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As far as social media networks are concerned, the future is now. From the days of
MySpace and Orkut, we have moved on to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest
and many more that are sprouting (and thriving). The ethos and nature of social
media networking sites has transformed over the years and will continue to do so at
the rapid pace that they are used to. For digital marketers, this is as much a challenge
as is an opportunity.
Understanding the differences in the popularity of social networks and analysing the
reasons for their success or failure will provide valuable insights while designing a
marketing strategy. Ultimately it will benefit the business to keep a close track of
what value a platform brings to its table and how this can be converted into a great
The world's biggest social networks today are
1. Facebook (1.9 billion users)
2. WhatsApp (more than a billion users)
3. Facebook Messenger (more than a billion users)
4. YouTube (1 billion)
5. WeChat (889 million users)
Facebook Marketing dominates
As is mighty evident from the above list, Facebook is the God among social network
sites. Not only do its users outnumber all the other social networks by many million
users but also the top three social networks in the list belong to Facebook! Instagram,
again a Facebook property, is also in the top 10 with 700 million users.
Facebook's growth is extraordinary and with this kind of momentum, it is unlikely
that this juggernaut will ever stop rolling. With such a large user base, ignoring
Facebook is not an option. Marketing on Facebook today demands a deep knowledge
about your audience, precise location targeting and an insight into demographics and
Facebook pages, targeted advertising and customisation of profile pages are just
some of the ways companies can up their marketing game on Facebook. As a social
media marketing platform, Facebook is not only powerful but also greatly flexible
with a significant number of options to suit every budget and requirement.
Marketing on other social media platforms
Facebook is certainly the biggest but businesses would be foolish to stick to a single
platform in today's times. Social media marketing is a game changer today and
companies that understand how to use them for custom targeting are the ones that
are benefitting most from this technological innovation.
For instance, if you are marketing for a B2B company, LinkedIn is a great media
network to focus on. Since LinkedIn prioritizes business relationships over
everything else, it can help you target niche industries and connect with professionals
with greater ease. With a platform like Twitter, it is easier to gain more followers but
tweeting with the right hashtags. And if your tweet indeed goes viral, then the
momentum that it builds for your brand can be quite substantial.
Another social media platform that businesses ought to take seriously is Instagram,
and to a certain extent Pinterest. Both are image-sharing platforms and good photos
are great influencers as we all know. They have the potential to increase your brand
value and are the perfect tools for promoting brand-related events or contests.
Clearly, an understanding of which social media platforms are winning the race and
why they are doing so goes a long way in structuring a digital marketing strategy that
is in sync with the times.