Top 5 Social Media Marketing Platforms

Social networking can often seem overwhelming to new businesses who wish to leverage online platforms for increased visibility and sales. With so many websites offering the creation and distribution of content, it can be helpful to narrow down the list of social networks to the most important ones in an effort to treat what I will call “social network overload syndrome.” In Dave Kerpen’s book “Likable Social Media”, he writes about each of the major players in this sphere of the Internet and how to favorably harness the power of each one. Beginning with Facebook, we will now travel through the top five websites mentioned in the appendix while I summarize Dave Kerpen’s message and my own thoughts on the topic.

1. Facebook

With the largest user-base of any social network, Facebook has risen to be an absolutely crucial platform for marketing your business online. One of the main keys of Facebook’s rise to glory has been its ability to allow users to “like” just about anything or anyone in the world. The act of liking something may seem simple at first, but in its architecture, the “like” is what links people to other people, places, or things and contributes to the creation of a social web of connections that allow the rapid spread of information between people. Yet behind every “like” is a likable page, a page that your business must build and maintain. As Kerpen states “the two most important features to consider on Facebook are your fan page and the implementation of Facebook’s social plugins on your company’s website.” By diving deep into this social network and utilizing the tools that Facebook has created, it is possible to get your business in front of millions of potential buyers at little cost – all the while giving your customers, very literally, something to like about you.

2. Twitter

The social network that was once mocked for its shallow tweets (or people sharing “the minutiae of their lives” in Kerpen’s words) has become a key player in the online marketing presence of businesses. Lending itself well to tech support and complaint resolution, many companies are expected to have a Twitter profile and staff that helps users with problems they encounter. But Twitter’s usefulness doesn’t stop there. By searching for specific keywords, businesses are able to tap into conversations or rants and cleverly position their brand as a solution to the user’s problem at hand.

3. YouTube

Having a video presence in the online world is of great importance for the modern business. As Kerpen states “there is no better way to tell a story than through video.” By having a database of relevant videos for your brand, you will increase the number of links available (aiding your SEO), give your customers information in an easy to access medium, quickly respond to comments about your service or product and much more. But if creating professional YouTube videos seems like a daunting task, then take heart. Kerpen explains that “content is more important than production quality.” So the best way to succeed in on this platform is to take great content delivered in a straight-forward manner and, in the words of Nike, “just do it.”

4. Google+

Although Google joined the social networking group of “winners” relatively late, Google+ has become a platform with several unique benefits to business brands. Because Google integrates their services so closely together, having a Google+ account fits hand-in-hand with having a YouTube channel. New videos can quickly be linked to the newsfeed, while profile information is transferred between the two websites. Additionally, the Google+ Hangouts feature can be a useful tool for businesses seeking to offer small-group tech support, informational sessions, or even communicating with up to ten strategic collaborators.

5. Pinterest

When you find something of interest on the Internet, chances are you often want to share your great find with other people. Pinterest allows this through the “pinning” of images onto your “board.” You can harness this platform for your brand by creating interesting imagery that links back to your website or even a different social networking page. Although the typical demographic of Pinterest is women ages 25 to 34, Kerpen says that “[Pinterest] isn’t just for millions of women to pin designer shoes or plan fairytale weddings.” Pinterest can add yet another dimension to your social networking plan of attack, and should be included in your marketing plan.

These are only the first five social networks mentioned in the appendix, but I highly recommend reading the book as Kerpen also includes Instagram, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogs, and Flickr in his analysis.

Source: Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen.

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