There’s a new term in marketing—Conversational Commerce. The term is an outgrowth of the rise in popularity of social media. Consumers are learning about brands and products on Pinterest and Instagram, and being sold on Facebook and Twitter. This is social media for business. And while it’s free to build a social page, it can take years of sharing updates to build an audience, even when paying to play.
The digital world is getting crowded, and to be seen and heard among a cluttered landscape of messages, photos, and videos you have to disregard the old way of thinking that social media is free and easy to use, to the new reality that you need to pay to promote your posts and updates and increase quality to maintain loyalty.
To get started (or back on track) choose the social sites that give you the best opportunity for an investment return. We’ve listed our top recommendations by Monthly Active Users (source).
Facebook (1.87B). The Facebook platform is forgiving. Editors have plenty of opportunities to edit, delete, hide and rank posts, and specific audiences can be targeted. All businesses, large and small, want a Facebook page in order to interact with their consumers on the go — and because Americans of all demographics are spending more time on Facebook than anywhere else. However, Facebook Messenger (1B) can be considered intrusive.
Pinterest (150M) and Instagram (600M) and Tumblr (550M). If your product or service has a high visual component, these are your go-to channels. Pinterest will have a slightly more mature audience while Instagram appeals to millennials and young people.
Twitter (317M). Unless you are a politician, best-selling author, fan-favorite actor or rock band, Twitter may not provide the payback you want for the time it takes to write one 140-character tweet. Twitter’s growth has stagnated for business users, but it still has over 300 million followers.
LinkedIn (106M). Once the social page for job seekers, Linked-In commercial marketers are there now to build a brand, advertise, publish content, or sponsor someone else’s content.
WhatsApp (1M) is sometimes used by business for customer communication and support, and Snapchat (300M) has been used by business for the occasional scavenger hunt, usually centered on fast food.
YouTube and Google are like salt and pepper. Staples on the dinner table. For video publishing, a YouTube page is a must. The benefit of using Google+ is simple truth: Google search likes it when you play in their sandbox and having a Google+ page helps your business website rank higher in search results.
One of the greatest misunderstandings about social media marketing is that it’s important for businesses to BE on social media. Not true. It’s important for businesses to be ACTIVE on social media. Being active means that you are willing to allocate the people, time, and budget that’s required to manage the “art” of social media interaction and monetize and track its results. Or hire someone who can.