Social media remains to be one of the most effective tools used by various companies and organizations nowadays to gain considerable marketing success. There are a myriad of social networking sites from which to choose, ranging from the most widely used (Facebook, Twitter and You Tube) to the not-quite-as-prevalent but just as ubiquitous services like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit, to name a few. Choosing the right social networking medium for a specific business model is a very important decision for any company and its virtual assistants to make – and that’s where social media marketing success begins.
Below is a list of 5 of the top platforms (in no particular order) designed to bring a company closer to its target audience:
YouTube. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six years, you already know about YouTube, the web’s fastest growing and uber-popular video site where users can upload and share videos.
Pros: YouTube provides a venue for open business owner-customer interaction through the use of video. Brand names also appear frequently on the desired search pages (2nd to Facebook), and because of YouTube’s video ranking, links can be built easily.
Cons: Not many… however, YouTube’s servers can occasionally get a little sluggish due to the high number of viewers.
Downside: None. This is a great way to get your message across to the world.
Digg. You see it on a lot of websites these days. Digg is a social-news site where members can discover and share content.
Pros: The more people who “digg” stories that are posted about your company, the faster you will gain mass exposure and customer discovery of your products or services. That can also help you achieve consistent viral-traffic and eventually gain many visitors, which can lead to increased popularity on other people’s blogs and websites. Think about the last time you googled a hot topic and saw the same article re-posted on many different sites.
Cons: The customer interaction is not quite as tactful, but the intrinsic value of exposure that is possible through a Digg front page story can highlight other sites where communication is strong (like your blogs).
Tumblr. Tumblr is a social networking site that makes it extremely simple to share your ideas, as you can sign up and begin blogging in a matter of minutes. You can post pictures, audio, video, and links as well.
Pros: Good communication between a business owner and a customer is very easy because of the ability to ask and answer questions. It’s also a useful tool for branding visibility.
Cons: The site can be a little buggy, and is sometimes non-responsive.
Twitter. Twitter is a microblogging site that enables users to send “tweets” of 140 characters or less.
Pros: Monitoring and management of conversations between a company and customers are possible. Brand exposure is maximized through constant re-tweets and interactions.
Cons: Due to spam messages, its ability to send direct traffic is reduced, but it is still an exceptional tool in assisting traffic generation from other sites. The links are no-follow, but the social component is real and has become more prominent over time.
Facebook. Tagged as the best social network, Facebook lets users add friends, send messages, and build their own profiles.
Best points: What makes Facebook so popular out of all of the social networks is its centrally open interaction among users. In addition to that, exposure of brand names is maximized in relevant pages.
Minor problem: It does not consistently drive traffic to every message or post.
Downside: Links are no-follow
These are just 5 of the more popular social networks that are available. There are still runners-up in the social media game used by companies and their social networking virtual assistants. Now, create a social media plan for your business and get ahead of your competition by taking advantage of the benefits of social networks.