While professionals can use all social networking websites to promote their products, services and personal careers, each major social network has its own distinct advantages. An infographic from business consultant network Zintro outlines some of these advantages.
Facebook is absolutely the largest social networking website with over 845 million users. 17.5 percent of the website’s users are in the 21-24 year old age group, followed closely by the 18-20 year old age group. Businesses should share blog posts, videos and other updates with Facebook users, but the website’s massive user base makes it difficult for businesses to effectively make personal connections with individual customers. Businesses should set up Facebook “pages,” which collect and display business info for interested visitors.
Twitter provides a different type of interaction with customers. About 54.6 percent of Twitter’s 140 million active users are female, and the website’s simple format makes it ideal for quick interactions. The micro-blogging website makes it easy to give quick product updates or to start a conversation with existing customers and fans. Many large businesses are using Twitter to address customer complaints in a public forum. By addressing issues publicly, these businesses build a good brand reputation.
LinkedIn’s demographics are fairly even, with an audience comprised of 51 percent male users. The business-focused social networking website has an audience of over 150 million users. LinkedIn is most effective for building a reputation in an industry or for making business-to-business connections. Professionals can also create groups to lead discussions with their colleagues and develop an effective web presence.
Although some social marketing experts have written off Google+ as a fad, the website has over 100 million users and continues to gain a primarily male, educated audience. Google+ allows users to arrange their contacts into circles, which makes it easy to target specific groups. Google+ is a useful tool for starting conversations with colleagues or fans and may provide a means of establishing expertise in an industry.