In the last ten years, social media platforms have seen an exponential growth. This is partly due to the increase in popularity of smart devices. People carry their smartphones and tablets everywhere, and can easily access their social media accounts on the go and from anywhere. In other words, more and more people are logging into social media sites constantly. There are now more than 2 billion active social media users worldwide, and we see a sharp growth of 25% to 30% each year.
Businesses haven’t failed to notice the roaring expansion of social media. 9 out of 10 U.S. companies are now active on social networks. Business that are on social media are also reporting increased exposure and better engagement, and more than half say their social media efforts are boosting sales and increasing revenue.
So as a business owner or marketer, what are the top social media sites that you need to get on and start using. Here is a list of the top five social media sites of the future according to the world economic forum:
The largest social media site, with well over a billion users, it is still the top runner when it comes to social media. While it remains a popular application to update friends on your activities, the network has also become a significant news source. No doubt that business can benefit from having a strong presence, the true value comes in understanding what people are talking about and sharing with their networks.
A big name in photo edits and sharing, Instagram allows users to take photos and alter them using numerous pre-installed filters before sharing them online. A rapidly-growing platform with an estimated 500 million active users. As the focus is on images, it’s especially useful if you are reaching a younger audience who responds to photos, graphics, memes, and short videos. If you want to succeed with Instagram, it’s important that you have a good eye for detail and have at least basic photography skills.
Pinterest has over 60 million active users and is a very powerful image-based social media website. The main competitor is Instagram, Pinterest is a photo collection and sharing network which allows users to upload their own photos or “pin” others into various collections or “boards’ on the network. The majority of Pinterest users are female, which is important to keep in mind for marketing purposes.
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is THE premier B2B social networking site. LinkedIn is a social network aimed at professionals and businesses, and in addition to updates allows users to create content such as articles. In addition to being able to reach out to others in your industry, you can purchase paid posts and participate in groups.
Twitter has some unique advantages, such as the ability to connect with influencers and to build a following fairly quickly. With Twitter, you can share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls and more. Unlike Facebook, which uses a complex algorithm to show users content, Twitter updates chronologically. This is another site that everyone in digital media should be using.
It is a juggling act maintaining a successful business while learning about all the necessary marketing updates, trends and tricks.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the most recent and popular tools, strategies and content that might help with your online marketing efforts.
Video and Broadcasting
This is one of the most important and current tools for your business: video or video broadcasts.
Youtube is definitely the most important video tool and you MUST learn it and use it as well as optimize it in order to be found on search results. Since it’s a Google product, you have double the opportunity to be picked up by search engines.
While YouTube is the ruler of video, Periscope and Meerkat are a close second and have become some of the most useful apps for quick updates. Not only convenient for on-the-go business owner, but also connected and streamlined with Twitter and Youtube!
They allow you to live broadcast updates, usually announced via Twitter or through the app infrastructure.
The Power of Personality and Emotion
It’s important to keep in mind that most of your viewers, no matter their demographic makeup, tend to interact with content that speaks to them on an emotional level as well as content that conveys an opinion or personality.
Therefore it’s important to generate creative, emotive and personal updates throughout your social networks and blog/video updates:
• Quotes that relate to your industry
• Inspirational, how-to and quick guides with images
• Polls and contests that can be posted throughout your social networks
• Asking for feedback on products and services
• Featuring employees and other staff
Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags
What are hashtags, exactly? This is a question many of my clients have asked me before. For practical purposes, I’ll go over a quick list of what I consider hashtags to be in the Online Marketing Sphere:
– Searchable keywords
– Trend representations
– Mood manifestations
– Current events and news updates.
They can be used on basically all social networks with the following format: keyword +hashtag. You want your keyword to represent the subject you’re talking about.
While many make valuable connections by using 10+ hashtags, I highly recommend using only
3-5 max. Why? I think it feels a little spammy otherwise.
Tune into Live Events
This goes hand-in-hand with using hashtags.
Twitter and Facebook are great platforms to use when commenting on live or current events. Are you attending an industry conference? Why not research the event page for a hashtag of think of a relevant one like #DenverPharmaConf2015 or #AustingComicCon2015 (capitalizing isn’t necessary, but I always recommend it).
Most sponsors or event organizations will include a hashtag on their promotional materials.
Want to take it one step forward? Take photos of the conference along with a little opinion or blurb about key points or favorite subjects along with the hashtag.
Leveraging the Power of Relevant Networks
Many businesses are quick to adopt the Social Media basics. Not knowing much about them, their real purpose and whether or not they’re relevant to their industry.
While most eCommerce businesses can greatly benefit from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, they might not necessarily find it profitable to invest much time and energy on LinkedIn. Same goes with a law firm, that might actually greatly engage on platforms like LinkedIn provide valuable content updates about the latest employee insurance changes.
Consulting with a Online Marketing expert might help making this decision easier as well as helping small business owners create a laser-focused content strategy incorporating the most essential and profitable networks.
It’s important for your business to have a personality ‘behind curtains’ in order to relate to potential clients or customers. By using the most relevant and up-to date tools as well as creating engaging and targeted content, you can reach many more potential leads and continue building your online engagement.
We generally here stories about technology start-ups and innovative new ventures coming from the USA or Canada. Around the world people look for inspiration from companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Groupon. There is a notion that the western countries are the only breeding ground for successful start-ups, but wait till you look down south. According to recent research, Australia has a lot to offer when it comes to introducing innovative start-ups and funding technology ventures.
Here are the top 10 Aussie start-ups to watch for:
99design: Officially launched in the year 2007, 99design is a spin-off from the popular Melbourne based website SitePoint. It is an online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design. In the year 2011, the founders managed to raise investment in the form of $35 million in venture capital funding from Accel Partners. By-far the most talked about start-up in Australia.
Bigcommerce: Founded in 2009, it is an e-commerce platform for growing businesses that helps them easily launch professional online stores. With USD $75m behind it, from former top AOL execs Steve Case and Ted Leonsis, and a client list of over 50,000 online stores in 65 countries, this Australian start-up is soon headed to be the next major tech IPO.
Atlassian: A Sydney-based enterprise software company that develop customized products for software developers and project managers. Atlassian currently serves over 25,000 customers globally, and its clients include Cisco, Twitter, Infor, Audi, and NASA. As of August 2013, the company has 600+ employees with Facebook vice-president Jay Parikh and former Symantec chief executive Enrique Salem on its board of directors.
Pepperstone: It is the second most famous Australian FinTech startup after OzForex. It is more like an online retail foreign exchange broker specializing in foreign exchange trading. With the company headquartered in Melbourne, it is ranked one of the top 10 forex brokers globally, based on notional volume traded per month. As per recent reports, Pepperstone is soon headed for an IPO.
Nimble: It offers consumer-friendly short-term borrowing options to small businesses in Australia. They offer online loans service which offers quick loans of up to $1,200 in a matter of few minutes. With a fast application process and the latest smart technology Nimble has already written 418,000 loans. The Nimble software not only checks traditional credit risk data sources for its risk assessments, it also scours the web to cross-check with other data sources before approving a loan.
Shoes of Prey: Started in 2009 by Michael Fox, Jodie Fox and Michael Knapp, Shoes of Prey is a global, multi-channel retail brand that enables shoppers to design their own shoes online. Their objective is to change the way women wear shoes. Using the Shoes of Prey 3D DESIGNER customers choose the shape, colour and height of their shoes. All the shoe designs are handmade within five weeks and delivered free worldwide via DHL.
OneShift: An online recruitment matchmaking service that directly matches job seekers with employers for one-off shifts, casual, part time and permanent work. Founded by Gen George on a simple wordpress platform in June 2012, OneShift recently secured a $5 million investment from recruitment company Programmed.
Pocketbook: Founded by Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan in 2012, Pocketbook is an online resource to help people manage their personal spending without any efforts. The application helps you aggregate all your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and bills. Pocketbook is available on the web, iOS and Android. The tool offers a single consolidated snapshot of your spending and automatically syncs all of your bank transactions into a single easy-to-read page.
Kinderloop: Founded by two busy parents, Dan Day and Dan Walker. They didn’t like the fact that that they were missing out parts of their children’s lives while they were at preschool. Kinderloop is more of online tool that connects preschools with parents. Their mission is to make it easy and fun for preschools and care providers to capture special moments in their care and have an informed and engaged community of parents, all centered around kids.
Vinomofo: Australia’s largest wine retailer, Vinomofo is ranked 13th in Deloitte’s Fast 500 Asia Pacific listing of companies in 2013. After selling the business to The Catch Group in 2012, the founders bought back the company in June and have since have seen a business growth 30% month-on-month.
Talking about Ping.fm – it is a free social networking and micro-blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously.
Ping.fm was created with the intent of making it as easy as possible to post updates to multiple social networking sites simultaneously. The idea came about when creators were updating status messages with micro-blogging sites Twitter and Tumblr. The idea of posting exactly the same information in two places seemed a bit tedious, so Ping.fm was born.
Making an update on Ping.fm pushes the update to a number of different social websites at once. This allows individuals using multiple social networks to update their status only once, without having to update it in all their social media individually. Ping.fm groups services into three categories – status updates, blogs, and micro-blogs – and updates can be sent to each group separately.