Facebook or LinkedIn? Most Used Social Media Network For Business

Facebook or LinkedIn, which network is the most used social media network for business, the debate has been going on for years and users debating the pros and cons of both platforms usually coming to the conclusion that Facebook is most used for B2C and LinkedIn for B2B but what does the data tell us?

The 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Reportbased on data from a survey of 3,720 marketers; 61% of survey participants focus primarily on attracting consumers (B2C), and the other 39% primarily target businesses (B2B) sheds some light

Most used social media platforms

Of all platforms, it should not be surprising that Facebook is the most used social network for business overall (93% ) vs Twitter (79%) and LinkedIn (71%).

Most Used Social Media Network For BusinessThis can be explained by the sheer number of Facebook users vs Twitter and LinkedIn.  Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users vs LinkedIn 380 million users and Twitter 304 million (2015 with Facebook spending on average 42 minutes per day on the site vs 9.8 minutes on LinkedIn Continue reading

Hashtags: Useful or Nuisance?

Are hashtags obsoleteWe have all seen them, use them or been annoyed by them when abused, something I call hashtag vomit.  Users who don’t understand hashtags tagging their post with so many irrelevant and annoying hashtags you just want to move on without reading the post.

It started on Twitter, Facebook unsuccessfully tried to incorporate them in posts, LinkedIn gave up on them, Instagram and Pinterest users swear by them but few actually understand their use and purpose.

By definition, A hashtag is a type of label used on social network and micro blogging platforms to make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. In short, hashtags are like keywords allowing readers to find content related to a subject and should be treated as such

Social media “gurus” have been promoting hashtags as essential to social media posts and content success, advising marketers to use hashtags as a critical  element of any high-performing social media update without educating their clients and the public about the way to effectively use them

The result has been hashtag vomit, what mainstream search engines would classify as spam.  We have seen updates and content with plethora of hashtags, some relevant most irrelevant for the sake of trying to maximize potential exposure.

The question has long been,  do hashtags actually work?

The answer is yes and no, depending on your purpose

Twitter recently released a study focused on direct response ads, which are intended to drive a specific result, like an app install or a website visit, suggesting that when these ads included a hashtag or mentioned another account, they didn’t perform well

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How Consumers Find Websites

With the on going debate on SEO vs SEM vs Social, a recent study by Forrester Research released in July 2013 sheds some very interesting light on how consumers find websites  The study was conducted in 2012 and show the fast rise of social search

  • 54% of consumers find websites through natural search results, up from 50% in 2011 but still 7% less than in 2010
  • Social networks are the second-most preferred discovery resource, with 32% using them in 2012, up from 25% in 2011 and 18% in 2010.
  • 50% of 18-24 year old and 43% of 24 to 32 year old are using social media as their main internet discovery resource
  • Links are the third important means of website discovery, with 28% saying they found websites from links on other sites, down from 31% last year.
  • Just 18% of those surveyed said that they use ads for website discovery, an improvement from 2011, when paid search was the least popular form of website discovery, with only 8%
  • One-third of Americans are using Facebook and Twitter for discovery.

How consumers find websites

Two-thirds increasing spending on paid social media ads

Two-thirds increasing spending on paid social media ads

Advertisers’ appetites for paid advertising on social media sites shows no sign of abating in 2013. According to a study conducted for digital brand measurement provider Vizu by Digiday, 64% of US advertisers planned to increase their paid social media ad budgets this year, with just 2% saying they intended to spend less money in 2013 than they did in 2012 on paid social ads.

Changed in paid social media ads in 2013

Most of those increasing their spending on ads on social sites planned to do so by 10% or less. But a significant number were making even larger investments: 26% of respondents reported planning to increase their social media ad spending by 11% or more.

Seven in 10 respondents said they would spend between 1% and 10% of their online budget on social ads, suggesting that for most it is a present, but not a dominant part of the marketing mix. For 13% of respondents, however, it plays a larger role: This group spends 21% or more of their online budgets on paid social media advertising.

Overall, eMarketer estimates that US advertisers will spend $4.1 billion on paid social media ads this year, rising to $5 billion in 2014.

Companies’ Approach to Advertising on Social Media

Since the arrival of social media platforms, companies have tried to figure out how to best use them to get their messages to consumers, often with mixed results. Some brands have embraced the notion that social platforms like Twitter allow constant interaction, for better or worse, with their customers.

Others have turned away from some strains of social media, as General Motors did last spring when it stopped advertising on Facebook while raising questions about the return on its investment. The move had a ripple effect in the advertising world, with many brands questioning whether the costs of being on social media were worth it.

A new report issued Tuesday by Nielsen and Vizu, a research company owned by Nielsen, shows that brands think they might be turning a corner, specifically when it comes to paying for their use of social media.The report examined the opinions about social media marketing among more than 500 digital media professionals — including brand marketers, media agencies and advertisers — from September to October 2012.

The study found that that

  • 89% of advertisers continued to use free social media products. Nielsen did not release the names of specific social media platforms mentioned by the respondents, but they are likely to include Facebook and Pinterest, as well as Twitter.
  • 75% of the companies surveyed said they were also spending more for social media content, which could include paying bloggers to write posts about a product or using third-party technology to push videos on to the Web in the hope that they become viral.
  • 70% of the advertisers surveyed said they dedicated up to 10 percent of their budget to paid social media advertising, while 13 percent dedicated more than 21 percent of their budget. Those numbers are expected to increase in 2013.

The results come as companies like Twitter and Facebook are making more diverse advertising options available to brands. Last year, Twitter announced a number of advertising and media initiatives, including a survey product that enables marketers to ask Twitter users a handful of multiple-choice questions. Facebook began testing a new advertising mechanism using a technology called real-time bidding, which allows advertisers to place bids on ad space at specific times.

“Advertisers are starting to look at social media as an integrated part of their advertising strategy,” said Jeff Smith, the senior vice president of product leadership for advertising effectiveness at Nielsen.

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Google+ SEO/SEM tool or social media platform?

Since its launch 15 months ago, a big question still remains: Is Google+ a SEO/SEM tool or a social media platform?

Google+ has grown tremendously in the past year (400M users as of September 2012) but the lack of engagement has led to comparing the platform to a ghost town.  Is the comparison fair, if you look at the figures, it certainly seem so.

A study from RJ Metrics shows that

  • The average post on Google+ has less than one reply, reshare and +1.
  • 15% of users will not post publicly again even after posting publicly five times.
  • The average time between posts is 12 days for active users.
  • The average number of public posts per active users declines steadily month after month.

In contrast, a the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily and a ComScore survey shows that Google+ users spent an average of 3.3 minutes on the site in January vs. 7.5 hours for Facebook.

In response to these dismal figures, Google decide to flex its muscle and leverage its strength in searches by weaving Google+ in their search results, forcing businesses in Google+ by shelving Google places and integrating Google+ and +1 in their search algorithm and the approach seems to show some results

According to an August 2012 survey by SEOMoz,

  • 54.9% of online marketers worldwide said Google+ was one of their top five most-used sites for social media marketing, compared to 87.7% who cited Facebook and 82.7% who cited Twitter. Google+ did, however, come in above YouTube, which 48.9% of respondents cited.
  • 63.8% of respondents stated that they had set up a Google+ business profile, compared to 75.8% who set up or ran a Facebook business page.
  • 89.5% cited changes in Google’s algorithm, like Google Panda, and Google+ as likely to make authorship, site and author ownership of content more important in the coming years
  • 56.4% said Google+ was likely to become massively influential in search engine results pages. Adoption and use of mobile and Facebook’s domination were also mentioned by 81.7% and 69.1% of online marketers, respectively.
  • 56.1% use Google+ for SEO
  • 65.9% use Google+ for branding,despite the lack of user numbers and buzz

In that respect, it looks like the arm twisting is working, boosting the numbers in terms of new accounts, but the growth in new account still has not translated into engagement.
The question still is:  Is Google+ a social media platform or a SEO/SEM tool

Visual outperforms text when it comes to social media engagement

According to a new study from M Booth and  Simply Measured, visual content is not only taking over the digital and social media landscape, it’s also outperforming all other mediums when it comes to engagement!

  1. Videos are shared 12X more than links and text posts combined on Facebook
  2. Photos are liked 2X more than text posts on Facebook
  3. 48% of all Tumblr posts are photos.
  4. On YouTube, 100 million users are liking, sharing or commenting on videos every week.
  5. Pinterest refers more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined
Graphics and videos drive engagement in social media