This month we look at the top 4 social media sites and what the business opportunities are with them. You may decide your business needs to focus on one or two areas in particular.
Top 4 Social Networking Sites
If you do a bit of searching around you’ll probably find lists of social networks, and you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number out there. The thing to remember is that most networks have a very small user base and it is not often worth investing any time into them. Of course, if you find a network that specifically targets your ideal customer, they might be worth exploring. But for the purposes of this guide, we are simply going to take a look at the top four social networking sites overall.
#1: Face book
Description: The granddaddy of all social networks, Face book boasts the largest number of users from a wide demographic. Users can post updates, photos and videos. Interaction comes in the form of comments, sharing updates and “Likes” which demonstrate that someone likes the update they just read.
Demographic Data: Face book has 845 million active users, 483 million users of whom are active on a daily basis. Face book is available in over 70 languages. There are slightly more female users on Face book than male users, but their representation is fairly even. The age range of users is broad, but the 20-29 age group is the best represented.
Business Opportunity: Face book allows business to create “Pages.” Users can subscribe to receive updates from your page by clicking a “Like” button to indicate they are a fan of your business. You can post updates about your company, interesting facts, share news, create polls and more. Face book allows customisation for branding your Face book Page.
Description: Often described as a micro-blogging network, Twitter allows its users to send short updates of a maximum of 140 characters; referred to as “tweets.” They can post text updates, and while the site also allows the posting of photos, users have to click a link to view the photos. Users can interact with one another by replying to user updates or “retweeting” them – which means rebroadcasting someone else’s tweet to their own followers. Twitter also employs the use of “hashtags,” which are keywords preceded by a “#” character, that make them searchable, so people can follow conversations on specific topics.
Demographic Data: Twitter has 300 million users that post over 300 million tweets per day. 53% of Twitter’s users are female, giving them a slight edge over the male user population. 30% of Twitter’s users are between the ages of 26 and 34 and 27% of them are 35-44. Twitter is currently offered in only a handful of languages, but they are working to expand their offerings.
Business Opportunity: Businesses are allowed to set up Twitter accounts as the service does not distinguish between business and personal accounts. You can post updates about your company, share information, interact with other Twitter users and post photos. Hashtags are an opportunity to share information during events of interest and relating to specific topics. Twitter allows for custom branding of your Twitter profile page
Description: LinkedIn is focused on connecting professionals, with the purpose of sharing industry-related information, as well as job and other opportunities.
Demographic Data: LinkedIn has over 150 million members and over 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages, making it the largest professional social network online. It is available in 200 countries worldwide and is available in 16 languages.
Business Opportunity: LinkedIn provides professionals the opportunity to create profiles and increase their professional contacts and connections. You can also set up a Company Page to share company news, employment opportunities and more. It is a good opportunity to meet other like-minded business owners and professionals for the purpose of sharing information, forming partnerships and more. You can create polls, share files, promote events, share presentations and more. LinkedIn allows for minor customisation in order to brand profile pages.
Description: Google+ is a relatively new social network created by the search giant Google. As Google implements more social results into its search, SEO experts are saying that Google+ is becoming increasingly relevant to your appearance in search results, so it’s definitely a network worth looking at. Users can post updates, and share images and videos. Interactions come in the format of comments, sharing updates and clicking the “+1” to demonstrate that a user likes the update they just read. Google employs the use of “Circles” so that users can categorise the people they are following into different groups such as friends, acquaintances, business connections, etc. There is also integration with YouTube, Picasa and other Google services.
Demographic Data: It is estimated that Google+ has about 90 million users, making it a relatively small social network in comparison to the others mentioned in this guide. Publicly available demographic data is limited, but it is reported that a large percentage of its user base is technologically-oriented men. According to Wikipedia, over 71% of Google+’s users are male and 35% of all their users are between the ages of 25 and 34.
Business Opportunity: Businesses can set up a Google+ Page that allows them to connect with their followers. Businesses are not allowed to set up regular Google+ profiles, although you need to set up a personal profile before you can create a business page. Users can subscribe to your Google+ updates by putting you into their circles. You can share updates, share useful content, photos and videos. You can also create “Hangouts” that allow you to interact your followers via video or audio chat. Google+ allows for minor customisation in order to brand your profile page.
Next month we’ll take a closer look at how you can focus your efforts on social media, and where!
Until then, have a prosperous month!