With social media platforms booming, it seems every Tom, Dick and Harry is interested in being involved. The digital age is surging through everyday life and is taking no prisoners.
With the desire to stay connected seemingly evermore prominent in a day in the life of Mr. Average, savvy businesses know this is where their target audiences lie, in the realm of social media.
With Facebook having a colossally huge online population of 955 million and Twitter with 200 million, it would be a devastating travesty for any business to think it can survive without any form of social media engagement. The availability of such sites on mobile devices means that the power of personal link to the internet has been strengthened. Two billion people are connected to the internet with the option of being distracted by social media only a few clicks away. Social media appeals to human instinct and the need to interact with others. So why would businesses not use this to their advantage?
Still a little in the dark about all the fuss? Are you unsure about what exactly all these platforms are used for? If so, here’s a quick guide to social media and what each of the front-running sites is used for.
What is social media?
Let’s start with what social media is. Though there is no definitive answer to this, here is an overview of a definition and an explanation.
According to the dictionary: “Websites and applications used for social networking.” Not only the most understandable definition, but also the most concise and accurate.
A more in-depth explanation: Social media includes highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques on web and mobile-based technologies. These are used for social interaction amongst users to publish to one another by means of the internet.
The Top Dogs
With social media deemed one of the fastest and most powerful ways of spreading news in 2012, though the list of sites is endless, a few are dominating the web world and are now being used by businesses. Here are the top dogs to look out for.
The word on the tip of everyone’s tongue. This social networking site is the godfather of the social networking scene. Now heavily used by businesses by using specific public ‘pages’. These individual pages can be set up as a means of spreading news and engaging with audiences. Users then ‘like’ the page to receive news on their feeds and follow the individual, organisation, service or product.
Though the public page is similar to the personal page, it has some small differences. Public Profiles are integrated with Facebook’s advertising system, allowing owners to easily advertise to Facebook’s users, thus the uptake of the Page use by businesses. If you haven’t started engaging in this way, it’s highly recommended as Facebook only shows signs of growth.
The second word on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Twitter cleverly combines microblogging and social networking. With a maximum of 140 characters per ‘tweet’, content is kept to a minimum. Users choose to ‘follow’ one another. Once someone follows a profile, their tweets will appear on their personal feed.
The Twitter field is very level, allowing anyone to contact anyone making this quite a personal site. This ease of feeling at personal level with others marks the site as fantastic for businesses.
This blogging site is becoming the front runner in blogging technology due to allowing users to create attractive looking and editable blogs easily. A range of themes let users choose what their blog will look. For more advanced users, PHP and HTML codes in all themes can be edited for advanced customisation. Due to this, it is ideal for bloggers at all levels allowing complete control.
Blogging in general is a fantastic and easy way for businesses to communicate with their clients, as a platform to spread news, updates and any other information. If creating a WordPress website isn’t for you, try BlogSpot or Google+.
Considered the social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn is establishing itself as a go-to place for professional occupations. The site allows users to upload their CV, design their profile and add connections. Connections consist at varying degrees – direct connections, second degree connections (connection of a direct connection) and third-degree connections (connections of a second degree connection). For businesses, LinkedIn can be maximised for online marketing and promotional needs.
The Group function presents a great opportunity for businesses to grow their networks. By creating a group and sending out regular messages to group members a strong network can be built. Putting your company website on the group as well as any other social media will redirect users to these pages.
What you’ve learnt
Now that a basic understanding of the social media and the main platforms has been established the opportunity to venture out into this world presents itself. Don’t fall behind and find yourself alone in a world where being connected is key. If you need help managing or starting your social media, our web marketing team at MintTwist would be more than happy to help.