It might feel like there are far too many social media platforms in the virtual world. Here's a list of the top websites and why they might benefit you.
Facebook is approaching 1 billion users (although that number was recently challenged due to the number of fake and/or inactive profiles). Those with a Facebook profile generally leave their browser open for many hours a day, but most are there to connect with friends and socialize. With so many users, this platform can be helpful in both B2B and B2C marketing. Make sure you understand the difference between profiles, fan pages and groups.
Twitter receives approximately 144 million unique visitors each month. Reportedly, Twitter users are multi-taskers who are easily distracted. This platform is more open, which can be overwhelming but useful when searching keywords. Hashtags can help you be part of a larger conversation about topics.
Google+ will reportedly have 400 million users by the end of 2012. Sixty percent of their users are web developers or software engineers. Seventy-five to 85% are men, and the most popular age range is 25-34. Google+ is definitely rising in the ranks and may certainly take over the top spot someday if Facebook continues to frustrate users with format changes.
LinkedIn has over 100 million users, the majority of which are there for professional reasons. Over one million are high-ranking executives with decision making authority. LinkedIn is best used for B2B marketing.
Reddit receives millions of visitors. It is a social site that allows users to submit links, and then allows other users to vote those submissions "up" or "down," so that popular posts are more easily found. The site can be useful to help create viral ad campaigns and cause awareness.
StumbleUpon calls itself a "discovery engine" that finds web content for its users. It recently surpassed Facebook as the highest traffic referrer of any website. To catch the StumbleUpon user's attention, use flashy photos and catchy headlines.
YouTube reportedly has a brand value of $18.099 billion. As the internet replaces the yellow pages, television and radio in the advertising department, YouTube can provide you with a format for releasing visual content.
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. It relies heavily upon photos and videos, which are the most popular posts for business fan pages on Facebook. Women between the ages of 25 and 44 make up 59% of its membership.
Tumblr is a very simple blog site and, like Pinterest, is photo/image-based (well over half of the content uploaded are images). Tumblr offers seven options for posting content: Text, Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio, Video. Users can then "like" your post or "re-blog" it. Tumblr had over 15 billion page views in January 2012.
The top two social networking sites remain Facebook and Twitter. However, there are many other sites out there. Ask your customers where they spend their time and consider spending some time there yourself. Which sites do you use to promote your business?