It seems that everyone is on Facebook these days. With the Pew Research Center reporting that 71 percent of online adults reportedly used the site in 2013, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Facebook is the go-to site for all your social media marketing needs. But this isn't necessarily so.
Who Lives Where in Social Media
It's true that social media is a great way to introduce new products, brands and trends. It can help you build a relationship with your customers instead of staying in sales mode. The first rule for social media marketing is to go to the places your customer hangs out.
Different social networks serve different functions, and for your customer, not all social media sites are equal.
According to a report from GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is getting older; in fact, Facebook usage among teens was down 35 percent between Q1 and Q3 in 2013. Adult usage has continued to grow on the site.
If you're marketing to teens, you'll need to take a safari through the social media wilderness to locate them. Forbes reports that there have been sightings of teens on mobile chat services and photo-sharing apps such as WeChat, Instagram and Snapchat. Teens are also more likely to congregate on Twitter, which has shown an increase in the 18 to 29 demographic since November 2010, according to the Pew Research Center.
According to the Pew report, women are four times as likely to be found on Pinterest as men. College graduates, professionals and higher-income users are generally found on LinkedIn.
According to BGR, Google+ currently has 540 million users. This site is the place to be for senior decision makers, business owners, IT workers and the self-employed. With its discoverability, hangouts, streaming integration and communities, Google+ continues to broaden its user base.
How Are You Engaging?
Once you've found your target customer's natural habitat, then what? Just as all sites are not equal to your customer, some sites will suit your product better than others. If you have a particularly visual product, for example, fashion or home décor, you should include Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Floost and Juxtapost in your social media list.
Once you've identified your optimal social media sites, the next step is to really make them work for you by engaging your target customer and promoting your brand. Incorporate Google hangouts or host Twitter chats as part of your online presence.
Don't forget your blog presence. One of the easiest ways to engage your customers is to integrate your social media profile and website with a blog. Not only will your blog entries help establish you as an expert in your particular field, your customer's likes, pins and tweets will make it easy for them to share your content and drive traffic to your site.
Once you're in the right place with the right customer and the right approach, you'll find yourself with a powerful element in your social media marketing strategy. It can increase your authority and visibility while increasing your customer's awareness, loyalty and trust.