Within the social media world there are some established market leaders, notably Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, but are they under threat from some of the new kids on the block? Last year 93% of marketers claimed to be using social media as an integral part of their marketing mix, but we expect to see this grow in 2014 with an increased diversification of platforms used.
Some of the newer social networks are starting to really gain traction now, with Pinterest, Google+, Vine and Instagram increasing in popularity and use, so the savvy marketers will be looking to establish their brand profile on these new networks. Where the customers are is something that all marketers should be aware of, so these new networks, which are starting to carve out their niche in the market, will start to become more important when it comes to providing positive social signals for search rankings and reputation building.
The number of internet users with multiple social media accounts is starting to rise, alongside the percentage of social media traffic through mobile devices, so there is a real opportunity for businesses and marketers to get their brand in front of customers across the internet.
As the growth of the newer platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram continues, marketers will be keeping watch on whether there are significant demographic trends across the platforms, as it may well be that targeted advertising can be varied by platform if the audience is different across them all. It is already clear that Facebook and LinkedIn have different primary audiences or purposes and it is likely that Google+ will have a similar professional function to LinkedIn, whilst Instagram, Pinterest and Vine often provide a more light-hearted or content collation user experience.
What about paid social advertising?
As the popularity and usage of social media platforms grows, so it follows that there will be an accompanying increase in paid search across the channels. The newer social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest provide the opportunity for businesses and marketers to promote to potential new audiences, or worst case to increase the brand recognition to those who might see adverts across multiple platforms.
To make the most of your social media advertising spend you should always ensure that you’ve done your customer research and know where your target audience will be. With these new platforms it might be that you’re still learning, but by understanding what the users of each site want (for example, Instagram and Pinterest are clearly image-focused) paid social advertising campaigns can be produced to run on the platform which will be the best fit for their message.