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16 July 2012

Marketing

Which Social Network is best for your Business type?

During the last few years social media platforms have become massively prominent in our lives. People LOVE to talk, share and engage their life experiences with friends and family – so why should it be any different in business? For a company to really grasp their customer’s way of thinking in a personable manner, social networking is vital. If implemented strategically, the impact from such campaigns can lead to hugely successful worldwide exposure of brand messages.

So, out of the wonderful array of social channels within the maze of the digital wilderness, which will suit your business style? The well known players such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and also the rapidly growing image-orientated newcomer Pinterest, have an ever expanding pull on user influences.

Analyse

One of the main factors to consider first and foremost is that Google is king of the majority of the internet, raking in £6.9 billion revenue for their first quarter of 2012. Amongst a battle of giants where Google are also continually fighting to become dominant in social media, it makes sense to launch a Google+ profile for your company and a separate professional page for yourself as the owner, regardless of sector. Reason being, coding named ‘rel=author’ can be planted in your website’s scripts, visibly linking your personal Google+ bio and picture to your website and blog on the search result pages, inspiring confidence within users while acquiring credibility for your domain.

There are many similarities between the concepts of Google+ and Facebook. Sharing and engagement on a personal level is where the two platforms really shine, so if you’re a business who thrives on consumer feedback, engages with customers and has a brilliant customer service track record, make the most of these outlets and watch the praise flood in for everyone to see. Positive word of mouth is crucial to any organisation’s success.

Multi-Dimensional Content

At the forefront of social media is image sharing – over 6 billion are posted each month on Facebook alone. Facebook are constantly altering their EdgeRank algorithm which controls how images are shown on the news feed, to the point where they are now extremely prominent. All businesses can benefit from this ­­– the beauty is that it doesn’t matter whether images have any relation to the company, providing they make an impact and entice people to your page.

The subject of images takes us nicely on to Pinterest. Online boutique Bottica found that 10% of transactions were generated via Pinterest, compared to 7% from Facebook. Also quite interestingly, 86% of traffic referred via Pinterest consisted of unique visits, compared to 57% of traffic from Facebook. However, engagement does seem to suffer ­– in this example 65% less time was spent on the Bottica site through Pinterest than through Mark Zuckerberg’s big blue creation.

Images are striking but sometimes video can be even more appealing. Youtube receives over 800 million unique visits each month, while 500 years of YouTube video is watched every day on Facebook and 700 videos shared on Twitter each minute! Think outside the box about how you can make this work for your business...people crave originality. Remember, it’s not what you do…It’s how you do it.

Balance and Cross Promote

There’s no one single or ‘correct’ way for a company to implement social media ­– the key is to take advantage of the vast amount of channels available at your fingertips and drive as many resources into each one as possible. You will soon begin to see trends. Twitter for instance, is especially ideal for short, exciting bursts of promotion ­– retweets are likely to continue for weeks even after a promotion has ended.

Shout about your up and coming Pinterest board on Facebook and Google+1 to generate a real buzz throughout the whole online community. Links from influential news sites such as LinkedIn, Reddit and Digg are also a winner – hit the top headline spots and you can expect to reach an audience in excess of 200 million combined, which is then sharable on all other forms of social networks. The possibilities are endless.....

By Sam Hurley

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