Social networking is never going to go away. It’s starting to mutate and involve far too many interested parties to collapse. Not only do you have the big three or four at the top, there are niche sites that cater to a very specific market share. If you own a business or run a website, you absolutely need to know what social platforms you need to hit and why. It’s easy to go along and just start throwing your weight around on these pages, but it’s not going to do much for you if you’re not sure what demographic each one is pulling right now. Consider the following as a quick view on the networks you should be utilizing to your advantage today.
LinkedIn – Sometimes lost in the shuffle, this site gets joked about a bit, but if you want to seriously network in terms of your work, you need to be on this page. LinkedIn is for businesses, entrepreneurs and former colleagues to join in on all things marketing. This is for professionals and not a lot more, and the tone, updates, and people that are logged in will showcase that every time you visit. Connecting with a former boss, or current boss should be done here. Keep things professional here, and don’t post personal information or engage people in pop culture discussions, as it is not really meant for that.
Facebook – The highlights of recent research seems to point to Facebook as being number one in the 18 – 29 year old demographic for women. That’s right, a grand majority of women are using this site, and while men use it for a variety of reasons, it’s starting to take more shape with adults than any other demographic. This site is geared towards entertainment, and seems to be less attractive to the older crowd. Teenagers are starting to come off the site, and in some European countries the site doesn’t get much attention from tweens or teens. Reaching a large audience is going to be tough here, unless you use the ad networks at full throttle and narrow down demographic targeting to very specific interests.
Twitter – Unlike the gender split of Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have that. In fact, the users of this micro updating website has no trends in terms of similarities to other social media sites. However, the penetration rate is tough for businesses to gauge without outside metrics. Not only that, a lower number of rural areas utilize Twitter than any other social network, and sorting through the demographic shifts within the site is difficult due to the rate of updating that goes on. Since it’s a rapid fire, updated at 24 hours a day, in micro publishing, metrics require a bit of assistance or an outside software. As such, marketing within here is like catching lightning in a bottle, and when it works it is definitely worthwhile.
Pinterest – Visual design protocol matters greatly here, and Women seem to rule the site. Women are cited as 4:1 compared to men on the site. The site is very much for visual information protocol. Since the site is all about pictures and updates, you will find that it’s hard to market to people within this site as a business. You’ll need to define your business solution as something visual and hope to gain the interest of people at a very communal level. Unlike other sites, this social network is somewhat guarded at times and it’s easy to get pegged as a spammer here.
The aforementioned 4 top social media sites are just the beginning. Leveraging any sort of influence on the sites requires time and effort. Do not expect to land on there and get major influence. You’ll need to carve out a niche for your business or site, then build it out slowly.