The Quick Guide To Social Media Networking Websites That Will Help You Raise Brand Awareness

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Social media networking has become an integral part of many business’s marketing strategies.

 

Although many social networking sites are primarily aimed at end consumers, most offer an opportunity for businesses to effectively promote their products and services too.

 

Social Media Networking

 

In the UK, there are now hundreds of social networking sites – some operating as blog platforms within niche sectors.  Below is an overview of just a few of the most popular social media networking sites that could help you raise awareness of your brand and products or services as part of your digital marketing plan.

It's worth remembering that only a few of the social networks reviewed might be suitable for your business, so don't feel you need to be active on all of the platforms all of the time.  It's about finding what works best for your business and marketing needs.

This article just focuses on selected platforms, background information and set-up of accounts.  Advertising your brand on social media is covered separately.

 


 

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1.  Facebook

www.facebook.com

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites today with over 40 million users in the UK and more than 380 million users across Europe.

 

Facebook

 

To use Facebook, users must register and set up a personal account which they can tailor with profile information which the system publishes for other users to see.

Users build their network by becoming “Friends” with people they know and categorising them as “Work Colleagues” or “Close Friends”.

Facebook allows users to post updates and images, exchange messages, join interest groups and utilise an array of apps to play games, send e-cards, participate in quizzes and much more.

As part of a marketing plan, businesses can set up a company page on Facebook which allows you to build a network of followers and post regular communications.  The page can be branded and tailored with a bespoke cover image that helps to promote your products and services.

On a daily basis, you can post status updates on your company page timeline including product information, promotions and other interesting information that helps you to build a relationship with your customers.

Individuals can become “Fans” by “Liking” your page, which means they will automatically receive your news updates in their news feed.  Encouraging your Fans to “Like” and “Share” your updates spreads awareness of your page amongst other Facebook users and gradually builds your community of followers.

 

 

2.  Twitter

www.twitter.com

Twitter is another popular social networking site today that is also described as a “microblogging” service.  The site, which is currently used by around 10 million users in the UK and 200 million users worldwide, can send and receive messages of up to 140 characters that are known as “Tweets”.

 

Twitter

 

To use Twitter and publish Tweets, individuals must register to set up an account, which can be tailored with a personal photo, a background and a short biography.

To build networks and communicate with other Twitter users, account holders “Follow” each other.  Users communicate by posting Tweets which can include images, videos and links to other website pages.

To talk directly to another Twitter user through a Tweet, the “@” symbol is used followed by their username.

To categorise Tweets and be part of a topical conversation, the “#” symbol is used before a keyword which then ensures it can found by other users searching for relevant content.

To benefit their marketing activity, businesses are able to set up a branded Twitter page and publish Tweets as often as required.  The page can be tailored with a branded background image and populated with relevant images and video clips through the posting of Tweets.

 

 

3.  LinkedIn

www.linkedin.com

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for business professionals and enables users to keep in touch with business colleagues past and present.

 

LinkedIn

 

With over 675 million monthly users and 30 million businesses worldwide, users register to set up an account which then operates as an online CV.

A user’s profile can include information on skills, experience and employment history, logging details of your previous companies which automatically identifies people that you may know.  The Jobs section allows members to find new employment opportunities via search, suggested jobs and available jobs across the individual's network.

LinkedIn allows users to “Connect” with other contacts, creating a professional social network.  When an amendment is made to your profile, an update notification is automatically published for all of your connections to see.  Members are encouraged to recommend and endorse one another to help build personal profiles helping them to win new job opportunities or future business.

Another key feature of the network is the Groups section.  Members can join up to 50 interest Groups in which you can interact with other Group members, create posts plus keep up to date with business news and comment in your chosen industry sector.

Businesses can utilise LinkedIn as part of their marketing activity by setting up a company page.  The page can include a business overview and a comprehensive list of products and services that you offer.

Through a company page, news updates and information can be published as often as required, which can incorporate photographs and links to other websites.

LinkedIn members can become “Followers” of companies that they are interested in and keep up to date with their activity through news feeds and status updates.

Followers can also endorse a company’s products and services, offering a genuine recommendation for potential future clients.

 

 

4.  Pinterest

www.pinterest.co.uk

Pinterest is a fast-growing photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections for events, interests and hobbies.

 

Pinterest

 

Attracting over 300 million worldwide users each month, "Pinners" create mood boards to which they can “Pin” images of things they like such as clothing, home furnishings, art or travel destinations.

Users can “Follow” each other and share image collections with other subscribers that have the same interests.

Businesses can gain brand exposure and promote their product range by setting up and managing a company page on Pinterest.  After setting up an account, mood boards can be created using themes and categories that are appropriate to your business and your market sector.  Images of your products can be uploaded into your mood boards from your computer or from your website with a website link directing viewers to the relevant web page.

Other Pinterest users can “Follow” your company page or your individual mood boards and “Repin” the images of products they like onto their own boards.  This helps to spread brand awareness amongst friends of your followers and gradually improve your overall online profile.

 

 

5.  YouTube

www.youtube.com

YouTube is the world's most popular video-sharing website that allows users to upload, view and share videos.  Predominately populated with content from individuals, a number of the major media corporations now make some of their material freely available via the website.

 

YouTube

 

Launched in 2005, YouTube allows registered individuals to upload videos that are up to 15 minutes long, in a wide range of compatible formats.  Videos are categorised into topics enabling users to easily search for required content. Unregistered users can view video content but cannot upload a video onto the website.

After watching a video, users can give it a rating (thumbs up or thumbs down), share it via social networking sites and subscribe to the channel to keep up to date with future new content.

YouTube keeps a track of the number of views each video has attracted and highlights the most popular video in each category on its home page.

Many companies today use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy, publishing video content to promote their products and services.  Companies can quickly and easily set up a YouTube channel for their business which can be tailored with a logo and a brief company overview.

Uploaded videos can be promoted through social networking sites and other online tools, to drive traffic to your channel.  YouTube visitors can become subscribers of your channel and follow your future YouTube activity.

 

 

7.  Instagram

www.instagram.com

Instagram is a photo-sharing and social networking site that makes it easy for users to share photos with friends and family.  Through the use of filters, photos can be transformed into works of art before sharing them to the user's social network.

 

Instagram

 

With over 1 billion active users, Instagram has grown rapidly since its launch in October 2010 and is highly rated amongst subscribers.

Similarly to other social networking sites, users can create "Stories", follow each other and connect with friends, family and work colleagues to keep in touch.  Images can be accompanied with comments to describe their post with a heavy use of hashtags.

Instagram can be used as a powerful marketing tool for businesses as part of their overall tactical plan.  A business account can be set up and populated with photos to promote products and services.

Other Instagram users can become “Followers” of your page and “Like” and comment on your photos which helps spread awareness of your brand.

 

 

8. Snapchat

www.snapchat.com

Billed as "the quickest way to share a moment", Snapchat is used by over 350 million active users worldwide with 90% between the ages of 13 to 24 years old.

 

Snapchat

 

Snapchat is a mobile-only platform and users send temporary, short, images and video which typically become unavailable once opened.

Snaps, Stories and instant messaging make up the core functions of the app.  Businesses can engage with a young audience effectively by posting 3-5 times per day.

Gaining new followers can be done by using your other social media networks to promote your account and via email or SMS marketing messages.

It is important to remember the demographic of your audience and promote your products or services appropriately for the Millennials and Generation Z users.

 

 

9.  Twitch

www.twitch.tv

The live streaming network is the home of video game gameplay allowing users to watch and broadcast content.

 

Twitch

 

The Twitch audience is comprised mainly of teen gamers (approx. 80% male), but an older community is also engaged with music, cooking and Q&A sessions.  Typically, there are over 15 million active daily users.

The platform is integrated with Amazon Prime and businesses can market to their targeted audience to raise brand awareness via branded streams and influencer endorsements.

Warning - the platform is expansive and also highly addictive...

 

 

10.  Behance

www.behance.net

Behance is a social networking site specifically aimed at creative people, enabling them to showcase their work to colleagues and clients.

 

Behance

 

Ideal for graphic designers, photographers and artists, Behance enables users to set up a tailored profile and display their projects whether they are work-in-progress or complete.

Once you have loaded your project onto the system, a robust analysis tool clearly shows you how many visitors have viewed your work, breaking the analysis down by time period.  Other Behance users can tag your projects showing their appreciation and can also leave comments.

The site also features a JobList for those creatives wanting to search for new roles posted by design agencies.

In addition to displaying creative work on profile page portfolios, Behance also enables artists and agencies to sell their work online.

 

 

 

At myCloud Media, we are experienced in setting up and managing social media networking accounts on behalf of our clients. For more information on social network marketing services, please get in touch by calling 0800 849 0888.

 

We’d love to hear from you regarding your experiences of social media networking sites for business marketing.

 

 

Article by: Tim Bennett - myCloud Media

Further reading and sources:

www.omnicoreagency.com

www.unsplash.com

 

 

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