2014 proved to be quite the significant year within the social media marketing realm. With mobile usage on the rise, burgeoning mobile apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have become immensely popular among younger crowds. Facebook continues to reign supreme among all social media platforms, reaching 1.35 billion active users by the end of the calendar year.
Game of Thrones has captivated audiences of all kinds across the globe, both through the television show produced by HBO and the book series on which it is based, A Song of Ice and Fire. The rise and fall of houses in the series is reminiscent of that in the social media world. As in the thoroughly entertaining work of fiction, the giants of social media compete with one another for supremacy. The inforgraphic below prepared by Marketo likens six social media platforms to various characters from the series. They are:
- Myspace: Maester Aemon Targaryen
- Tumblr: Daenerys Targaryen
- Google+: Pereyr Baelish
- Twitter: House Stark
- Instagram: Margaery Tyrell
- Facebook: House Lannister
Facebook already reigns supreme within the social media world, and it seems that its presence on mobile devices is increasing at a rapid rate. At the moment there are over 1 billion monthly active users on Facebook mobile and that number will continue to skyrocket as digital users continue to leverage smartphones and tablets to access social media platforms. Facebook’s influence isn’t limited to its own app: both Instagram and Messenger, Facebook owned applications, each have over 200 million active users as well.
More of a pet peeve than anything else, I cringe whenever I see a store owner use valuable advertising space within stores to lazily display social media icons. I am a big proponent of brands advocating their social media presence, but merely displaying icons will not only confuse your audience, but prove to be as effective as yelling at customers.
(although yelling “Buy Now!” repeatedly could scare them into purchasing).
Take the following example I saw earlier today (no offense to the store owner of this business).
Can you spot the issue in the case above? People walking past the store are asked to follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram- that’s normal. However, how are they supposed to find the business in question? Merely displaying the icons without any sort of link or even a QR code means you are asking users to spend valuable time trying to find you on those platforms. If your business has a common name, or if your store is part of a national chain, it will become even harder for people to find your social media profiles. (more…)
Social media marketing is quickly becoming a popular tactic for ecommerce businesses to generate both brand awareness and revenue generation. According to a recent infographic, there are five main trends to look our for in the coming year:
- Brands will use more content produced by consumers for marketing campaigns. Brand advocates are being used more often by companies to promote their business and products in a positive light, relying on word of mouth marketing and peer recommendations to influence sales.
- Social media platforms will have an impact on traditional advertising. With the use of television-specific hashtags, brands are using cross-platform marketing and social ads to generate interest for television programs.
- Email marketing and social media will become more integrated. Already two key components of audience development, email and social media marketing are beginning to be blended together by ecommerce brands to push sales and expand total audience reach.
- Use of social media marketing will be further developed and advanced by ecommerce companies. With the use of mobile platforms, marketing professionals will figure out how to increase the amount of purchasing activity completed on smartphones and tablets to increase ROI.
- The amount of social media campaigns run by brands will significantly increase. Contests have become very popular on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, leading to many opportunities for brands to build audiences for remarketing purposes.
Social media marketing is largely seen as a tactic embraced by B2C businesses to connect with audiences across multiple platforms. Contests, community building exercises, and product promotional posts are the norm on Facebook and Instagram when it comes to marketing to end users in the B2C environment. This aspect of online marketing has proven to be very effective for ecommerce businesses in particular, with Pinterest being noted as a great source for generating referral traffic. However, social media marketing can also be beneficial for B2B businesses looking to increase brand awareness and generate viable leaders. In 2013, the top five preferred social media platforms among B2B companies were:
With over 2.7 Billion Internet users, the online environment is quickly becoming more and more expansive as the general public uses search engines, email platforms, and social media sites to interact with each other. Motion Design prepared an interactive video that exhibits interesting statistics and figures related to social media marketing within the United States, giving insight into the popularity of the following platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat. Mobile devices in particular are making it easier for users to interact with social media applications, which is user the major platforms are announce new milestones in monthly active users.
Which of the stats from the video surprised you the most? (more…)
In an official post on its Tumblr blog, Instagram announced that it has grown to over 200 million monthly active users. This represents a significant milestone for the social media photo sharing application, providing Facebook with another victory in the win column. Some other impressive statistics Instagram shared on the press section of its website illustrate the popularity of this social media platform:
- 65% of users are from outside the United States, giving Instagram a significant global presence.
- 20 Billion photos have been shared since Instagram launched back in 2010.
- There are over 1.6 Billion likes on a daily basis, which shows that users are highly engaged within the application.
- An average of 60 Million photos are posted on a daily basis.
Instagram made headlines throughout 2013 by introducing new features to compete with upstart social media platforms such as Vine and Snapchat. The response has been mixed: Instagram Video is a hugely popular feature, whereas Instagram Direct is seen as inferior to Snapchat’s private photo sharing capabilities. However, it’s clear that the burgeoning social media application is here to stay, especially as major brands begin to incorporate it within marketing activities alongside Facebook and Twitter. A couple of years ago, I recall being in a discussion with a colleague over the next social media icon to be featured alongside Facebook and Twitter on general advertisements, commercials, websites, and marketing materials. As we discussed the topic back and forth, we agreed that it would either be Google+ (because Google is just such a dominant entity) or Pinterest (pinning was the new fad back in 2012). Now, I can safely say that Instagram has easily surpassed those two platforms to cement its position as one of the three kings of social media marketing.
Are you an Instagram user? If so, are you actively using the application on a monthly basis?
Featured Image: CNet
Hashtags….brands either love them or hate them.
Hashtags become popular a long time ago when users began including them in every single Tweet on Twitter. Other social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ adopted the use of hashtags, following in the footsteps of the popular micro-blogging site. However, hashtags didn’t make an appearance on Facebook until 2013, and up until now, the response hasn’t been all that great.
In a recent report by Socialbakers, it was discovered that too many hashtags in a Facebook post can significantly decrease engagement rates. The table below illustrates what can happen to a brand’s Facebook social content if they choose to use too many hashtags in each post:
10 years can be quite the long time, especially within the social media environment. An infographic prepared by Endgadget shows some pertinent statistics regarding some of the major platforms and a timeline that shows how the value of social media platforms have grown since 2004. For example, the acquisitions below show a trend that exhibits the growing power of social media marketing platforms:
- 2005: News Corp. purchased Myspace for $580 Million.
- 2006: Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 Billion.
- 2012: Facebook purchased Instagram for $1.0 Billion.
- 2013: Yahoo! purchased Tumblr for $1.1 Billion.
- 2014: Facebook purchased WhatsApp for a staggering $19 Billion.