It all depends on the type of traffic you’d like and the audience you want to reach (or the frame of mind you’d like them to be in when you reach them – more on this later). Do you just need exposure or is there a product to sell? Your answer to this determines which social media tools you should lead with.
As you’ll often hear me say, variety is the spice of life, so it’s best to use different tools to match each audience and a mixture often produces the best results. The first thing you must therefore do is understand your target markets. Begin by splitting your audience into segments for each product you have e.g. by location, age, interests etc.
Understanding your audience is the key to choosing the social media tools which will reach and engage with them the most – there are many to choose from, but this article focuses on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
Facebook – Casual, non corporate audiences (B2C)
LinkedIn – Professional, corporate audiences (B2B)
Twitter – Mixture of casual and professional audiences
Google+ – Mixture of casual and professional audiences
Let’s quickly review the top four:
Facebook has over 1 billion users and good targeted marketing functionality e.g. People aged between 20 to 30 who like Rock music and live in Cornwall. This can be great if your products and services line up with their targeted criteria and users. Facebook also has lots of APIs which allow you to create pages and functionality that engage with your customers and deliver customized messages e.g. games are often used as a catalyst for generating interest and followers.
In my opinion Facebook is a true ‘Social’ media tool – by that I mean it’s driven by ‘social’ activity and that means it’s predominantly used for casual and social activity. Facebook’s ‘like’ button set the pace for viral content and has since been diluted by all of the other sharing buttons, but that said ‘Likes’ mean potential exposure to the biggest audience in social media, so they’re worth getting. You have to be like professional if you want to drive more social signals to your website, and you can do it by different tactics first you have to hire a professional for it a certified professional who make a plan for you microsoft mb6-895 certified professional is an individual person who can plan better plans for you.
In summary, from a Marketing and traffic point of view, I would use Facebook for B2C environments and use a more relaxed tone in my messaging.
LinkedIn has over 200 million users and excellent targeted ad functionality which allows you to deliver cost-effective and specific campaigns to millions of people across the globe. Their latest functionality allows you to target people at a very granular level e.g. HR Managers who work for company X in London – this is fantastic for re-marketing to individuals who you’re negotiating with i.e. stick in their mind as they’re making a purchasing decision.
LinkedIn is currently less customisable than Facebook, but means that the users are more familiar with the consistent layout. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn, I think that the groups are a great way to reach your audience and deliver a ‘softer’ message. It’s my first stop when marketing in a B2B environment.
If you have regular and interesting things to share, Twitter can generate a strong flow of traffic from its 500 million plus users, which can be easily directed to your landing pages. It’s simple to create specific messages and target them using #tags; for me this is great for exposure, but not for selling products and services.
The downside to Twitter is that it’s based around text and links (even though you can share images and videos), so if your audiences are following lots of people, your messages can quickly move down their Tweet list without standing out. On the up, you have your re-tweet button and scheduled tweets which can save you time and increase the chance of your tweet being seen.
In my opinion Google+ is still finding its feet in the social media world but has been slowly closing the gap on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of number of users – it currently has over 400 million…impressive. I think that a big driver for this is the Marketing industry, specifically those interested in SEO…I think the suspected authority a +1 has on a website’s Google rankings compared to a re-tweet (for example) is the main reason for that. That’s not to say that Google+ isn’t easy to use or lacks functionality, it’s just because I’m still struggling to see the added value from a ‘users’ perspective, compared to other social media tools – you may disagree?
The number of users are really impressive across the top four social media tools, but Facebook currently has over double the number of users than each of the other three – which leaves me with the questions, why don’t the other 500 million users join Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+? And therefore do you reach different people with each tool or is there a cross over of people? I know there is (because I’m on all four), but I think that the same people are using each tool in a different frame of mind i.e. when I’m using Facebook I’m not thinking about business…that just re-enforces my opening point about understanding your audience and choosing the tools which will reach the right audience at the right time.
Once you’ve chosen the appropriate tools, you must now become attractive and trusted – people are too savvy to be clicking on any old link, besides you want the best quality traffic and not spammers following or liking you. Building a strong community will take time; quality and speed rarely come as a pair, so create clear and relevant content which is consistent and will encourage returning traffic and referrals. You will need to make a commitment to your social media activities, so things are kept fresh. Regularly reviewing your content and messaging will ensure the best click-through rate.
To summarise, I would recommend using a mixture of the top four social media tools, but change your messages based on your audience. Deliver interesting and consistent content which is regularly reviewed and updated. Be realistic about how long it will take to build your community and focus on quality rather than quantity.