Social media changes very quickly as a marketing channel, and marketers need to be aware of popular platforms and shifting strategies. It plays a huge role in business branding, growth and development. Facebook alone has (as of January 2017) over 1,870 million active users with an 18% market share, which is 7% more than WhatsApp. It’s a huge space in which you can reach your community.
Here are the top Social Media platforms for 2017:
Instagram remains popular, with 600 million active users in January 2017. For your marketing on Instagram to be effective, it requires high-quality imagery. This can be done through hiring a professional photographer and image stylist, or using a really good camera yourself. Adding a strategic bio link is important given that it is the only website link you can have on your profile. Mixing videos and images can help add diversity to your content, and adding in calls-to-action can drive your potential customers into buying from you or following your brand further.
Using influencers or partnering with other brands to share your message can help you tap into new communities and add endorsements to your product. As with Twitter, it can be important to take advantage of any hashtags that are trending, as this will help your timely posts be found by people searching through topics. Emojis can additionally help to add character to your brand and connections with your audience. If you have any promotional merchandise or promotional products, Instagram can be a great way of sharing images of these. Featuring them regularly can help develop a sense of brand identity.
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Following Instagram in popularity is Tumblr, which has 550 million active users. First launched in 2007, it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Typically businesses within the fashion industry, publishing/broadcast media, or large websites fare best on Tumblr.
While it is predominantly visual, Tumblr has more recently acted as a speakerbox for alternative views and opinions, with it’s extensive, highly-customisable blog offering becoming somewhat of an outlet and gathering place for frustrated groups, or those who often feel that their views are marginalised or wouldn’t be taken seriously in mainstream media.
Tumblr is home to a mixture of artwork, poetry, literature and political voicing, offering a diverse and engaging blogging solution.
The age-old favourite of Twitter comes in behind Tumblr, and has 317 million users. In 2015 it was found that 42% of Twitter’s users follow brands, making it an ideal marketing opportunity for businesses. One way of capturing people’s attention is by posting images with your post on Twitter. If you post from Instagram, these images will just show as links. It is better to post the picture direct to Twitter. This will ensure your tweet gets a good amount of space and attention on people’s news feeds. It’s also important to be strategic with your hashtags and follow relevant individuals and businesses. Additionally, it’s crucial to engage with users and respond to any questions or feedback.
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A growing Chinese social media application is WeChat, developed by the same company as China’s first Social Media platform,’QQ’. First released in 2011, by 2017 it has become one of the largest standalone messaging services globally. Reaching out to businesses and individuals in China can hold great value for a company looking to expand their outreach.
When looking to make an impact on WeChat, it’s important to be innovative and creative in your content but also invest in quality. Whether it’s videos or photos, the better you can make what you post, the more likely it’ll get shared. It’s also important you use the language that is native to those you’re looking to contact and offer plenty of incentives. Developing loyalty programs can help to convert followers into buyers, and ensure they continue to repeat custom over time, recommending friends and family too.
Along with these key platforms, there are many others to consider including Baidu Tieba, Snapchat, Skype, Sina Weibo, Viber, LINE, Pinterest, YY, LinkedIn, BBM, Telegram Messanger, Vkontakte and Kakaotalk. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that your audience is watching – closely. Make sure you plan carefully and only post your best content.