Are All Social Networks Created Equal? Tips on Where to Focus Your Energy

As a marketer, it's your job to keep up with new technologies that can help drive your business forward. With social media, it can be a challenge to keep up with the changing landscape that includes Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, and more every day!

And what's worse, most social media teams are still very small. Even some of the largest brands in the world have surprisingly small and very busy teams. From our experience, the most successful brands focus on one or two networks that best suit their audience. Let's look at the 2012 Edison Survey Data and summary findings from agency Bowden 2 Bowden to help narrow your focus to nail both the inbound and outbound requirements for social media marketing.

1. Facebook. If your primary goal is to build brand advocacy, particulary among women over the age of 35, Facebook is the place to be. 79 percent of respondents to the survey reported that they used Facebook more than any other social media site to connect to brands and products. Remember that more than half of Facebook users log in from their mobile device--particulary Latinos and African-Americans.

2. Twitter. Twitter is an excellent way to build customer loyalty among young, urban adults who expect real-time interactions with your brand. The definition of customer serice is changing and Twitter is quickly becoming a preferred channel for sercice through social media. While 62% of Twitter users are female, the audience is fairly diverse and increasingly popular in the Middle East and Asia.

3. Google+. According to the survey, Google+ is largely popular among young, gadget-loving men between the ages of 18 and 34. If you are planning to introduce a new product that appeals to younger, more technical men, Google+ is a great way to build a highly connected group of early adopters that can help spread the world about your new product or service.

4. Pinterest. Unlike Google+, Pinterest is the place for college-educated and affluent women up to the age of 50. If your goal is reach highly visual women and drive referral traffic to your site, Pinterest is likely a good place for you to investigate spending time and resources. 

5. Instagram. While the most active Facebook users are aging, 28% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29. Given the audience and nature of the service, Instagram is an excellent channel for engaging younger users with your brand, particularly through photo contests and other user-generated content promotions.

6. LinkedIn. People use LinkedIn to make connections and learn about their industry, with an overwhelming number of users over the age of 35 and an even ratio of men and women. This provides a great platform for B2B marketers who are interested in creating new business opportunities, referrals, and leads. 

The bottom line? Don't get overwhelmed by all the networks and new features that are available to you! Start small with one or two networks and master those before moving on to others.

Looking for more social media tips and ideas? Check out our Social Media Quick Plays.

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