Know the Current Big Social Channels

Social networks Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat

It’s always nice to know the rules to any game you’re playing. When I played basketball and we went on the road, the refs would tell us anything out of the ordinary in the gym prior to tipoff. Some gyms had strange out of bounds lines and others had seating about two feet from the edge of the court. “Watch out for the fans” was always a good one to hear. The same goes for digital marketing, you need to know your audience and where they gather:

The Current Big Social Channels:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Snapchat
  4. Twitter
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pinterest
  7. Musical.ly (this one is particularly interesting)

I refer to these apps and websites as social channels because these are the places that people seem to congregate and engage (YouTube is not on the list but it is one of those social channels as well). Based on the list above, here is what I learned so far about these various social channels:

Facebook

Social network Facebook logo

“This is a big one” (Garth from Anchorman was one of my favorite characters):

The average amount of time spent on Facebook is 20+ minutes per day. Facebook is the largest social network to date and a lot of your friends and family members (including you?) are using it. Any strategy with digital marketing needs to involve Facebook.

Instagram

Social network Instagram logo

Instagram grew from 400 million active monthly users in September 2015 to 500 million active monthly users in June 2016 (wow). There are about 95 million photos / videos shared on Instagram per day. Even though daily usage is less than Snapchat, it’s a different type of social channel. 10 posts per day on Instagram might get you blocked on someone’s feed. Instagram should definitely be in your digital marketing tool box. Instagram, like each tool, should be approached differently.

Snapchat

Social network messaging app Snapchat

Snapchat just surpassed Twitter for daily usage. One insane stat for Snapchat is that about 759 million photos are shared per day (this is from February 2016 so it’s probably higher now). There is so much engagement on this platform it’s mind blowing.

Snapchat really surprised me. I thought when I started using it that I would hate it. My wife and friends kept bugging me to try Snapchat. When I did use Snapchat, I loved it. I am very active on Snapchat and use it almost as much as text messaging. I also follow several different brands to get ideas on promotion (Charity Water and Taco Bell are two examples). Start using Snapchat! It is such an untapped social channel for businesses.

Twitter

Social network Twitter logo

Twitter moves fast. News can get on Twitter before it gets picked up by the big networks. Most of your favorite brands, musical artists and actors are also on Twitter. I really believe Twitter can help a digital marketing strategy. Twitter is a great platform for quickly and effectively sharing information at scale. If you share something of value, it could go viral relatively quickly, if the right people see it.

Linkedin

Social network LinkedIn logo

Microsoft just bought LinkedIn for 26 billion dollars and this should cause all of us to take notice. I know some people are very heavy into LinkedIn. The 26 billion price tag probably means Microsoft has great things planned for the platform. It seems you should have a LinkedIn presence with any digital marketing plan.

Pinterest

Social network Pinterest logo

From the brief time I have spent on there, and from what my wife has told me (she loves it for inspiration on how to spend money), it seems to be for sharing with others what photos around the internet inspire you, make you laugh, cry etc… There are definite business use cases (interior design, art, photography business, restaurant with food pictures etc…) but I am not familiar enough with the platform to know the ins and outs of it.

Musical.ly

Social network Musical.ly logo

And then there was Musical.ly. This could be the next Snapchat. The company itself refers to Musical.ly as a “video social network”. You can lip sync to popular songs, sing your own songs, dance to songs, post comedy videos and do other things I probably have not seen yet.

I have never posted something to Musical.ly but it is in my plan for the future. You might think that Musical.ly is only for teenagers (there are a lot on the platform) but don’t underestimate it. Back when I found out about Facebook in 2006, I heard a lot of people say it was only for young people (that didn’t last). With your business or brand, you have a potential first-in opportunity as long as you figure out how to effectively use Musical.ly.

There are others that I missed (sorry Google+ and Tumblr). Some social channels may go the way of MySpace but for right now, the list above are the big ones on my radar.

What I’m Into Most Right Now — Twitter and Snapchat

Twitter and Snapchat are newer to me and I have found the platforms easiest to connect with people. Keep in mind Twitter has been losing market share and the user growth is nowhere near Instagram. Things have not been going well for Twitter in 2016 but you would hope that this would cause them to innovate and make the platform even better.

I also really like Twitter and Snapchat because you have access to really big influencers in ways that never before existed. You get a personal view with Snapchat of not only your friends but more well known people or brands. I regularly use all the social channels except Musical.ly, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I want to start using Musical.ly more to actually figure it out.


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Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.