Marketing is all about making connections with people. Given that there are over one billion existing Facebook accounts and 400 million tweets going out per day, companies that successfully integrate social media into their marketing strategies tend to get ahead of those who don’t. And while there are many ways to implement an effective social media strategy, including responding to feedback, maintaining a blog, and integrating it with other channels – all your efforts are useless if your content doesn’t meet the expectations of each channel’s audience. The same person acts differently on Facebook than they do on Twitter, and differently on Twitter than they do on Pinterest. Slanting your messaging to suit different types of people on different types of social media is a good way to effectively spread your message. Here’s a profile of the typical user of the most common social media websites.
It’s not surprising the biggest social media platform has the widest variety of users. However, there are a few unifying factors shared by all Facebook users. A recent study of college-age Facebook users revealed that people visit Facebook primarily to check up on their friends, followed closely by “relieving boredom.” So when marketing to Facebook users, you should leave the corporatese at home, and instead show your company’s more human side. Be entertaining, be relatable, be funny. It works especially well if you tie your Facebook page’s content back to your company in a lighthearted way.
Old Spice is particularly good at this.
The era of tweeters applauding themselves for buying coffee is nearly over, and now the site has moved into a more “professionally recreational” realm. Brian Solis has called Twitter a “human seismograph” because it is now primarily used by people, famous and obscure, to comment on the state of world affairs. Most users turn to Twitter to find news, updates, inspirational quotes, and quick jokes. However, being relevant on Twitter is different for a company than for a news bureau. Straight-up advertising tweets tend to go unnoticed—as far back as 2007, customers have been largely ignoring online advertisements. You have to make something stick out in some way on Twitter in order to capture your readers’ attention.
For example, tweets like this get next to no recognition…
…while ones like this (to use Old Spice again) are well received by the audience.
LinkedIn profiles are almost ubiquitous in the corporate world, but savvy marketers don’t use this platform for advertising so much as for establishing business relationships and building connections. In other words, you’re not trying to sell your product; you’re trying to sell your company. Most business pages on the site, from Walmart to McDonald’s to Kaiser Permanente, share news and blogs about their company through this medium, instead of updates about their products. By doing this, they’re establishing their company as a trustworthy and transparent business, which in turn makes prospects more likely to buy from them later down the line.
So far, Pinterest is mainly used by people browsing for crafting and shopping ideas. For this reason, B2Cs fare a lot better on this platform than B2Bs. Many people use Pinterest to find new concepts in the realm of fashion, cooking, and art, so companies like Abercrombie (15,000 followers), Le Cordon Bleu (130,000 followers), and Decor8’s Holly Becker (170,000 followers) do a lot better than ones like Salesforce (2000 followers), Oracle (900 followers), and Business Insider (300 followers). Additionally, Pinterest is seeing a growing amount of educators swapping lesson plans and ideas across its site, while it’s also is a great tool for entrepreneurs to find ways to help their business grow and thrive. One final thing to take into consideration is that approximately 80% of Pinterest users are women—which is probably why Old Spice doesn’t have an account.
Commentators from Mark McGuiness to Forbes have been advising you to get into Google+ before it goes mainstream. That’s because, as things stand now, Google+ stands as the midpoint between Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn: you don’t go there for work or relaxation, but you go there to follow your passions. So if your company is even in the smallest way innovational (which we’re guessing it probably is), joining Google+ would give you access to a group of like-minded people, both to interact with and market to. When someone tunes into your company on Google+, they do so because they’re really interested, not to pass time or look for work—and if they can’t find you, their opinion of you is likely to fall.
Other sites for consideration
Of course, there are more social media websites than these five. Every company should have a YouTube account, if for nothing other than to provide demonstration and instructional videos to their audience. Additionally, every company should monitor their reviews on sites like Yelp!. But there are also many smaller, more specific social media websites to tend to. For example, if your company has anything to do with books, Goodreads and LibraryThing are both good websites to look at, or if you deal with at all with the pet industry, take a look at Dogster and Catster (Myspace is even rebranding itself to become a network geared towards musicians and music enthusiasts).
Look for social media influencers
In every channel you gain traction in, look for the social media influencers who can help proselytize for your company. People trust information from opinion leaders more than they trust what comes from your marketing department, so a business that does well with social influencers has an edge over its competitors. Want to learn more about social influencer marketing?We’ve got you covered in this timely white paper:
“Best Practices in Social Influencer Marketing“.