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Understanding the 7 Most Popular Social Media Platforms

Social media is an elegant answer to small business success. When done right, it can become a free lead generating machine. Internet marketer Chris Farrell, for example, attributes much of his success to Facebook.

How do you use social media marketing to find your target audience? How do you use it to talk to them about how your brand resolves their pressing problems?

Defining Social Media Marketing

 A discussion is only meaningful if everyone defines words in the same way. “If you want to converse with me,” said French philosopher Voltaire, “first define your terms.” 

With that in mind, here is one workable definition for Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Social Media Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that addresses the needs of modern SEO. It leverages the power of social media networks to communicate marketing messages. Sending these messages to a target audience over a period of time helps a business achieve predetermined goals that may include increased website traffic, more newsletter subscribers, higher product conversion, and better brand recognition.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

How you communicate a marketing message depends on the platform itself. On Twitter, links to content work best. On Facebook, images with text work well. And on YouTube, of course, you have to share videos. While some platforms allow you to use many types of media some forms get a better response than others. On Facebook, for example, posts with embedded text in images get more likes than images or text alone.

The Most Popular Social Media Platforms

According to research by Small Biz Trends, these are the top 10 social media websites:

  1. Facebook. Biggest and has the most users.
  2. Twitter. Popular because it offers bite-sized content.
  3. LinkedIn. Most popular site for professional networking.
  4. Google +. Has 300 million active monthly users. It’s popular with those interested in relationship marketing.
  5. YouTube. Projected to gross about $5.6 billion by 2016. Each month, viewers watch 6 billion hours of videos. Each day, mobile users watch 1 billion videos.
  6. Pinterest. Has 70 million users. Its viewers fall in line with the Pareto principle—80% are women, 20% men.
  7. Instagram. Has 300 million active users a month. People here use visual media to share their story.

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