WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNEL?
Social media channels are virtual communities or networks that serve as a platform / space for online interaction to create and share ideas. Social media channels allow measurements for searching, tracking, analyzing products or contents or discussions about your brand. Different social media focus on different niche and/or functions.
Strategic social media channels effectively result to direct engagement with customers. The introduction of social media channels change the way communities, institutions, and people communicate because of the capability of reaching all types of audience around the globe at any time. Social interaction and visual stimulation result to a return in profit. Traditional marketing where you pitch for sale seldom works online. But giving the audience valuable information / product demonstration for promotion and sharing adds conversation within your channel.
BENEFIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
This is important to access wide audiences to promote your products / services, create engagement, and drive revenue.
Before signing up to all these channels, it is important to determine which ones are best for showcasing your business. Having a channel involves constant engagement and results do not happen over night. It is a steady process that comes in time to reach wider audience effectively to distribute your products to the right audience effectively.
Pinterest is now more popular than Twitter among Internet users but there is only 1 man for every 4 women who uses Pinterest. This means that choosing Pinterest is valuable for businesses that specifically target the female audience (Brynley-Jones, 2014).
Facebook and Instagram are the most used online channels where the users are more likely to participate in liking, commenting, browsing, etc. Six out of 10 users sign in on Facebook everyday, whereas 5 out of 10 users sign on Twitter daily (Brynley-Jones, 2014). The value in this is higher traffic and frequency that is great for your business to showcase your online page. However, this also means that the more popular your page becomes, the higher frequency visits you get from your customers, which means your page needs to be well-maintained and updated a couple of times a week.
De-bunking the social media channels myths!
- “Only young people are online. The older clients stick with the traditional marketing method.” Wrong! 45-54 year olds is the fastest growing age bracket on Facebook and Google+. 55-64 year olds are the increasing on Twitter (Cooper, 2013).
- “No one’s going to watch my videos online!” US adults are watching the Youtube channel more than any cable network (Cooper, 2013).
- “You’re only active on LinkedIn if you are looking for a job.” Two new members join LinkedIn every second (Cooper, 2013).
- “Only new and hip businesses utilize social media well”. 93% use social media channels to promote their business. Only 7% claimed they do not use social media for their business (Cooper, 2013).
Having a twitter feed or a Facebook page that is out to date for a couple of months is more damaging to the brand than not having any online presence at all. Therefore, it is vital to choose the right channel(s) for your brand’s needs that will have a consistent maintenance support. Just remember that signing up and making a profile for a social media channel is JUST THE BEGINNING. It takes time and consistency but once done right, sharing relevant content and engaging with the customers will become a natural flow.
All the best!
Brynley-Jones, L. (Jan 3, 2014). 10 Useful Social Networking Statistics for 2014. In Our
Social Times. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from http://oursocialtimes.com/10-useful-
Cooper, B. (Nov 18, 2013). 10 Surprising Social Media Statistics that will make you
Rethink your Social Strategy. In Study Guides and Strategies. Retrieved March 26,
2014, from http://www.fastcompany.com/3021749/work-smart/10-surprising-social-