The Social Media and The Social Media Channels
Social media is not a term to designate a particular place on the Internet, but a collective that describes all available ways of creating, sharing, collaboration and interaction in a community or communities. The social media channels are not only the marketing channels but they include the various social networking sites, the numerous blog sites, the various forums, the hundreds of social curation websites, the social bookmarking and video sharing sites and even the online places for free listings and the thousands of Wikis.
The social media channels are all around us and social networks represent only one of these channels.
What first comes to mind when you hear the phrase “social networks“?
People use these sites and apps differently.
Communicating with friends and acquaintances, searching for music and video, app entertainment, and more. But from a business perspective, almost all social networks can be used as a means of promoting products or services.
The way of communicating with others has changed, maybe partly because the world’s most popular social networking sites have changed over the years. Indeed, they will continue to improve as time goes by. Some of the old school social networking channels and brands will slowly disappear, forced by the markets’ needs either to evolve or to die and some brand new ones will appear instead.
Social media channels are the communication tools of this century and maybe the next century (who knows?), and they enable us to interact with each other by both sharing and consuming information.
In this, if not strange, at least new type environment, for the companies that are up and running already, or just want to move faster and go further with their online brand presence it’s merely imperative to actively participate in the most famous social networks or media channels.
Such social activity will not only bring them more visibility but could open the doors to unexpected possibilities for developing larger markets and undoubtedly a broader audience and potential customers. Using the social aspect of the web, the Business is able to connect and interact on different levels with its Customers.
A bit different way than it was a while ago. Levels that are more personal and also more dynamic, compared to the standard form of marketing.
The Best Social Media Channels for Business Marketing
Social media marketing is the most advanced process of marketing through various social media sites, aka channels. The different options the media channels gives for brand promotion include the user-generated content such as photos, music, videos, text, data and interactive applications.
The latter is also known as Web 2.0 Internet-based Apps and unlike Web 1.0 (where the consumers or users were more limited and passive, due to the adopted limitations) the users not only can interact with each other but also to create content in the virtual space.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit, VK and Flickr are the 11 best social media channels for any Business Marketing.
Let’s have a look at each one of them and see what the opportunities, which each one of these super popular social channels offers to business owners and marketers, for promotion are.
The leader of the Social Media channels Facebook should be the starting point in every company’s social media marketing strategy.
Facebook is merely overflowing with thousands of opportunities for your business to be exposed and advertised, plus the remarkable count of over 1.6 billion users worldwide. In such an environment, any company would thrive.
The second in the list front-runner in the online media marketing-this time a leader in the video marketing and video sharing.
By building a relationship with clients, the Business can develop an edge over the rest of the competition and a stronger relationship with its customers by uploading content on YouTube.
This is also an excellent opportunity for the customers to look at and evaluate the promoted services and highlighted products, or even to review them.
YouTube is really an immense platform and has emerged as a highly influential digital marketplace where all the companies, the brands, and their audience –their customers, consumers, partners, brand advocates, critics or competitors are well engaged.
Currently, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every one minute of every day –this makes one hour of video content per second. This fact only validates that video marketing is the latest trend – the numbers said it all.
With over a billion registered customers and about 4 billion videos viewed per day, YouTube is the absolute “must-be-on” place for every promoter or advertiser.
The third on the list became quickly famous in the USA and rapidly also conquered the remaining part of the world.
By utilizing the power of the mobile communications and its user-friendly interface this social channel involves over 300,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors and customers. A microblogging platform is an excellent tool for participating in conversations and generally engaging with your audience.
In the world of Twitter, any promoter or Business can develop consistent customer-centric experience every time.
LinkedIn isn’t just a place for personal promotion and career networking.
There are more than one and half million groups on LinkedIn, and over 80 % of LinkedIn users participate in at least one of these.LinkedIn company pages are created by will to represent a brand, organization, company or even a home business.
Even if LinkedIn is not as big as Facebook, it’s an essential platform and a social media channel for business marketing and has to be part of the content promotion strategy of your company or brand.
With its 255,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors plus one of its key features –the groups, LinkedIn must be in the list with the best places for advertising, exposure, and promotion of every brand advocate, marketer or business developer.
With a different approach, but still similar to some of the other social networks, this media channel could be the best place one company to be exhibited and promoted.
Part of Pinterest’s appeal is that it’s charming.
The other significant attraction is the fact the platform has about 250,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors. The pins of Pinterest are approximately a hundred times more spreadable than a tweet, so if there are people who think Facebook and Twitter are the only-to-use social media marketing tools, they are totally wrong.
Pinterest for Businesses is different from personal accounts and have added lots of useful gadgets and resources for marketing of almost any type of company.
Google+ was the next big thing in Social Media channels and Business Marketing.
There are many different answers to the question of why this social platform didn’t succeed. Compared to its competitors Google + had only 120,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors yet.
But….Google had many other advantages compared with its competitors.
As a social channel Google+ had a vast toolbox of not well utilized useful gadgets and strategic weapons for Mass Marketing. Google+’s communities were one of the best features of this channel, and they were an excellent way to get connected with your potential customers and share with the good quality content.
The reason for Google + ’s lower popularity was that the development of the platform started a bit later, and the more important fact is that is in the past there were too many restrictions and limits for the customers, using Google Plus-like the one for using your real name.
Regardless if you were a Business owner, a Company marketer, a Promoter, a Brand advocate, a Blogger, or all of these at the same time – there were many opportunities that this powerful social channel could provide.
They were really countless.
A simple example-Google Hangouts are a great way of increasing brand awareness, and the reason behind is quite simple: the integration with YouTube.
Just try to think this way and will be very easy to figure out what is my point.
Tumblr is a huge social media platform, with the addition of blog hosting — with 110 million estimated unique monthly visitors, it’s one of the prime places to market your business.
An important thing to know about Tumblr and the Tumblrs is the social channel, and it’s auditory really respects all new info to be presented in a bit more specific way-involving self-critique, originality, humor, and fun.
Jokes work very well,even-extremely well on Tumblr, but this doesn’t exactly mean you have to be funny all the time to use the platform.
Another important thing is that the quantity over the quality doesn’t work very well on Tumblr.By just posting some things, which is entirely normal on the other social channels, on Tumblr such “promoter” will be, at least, ignored by the community.
Unlike many of its competitors, Tumblr seems to be a bit strange as a social place, but it’s certainly a lovely network not to be ignored or underestimated for marketing.
Not at all.
Use it wisely, and it will provide you with huge popularity in no time, like none of the other channels. What is required is to get is the right tone and the suitable content to exhibit. “Suitable content” means- intriguing, original and compelling visual content, rather than text only (the text-only posts are often ignored) and a good sense of humor.
A large part of the 100,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors also have Facebook accounts because Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012. This is an important fact which really matters regarding finding really large auditory for promoting things too.
An interesting fact to know is that Instagram boasts 15 times more engagement than Facebook, Twitter or Google+ as per research from L2.
By using a Business profile on Instagram, you can boost your brand or company’s presence. The platform is a must-be-on social media network for the marketers and the marketing representatives of all niches.
Talking in numbers – a survey from Global Web Index established that 53% of customers preferred to follow brands on Instagram and 44% of consumers said they prefer to use Instagram for brand research, which was the highest among all other platforms.
As you can see from the report from the Global Web Index, Instagram’s engagement rate is one of the best of all social networks and this combined with the bright organized behind-the-scenes showcasing sells products and brands.
“Inspire People Visually With Your Business’ Story”.
The marketing on Reddit can be a tough cookie to crack, but it worth if you manage to do it right.
The social channel with over 21 million votes per day, over 10,000 active user-created groups, 234 million engaged users and 85,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors could be an excellent investment in term of promoting content by a Brand, Company or a Business.
Indeed- its ugly interface altogether with the controversial and odd subcultures are the main reasons for this otherwise lovely media channel to be underestimated as a marketing spot.
In fact- many advertisers ignore Reddit as a massive opportunity for marketing purposes and existing, well-structured and also very well- targeted audience.
Reddit is an open and open-minded social marketing channel for marketers having and willing to spend some time doing Reddit. There’s a trick, though- they must know how to and do the advertising correctly.
VK in means “IC” in English, or InContact (abbreviation of “VKontakte” in Russian).
The most popular social network in Russia and the most popular website thereafter Yandex is a channel with 80,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors and if you are not aware – this is actually the Russian version of the popular Facebook but is not related to it.
Also, this is the most extensive social network in Europe, plus it is popular in Asia, and this makes it automatically an ideal place for internet marketing.
As the most significant social network in the Runet and Alexa rank 14, Vkontakte is a vital social marketing tool for every business, company or entrepreneur to reach a massive brand new audience not only across Europe, Asia but also on the other continents.
The social media channel Flickr offers one of the most extensive image archives and communities online and a great place for marketing.
With estimated unique monthly visitors of 65,000,000 Flickr is not only hosting service for storing and sharing visual content.
Flickr is not just a social network for sharing various photos and videos, but it is a media channel where the photography and videos of the highest quality are appreciated.
The shared HQ art along with the Low-Quality art is evaluated by the communities that are established there, and these are the communities you would care about as a marketer or a business representative.
In fact, the incredible possibilities which are provided by this platform are not always well understood, hence-not well utilized by some of the business representatives and marketers. Probably, because many of them are not that good at producing high-quality non-marketing images as professional photographers or designers.
With the above said and the fact that the social networks exist because of the communications, not because of the possibilities for marketing many brands consider Flickr as not suitable as a promotional arena.
But this is not necessarily true.
Flickr is superb for soft brand promotion and informal communication with your current or present customers. The platform is good with making your photos viral, but don’t expect Flickr to be same to Pinterest or Instagram.
Remember: Flickr is not exactly the place where the direct sales will work well, but any photos listed on a Flickr account could represent your business, company or products.
At the End:
Millions of active, solvent people around the globe begin and end their day by checking their accounts in social networks.
A vast audience is continuously present and using the Internet and is ready for the interests of your business. I hope the today’s post was useful for you to learn not only which are the most popular social channels, suitable for online marketing, but also how to use different social networks in favor of your business.
NB: One of the most effective ways of marketing still remains the free classified ads.
The statistics for the Most Popular Media Channels are provided by eBizmba.