What are the most interesting social media platform?
How can companies utilize SMM?
How to integrate SM to company’s marketing strategies and how to monitor them? 1. What are the most interesting social media platform?
This is the biggest social media network on the Internet, both in terms of total number of users and name recognition. It has more than 1.59 billion monthly active users and this automatically makes it one of the best platforms for connecting people from all over the world with your business. It is estimated that more than 1 million small and medium-sized businesses use the platform to advertise their business.
You might be thinking that limiting your posts to 140 characters is no way to advertise your business, but you will be shocked to know that this social media platform has more than 320 million active monthly users who make use of the 140 character limit to pass on information. Businesses can use Twitter to interact with prospective clients, answer questions, release latest news and at the same time use the targeted ads with specific audiences.
LinkedIn is hands-down the most popular social media site for professional networking. The website is available in 24 languages and has over 400 million registered users. LinkedIn is great for people looking to connect with people in similar industries, networking with local professionals and displaying business related information and statistics.
YouTube — the largest and most popular video-based social media website. YouTube has over 1 billion website visitors per month and is the second most popular search engine behind Google.
This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where businesses can pin their content. Small businesses whose target audience is mostly made up of women should definitely invest in Pinterest as more than half of its visitors are women.
Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual social media platform. Many of its users use it to post information about travel, fashion, food, art and similar subjects. The platform is also distinguished by its unique filters together with video and photo editing features. Almost 95 percent of Instagram users also use Facebook.
Tumblr is one of the most difficult to use social networking platforms, but it’s also one of the most interesting sites. The platform allows several different post formats, including quote posts, chat posts, video and photo posts as well as audio posts, so you are never limited in the type of content that you can share. Like Twitter, reblogging, which is more like retweeting, is quick and easy.
Flickr, pronounced “Flicker,” is an online image and video hosting platform. It is popular with users who share and embed photograph.
This is a social news and entertainment networking website where registered users can submit content such as direct links and text posts. Users are also able to organize and determine their position on the site’s pages by voting submissions up or down. Submissions with the most positive votes appear in the top category or main page.
Snapchat is an image messaging application software that is emerging now and is extremely popular among social media users nowadays.
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform instant messaging client for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The app relies on the Internet to send images, texts, documents, audio and video messages to other users that have the app installed on their devices.
With over 40 million users, Vine is a rapidly growing video sharing social media app that allows users to share 6-second video clips with their followers. While this looks like a really short time for a video, businesses of all sizes are having tremendous success using the service.
Periscope is a live video streaming mobile app. In March 2015 Periscope said that it had surpassed 10 million accounts and in December the same year, Apple announced Periscope as the app of the year.
Viber is a Voice over IP (VoIP) and instant messaging app for mobile devices that was developed and released by Viber Media on December 2, 2010. The app also allows for the exchange of audio, video and images between users. (Source)
2. How can companies utilize SM?
Build your channels early
Don’t wait for launch day to create your social media channels. Start building your social media accounts—and your presence—early.
Build relationship with influencers
Just like your social media channels, you need to build relationships before you ‘need’ them. Starting out by looking for journalists and bloggers who write about your business topic. Connecting and developing relationships with influencers and experts in your field of business will help you down the road. When you approach them later, they’ll be more likely to recognize your name, or at least be receptive, because it’s obvious you know what they cover.
Find your audience
If you haven’t taken the time to build your networks and develop relationships ahead of time, it is suggested figuring out which social platform is best to reach your target market. Then you should study those platforms and, when possible, take your targeted advertising to those platforms.
Find out who’s talking about what, where they’re talking about it, and then start listening there. Figuring out where to find your target market on social media does take time, and involves searching for people who are talking about topics that are important to you.
Join the conversation
You can participate in Twitter chats and Google Hangouts that relate to your business. Or you can join an ongoing conversation about a topic by using popular hashtags on any platform. You can’t just jump into the conversation with, ‘Buy my stuff!’, but if you join in the conversation, you’ll raise awareness.
It is not always free
Any of these efforts take time, however, and that’s where the budget issue comes in. If you have the time but not the funds, do the work yourself. But if it’s time that’s in short supply, you’ll have to consider paying someone to do it. Just because you don’t have to pay to have a social media account does not mean that it doesn’t cost you in some way. (Source)
POST UPDATES: It’s important to have content on your social media pages before you start adding friends and followers. When you try to find friends, they’re going to look at the page to see if they want to follow you. So you need to give them a reason to follow you first. Provide valuable information about the industry. Post pictures of your business or people enjoying your business. On YouTube, post videos of your business, customer experiences, and encourage customers to make their own. You can also ‘favorite’ other YouTube users’ videos and they will end up on your page.
STAY CURRENT: Get alerts sent to your phone when folks engage with you via your social networking sites – at least in the beginning – that way you respond quickly.(Source)
3.How to integrate SM to company’s marketing strategies and how to monitor them?
Choose strategy over tools. Social media is still in its infancy, so change is constant and new tools are being introduced at lightning speed. Using the latest and greatest technology may benefit the company, especially when its target audience includes younger and more media-savvy customers. However, it is always important to judge the value and impact of a social media tool against the company’s marketing strategy rather than its innovativeness. Will the tool help the company design or develop a more effective marketing strategy? If not, leave the shiny object on the shelf for another day.
Drive social media actions against marketing goals. If social media actions are undertaken without a clear customer objective, integration is likely to be elusive. This means that marketers should always identify a specific customer objective when employing social media tactics. One common approach we observed was marketers using social medial to help move the customer into and through the purchase funnel.
Be forward looking. Like traditional media campaigns, social media is often used to generate brand, product, or company awareness. If awareness is the goal, marketers must have a clear understanding of what happens next in the company’s marketing strategy to convert awareness into purchase intent. Likewise, if building brand advocacy is the goal, marketers should be clear about how to use these evangelists to amplify the company’s message and increase customer loyalty.
Align social media channel to marketing strategy. While practically every brand is on Facebook and Twitter, there are many other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Brands typically do not have the resources to be on every social media platform, so how do marketers prioritize? They should choose the social media platforms that fit the company’s target audience and brand positioning. For instance, Facebook and Twitter tend to reach a broad demographic, while Instagram and Snapchat have a younger user base.
Create social media toolkits. Brand toolkits have become standard procedure for many companies and are effectively used to guide local markets on how to portray global brands by providing templates and guidelines for tailoring content. In a similar way, some companies are starting to create social media toolkits which include templates for Facebook and Twitter posts. These kits can ensure strategic alignment and create a more cohesive brand image across geographies and platforms while reducing the time and resources required to develop social media content.
Put social media experts on brand and customer teams. When social media operates from a separate group or from a separate location, there is a greater probability of poor integration. Instead, social media experts should be closely linked to the brand and customer teams so they are involved as soon as communication objectives have been established. This involvement pays off because social media experts are tuned in to the latest platforms and know what approaches generate interest from current and potential customers, fans, and enthusiasts. As a result, these experts can guide brand teams to the most effective results.
Balance in-house and agency expertise. With so much to learn and social media moving at such a fast pace, many companies outsource social media activities to multiple agencies. This structure threatens the integration of social media because agencies rarely understand the totality of a company’s marketing strategy. This concern leads some companies to move more social media activities in house or utilize deep partnership models with their agencies.
Convert to purchase. Social media is one of the very few places where companies can engage with their customers in an ongoing, personal, and real-time manner. As such, it can serve as a key touch point that brings the company’s marketing strategy to its raison d’être—purchase. If, for example, a follower posts she is going shopping for a particular item, companies can respond with a tweet containing helpful information or personalized discounts, and/or promotions.
Be willing to say no. Given the buzz surrounding social media, every brand or customer-facing function likely wants its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Marketing leaders need to hold the line and decide which social media platforms are ideal for a given brand from a strategic and customer point of view. Controlling social media access through a social media group ensures that someone is accountable and knowledgeable about the best ways to use it as part of a company’s or brand’s marketing strategy.
Champion integration. For integration to be valued and sought, leaders need to share success stories throughout the organization. Success stories can become part of the company’s ethos and organically influence the integration of social media in marketing activities.
Sort out attribution. If social media is part of a company’s marketing strategy, questions will be raised about its contribution to sales revenue and how it works alone and in conjunction with other tactics. These are worthy questions and steps must be taken to understand and measure the effects of social media in order to integrate it with the company’s marketing strategy in the most efficient and effective manner. Marketers shouldn’t let these attribution questions keep them from pursuing social media, but instead consider them an opportunity to demonstrate its value.
Learn from failures. Because it is much easier to experiment with social media than traditional media, companies can test and learn quickly. Also, social media execution costs tend to be much smaller than traditional media, so the losses from failures are less severe. By experimenting with social media, companies can more accurately determine which social media posts and campaigns have the greatest impact on their marketing strategies—helping to further integration efforts. (Source)