Which targeted Social Media Networks are your customers using?
Most of our clients think “more is better” when it comes to Social Media. Which is true, if you have a lot of money to spend and your product is truly used across many target markets (think Coca Cola). I always tell my clients that “smart is better”. It’s always better to have a strong presence on just a few targeted Social Media Networks where your target market is spending time, then to spread yourself too thin and do everything, but nothing right. Start small and build your Online presence slowly but steadily. This truly is a marathon and not a sprint.
Social Media is the new generation of tools for marketing your business online. When it comes to Social Media for your business, there is more than just Facebook and Twitter. There are a lot of social media sites available for you, however you should establish a plan, which Social Media Networks are frequented by your target audience. Don’t waste your time on Social Networks that are not used by your target market. Even if Instagram or Vine or Snapchat is supposedly the next Facebook and Social Media Guru makes a big buzz about them, find networks that make the most sense to put energy into for YOUR company. Choose the most important Social Media tools and focus on them to market your business online. We’ll show you how to do this. Oh, and read all the way to the end to get our special bonus tip!
My company already has a Facebook Page and a Twitter Account, isn’t that enough?
No, it is not! While it might be useful to have a presence in these large Social Media Networks, there are hundreds of industry specific niche networks out there that might be a better fit for your company. The first and most important step in creating a real Social Media Strategy is to set goals you want to reach when using Social Media sites for marketing your business online. You have to make sure you target the right audience and find the right Social Media Network to share your information. Research which Social Media sites best match your company’s target market (read on, we’ll show you how to find them in just a bit, ok?). Even though the number of active users is usually smaller in those networks, the audience is more targeted and already interested in your industry. They are hungry for more information, so get it to them!
As already mentioned, Facebook and Twitter are great social media tools to market your business online. They are an important steps in developing your social media marketing strategy, but they are not the only ones you should consider for your Social Media Strategy. Do you know any other useful social media sites?
Here are some examples of Social Media Networks that you might not have considered for your business:
<a title="LinkedIn" href="http://www.linkedin singulair over the counter.com/company/jupiter-labs” target=”_blank”>LinkedIn: The third largest Social Media Network and a must for a B2B companies. Build a strong company page and ask your employees to create profiles, share content and network on this platform!
Xing: More or less the same as LinkedIn, but targeting the European (mainly German) Market.
Google+: Which is the most used Search engine in world? Google. Who most likely sends you the most traffic to your website? Google. Who said in the most recent Penguin 2 Search Algorithm update that Social Factors have become very important in determining which websites rank well on Google? Google. Guess which Social Factor is most important for Google? Google+’s +1s. From an SEO-point of view, we believe that Google+ is a must for all companies, whether you like it or not!
YouTube: Videos are one of the most shared content forms on Social Media Networks. And guess what, it’s run by Google!
Pinterest: Pinterest is Picture sharing platform that might be the right fit for many companies, from home goods, food, sport equipment, books, fashion and jewelry, travel and more. If your target market are women with some college and a yearly household income between 49-75k/year or higher, Pinterest might be your holy grail.
Instagram: Lets you share cool pictures and videos. Awesome if you are targeting a younger crowd that can take pictures of you product (contest idea).
Vine: Here you can share short 6 second videos and yes, you guessed it, it’s owned by Twitter!
The advantage of the Social Networking sites mentioned above is that they allow businesses to join (there are some restrictions and rules for businesses though, so read the TOS before signing up!).
So wait, didn’t I just advice you to join Social Networks that are off the main stream and start accounts on targeted Social Media Networks? Yes, you can still join Social Networks, even if they don’t want companies advertising their products and services. And why should you do that? Well, first of all, Social Media shouldn’t be a sales channel anyways, and second, you can still do the following: listen to your customer share information, learn about your target market, find out what they are thinking about your product/service/company or even come up with new opportunities for your companies (think product improvements/niches/etc). Also, you should be familiar how people act and interact with each other on these networks. This way, you can set up a much better advertisement campaign on these networks. Some of these Social Networks might even allow you to offer customer service, if you ask them nicely and are not pushy.
Here are some examples of very targeted Social Media Networks:
CafeMom: Are you targeting Moms? This is a network you should consider to spend time on. They get about 12.5 Million unique visitors each month. Quite an impressive number for such a targeted group.
SportsFanLive: Is THE place for you, if you are selling anything and everything related to Sports, from jerseys, to collectors items, yes, even if you own a sports bar (people can search for sports bars in their area that cater to their team.
Travellerspoint: A place where travelers share their experiences on travel and more.
How to find targeted Social Media Networks specific to your industry?
And here we meet an old friend again…. Pull up your favorite search engine and type in: Social Media Networks + keyword or Social Media Network + target market.
Here are some examples:
You get the idea… and now you know that Twitter and Facebook are by far not the only options for you out there. Do some research related to your industry and decide based on where you think you will be able to reach your target market.
While I don’t recommend that you spend time on all Social Media Networks, I do recommend to register your business name with all Social Networks as soon as possible (and make a habit of registering your name as soon as a new Network comes out). Put up your company logo as your profile picture and link to your active accounts. You never know, which Social Media Networks are going to go big and which ones might come back from the dead (think MySpace). A helpful tool to see which usernames are still available is this one here.
Thanks for baring with me for so long! I hope my tips were helpful for you and I was able to show you that there are more than just a handful of Social Media Networks out there that can help your business grow. Do you have any more questions or want to share your own insights on how to find the most targeted Social Media Networks? Feel free to post them in the comments. Thanks!