social Media and Your Business
Not only has Social Media affected our personal lives, it plays an incredible role is the success of our business. I’ve broken down the top five platforms used for marketing purposes and added a couple of new ones whose entry into the marketplace has brought exciting new possibilities.
Number One – Facebook
Facebook currently garners over 50% of the networking done online and has about 1,100,000,000 unique monthly viewers. That’s a vast amount of business and personal reach.
Facebook is used daily by most to interact with friends and relatives in addition to expanding a growing business. What’s great about Facebook is that you can have a personal page and also a business page on which to expound your opinions, thoughts or promotions.
The unique thing about Facebook is that posts placed on your business page eventually roll down the news feed into the personal column so both your business prospects and your friends can keep apprised of your activities.
The most important thing about having a business page on Facebook is to remember that your posts should not all be about selling yourself or your product. People like to find useful information they can pass along to their friends that’s not necessarily geared to your business.
Facebook is a great advertising tool with tremendous reach but it’s important to remember to interact with your audience when comments are received on your page. Remember the term Social Media means exactly that.
Below is a link which shares some Facebook tips and tricks. Hopefully it will help you in deciding how much emphasis to put into your Facebook business page and will also give some ideas of ways to advertise on Facebook.
Facebook allows you to select the friends whose posts you wish to view first and also places relevant information in your news feed which reflects the pages you have liked.
In one sense of the word, Facebook is slowly beginning to take over our lives. I feel a little like “big brother” is watching as certain settings allow your friends to know where you are at all times.
Number Two – Twitter
This Social Media platform is the second most popular platform and is widely used in the business and political world. I don’t think Donald Trump would be half as controversial if he did not “tweet” several times a day.
Tweets preceding by a # sign carry your message further but there can be no spaces in the message, i.e. #workathomegrandma.
Tweets can only be 140 characters long and only last minutes before being replaced with another. It is because of the high volume, tweeting your message more often garners a larger audience. Be careful to avoid repeating too much, however, as Twitter will consider you a spammer.
Twitter has an audience of 310,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors. Those registered on Twitter can respond to tweets and re-tweet but those not registered can only read tweets. As in Facebook you can adjust your settings to see tweets from certain followers first.
Many business entities advertise on Twitter and also use it as a platform for getting more likes on their Facebook page. An automated set up can be done online to message each new follower and thank them for following you and also to pass along a sales or marketing message.
Need to learn more about the ins and outs of Twitter see below.
Number Three & Four - LinkedIn and Pinterest
LinkedIn and Pinterest are almost equal as far as estimated unique monthly visitors which is about 250,000,000 compared to LinkedIn at 255,000,000.
LinkedIn is one of the most difficult websites to maneuver however if you are looking for business connections it is a great resource.
Your profile in LinkedIn is pivotal to your contact success. Make your profile page one that will tell others what you can do for them instead of a biography of your past accomplishments.
Spamming is not allowed on LinkedIn thus you should be careful on how you contact others and request to be added to their network. LinkedIn has many sub-groups within the network where like minds can commiserate and offer advice. You can meet new people there and join in conversations that may lead you to prospects for your business. They also have a job board which is useful for those seeking employment.
All in all it is a great place to connect with professionals. It is not like Facebook or Twitter both of which can be personal and professional.
Pinterest is largely a visual Social Media yet is has the attributes of becoming more than just that. It is also a system that uses key words and phrases just as Google.
Pins should be sized more long than wide to find a good visual place on the Pinterest feed. As so many pins are being placed in the system so quickly, it’s advantageous to put keywords in your description so people can locate your pins while searching for an item.
Pinterest allows you to make numerous boards on various different subjects and also allows others to offer you to pin onto their boards. You want to be very careful when pinning onto other boards as you don’t want your pins to get lost in the shuffle.
Creating an info-graphic on Pinterest is a unique way to advertise your services. Sample are shown below.
Pinning daily is best and pinning each time you blog will draw traffic to your website. In Pinterest you actually place your website into the information slot on each pin. When someone clicks onto the pin they are drawn to the source which would be your site.
You can also validate your site with Pinterest so that your pins will draw others to read your blog. Be careful when pinning affiliate links as those would be considered spam by Pinterest.
Number Five – Google Plus
Rounding out the top five we have Google Plus. Last, but certainly not least, Google plays a vital role in the success of your business.
We all strive to get placed on the first page of Google and sending your blog posts to Google Plus is a sure way of doing it. The trick about Google Plus is to remember that Google reads your posts and when you do a Google search you will always find your Google Plus post on the first page. If you do a search incognito, you will not see this. To test your presence on Google, be sure to search incognito for your posts.
Be careful not to place affiliate marketing ads directly on Google Plus as this can get your account suspended. They have very specific rules on posting.
It’s best to follow others on Google Plus to build up a group of followers. Google Plus has many avenues and also Google Adsense can aid you in earning dollars. I’ve listed that information below.
Upcoming Social Media Sites
There are many other Social Media sites we could review but for fear of boring you with so many statistics I want to mention just a couple of newer ones that seem to be drawing attention in the marketplace.
Instagram and Periscope
Instagram like Pinterest is mostly a visual site. You can place 15 second videos (longer for paid advertising) to draw attention to your website or product. You can place personal items or business items. They are pretty much contained in one account.
When using any visual media to advertise your site or services Canva works really well in designing these tools. Here are samples of Canva created Pins and Instagrams.
Instagram is owned by Facebook thus when you post to
Instagram you have the availability to post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time.
Instagram is a great Social Media outlet for the youth as it allows little personal contact, only through direct message, and you don’t have to be eighteen or older to be on the site.
Periscope is extremely unique as it is a video Social Media platform. You can go online at the time of your choosing and your followers are signaled of your presence. They can choose to view or not view your live broadcast. After the broadcast events are available for replay. My nephew had his wedding viewed on Periscope while they were down in the Florida Keys. It was a great way for everyone to see the wedding without having to buy a plane ticket.
Next week we’ll do an in-depth study of YouTube and how important it can be for your business.
Each week I try to review an aspect of online marketing and research the areas I think you might be interested in. Please leave me a comment if there’s something you’d like to read about.
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