If you focus on 4 social media sites, you have 99% of your marketing covered

99 Social

One of the biggest problems faced when businesses try to use social media as a marketing tool is that there are simply too many social media sites. A day doesn’t go by when I’m not asked about this new site or that old site and whether or not they can be used is marketing. Most can. However, most simply do not have the reach to make them worthwhile. For the majority of businesses, if they stay focused on four current social sites, they’ll have the vast majority of their marketing covered.

Some big sites were excluded. It’s not that Tumblr doesn’t have its place or that Foursquare is useless. It’s that the time and energy necessary to make them stronger is not worth the return on investment. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are the big dogs right now. They don’t take a ton of time to master and the results are strong compared to the effort put into them.

  • Facebook – This is the only no-brainer out there. If you only use one social media site for your marketing, this is it. From both a social interaction perspective as well as a public relations perspective, Facebook can cover as much as 70% of your social media marketing efforts.
  • Twitter – This is often the hardest for businesses to understand. They look at it, give it a try, and believe that the results aren’t worth the effort. The problem with that argument is that Twitter is still extremely popular and more importantly the time necessary to have a rock-solid Twitter presence is minutes a day at most. Don’t abandon the low-hanging fruit just because the results aren’t apparent. If you use it right, the results will come.
  • Google+ – Even if you don’t believe that Google+ will emerge as a true social media force (it will, but I won’t argue that here), the search engine marketing benefits of building up and maintaining a strong presence on the platform cannot be argued. Few would say they couldn’t use better search results or more traffic from Google. Their social network is one of the ways to improve those results.
  • Pinterest – Just like Twitter, Pinterest falls into the category of low-investment, higher-returns. One of the things that differentiates Pinterest from other social sites is that they’ve embraced business usage more readily than other platforms. Posting and maintaining a quality Pinterest presence can be literally less than a minute a day and many of those who use the platform swear by it.

There’s a common theme here. Effort versus reward. If you measure your returns relative to the amount of effort put into the maintenance, you’ll find that these are the sites that generate the highest level. Used properly, just about any business can benefit from a strong presence on these four social media sites.

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Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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17 Comments »

 
#1
Brian D. Hawkins
January 6th, 2013 at 7:23 am

I think you nailed it JD, I expected to see LinkedIn in the number 4 spot but was glad to see Pinterest sitting there. Personally I think Google Plus should move into position one with Facebook’s EdgeRank but that will take hold later I guess.

 
 
#2
Neil Ferree
January 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am

JD ♦ I agree with 99% of your Social Media Marketing concepts + ideas but this ain’t one of them (unless) you include LinkedIn + SlideShare + YouTube to the Roster

Also, Pinterest is dandy for Restaurants + other Visual niches (but) not so well suited for Attorneys in the BK or PI space whereas Quora is a logical + lucrative substitute

 
 
#3
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Neil, I challenge you to try and create a visual brand for a “non-visual” company. You’d be surprised what can come of it. Just tell the story through visual aesthetics.

 
 
#4
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Neil, I challenge you to try and create a visual brand for a “non-visual” company. You’d be surprised what can come of it. Just tell the story through visual aesthetics.

 
 
#5
Sandy Appleyard
January 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am

I think it depends on your market. I’m with Pinterest, but I find instead of focusing on that, I spend more effort with LinkedIn communities. I get more comments, likes and connections with that. I still post all my blogs to Pinterest, but I find they just kinda sit there….?

 
 
#6
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Do you think LinkedIn will allow companies to join communities any time soon? Any favorite communities you’d like to recommend

 
 
#7
Anonymous
January 6th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

LinkedIn?

 
 
#8
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 5:03 pm

So far LinkedIn is a heavenly blessing for personal use, and crappy for business promotion. They need to let company pages on LinkedIn follow and network with other companies or public profile professionals before it is a worth while tools for companies and ROI. That said, I do use the stories posted on LinkedIn often because they are unique marketing content.

 
 
#9
Anonymous
January 8th, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Funny, it’s in my top ten traffic referrals.

 
 
#10
JD Rucker
January 7th, 2013 at 8:53 am

A lot of people are mentioning LinkedIn. I don’t consider it or YouTube true universal marketing tools for social media. In some industries, they’re invaluable. In others, they’re less useful than the other 4 which are fairly universal whether going B2B or B2C.

 
 
#11
Stephanie Hackney
January 7th, 2013 at 11:02 am

I might agree, but only if those platforms are where the business’ clients live, work or play. It does no good for a business to invest time in any social media platform that is not the “home” of their target clients, enabling the type of interaction that leads to brand building and, most importantly, sales.

 
 
#12
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thank you for the post Stephanie, I’m currently wrestling with this myself as I manage brands that are local, statewide and national. Any tips for best social media tools to use for national branding efforts?

 
 
#13
Stephanie Hackney
January 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am

Again, I think you have to start with where the customers live, work and play, and what the goals are. Are these brands looking for PR or sales? Are their customers likely to engage with them on social media? What kind of products or services do these brands represent, and are these products and services bought quickly (such as an impulse buy) or is there a long sales cycle (such as with enterprise initiatives)? These questions need to be asked FIRST, before any social media accounts are established and before investment begins. And then you need to test, test, test!

 
 
#14
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thank you for the post Stephanie, I’m currently wrestling with this myself as I manage brands that are local, statewide and national. Any tips for best social media tools to use for national branding efforts?

 
 
#15
Frederic Gonzalo
January 8th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Yup, I’d agree you nailed it with these 4 sites but… this is true mostly with B2C products and services for the general public or consumer goods. For anyone dealing in the B2B realm, Linkedin ought to be included, above Pinterest for sure, maybe even Google+.

 
 
#16
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

You’re speaking the truth JD! I would go a step further to predict that once G+ becomes functional, twitter will have a harder time competing. The inherent advantage of Google Search will put twitter hashtags to shame. After that, FB will fade…but this won’t happen to have strong movement until Fall 2013. It also depends a lot on what the mobile industry puts out and when.

 
 
#17
Katrina Maksimuk
January 8th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

You’re speaking the truth JD! I would go a step further to predict that once G+ becomes functional, twitter will have a harder time competing. The inherent advantage of Google Search will put twitter hashtags to shame. After that, FB will fade…but this won’t happen to have strong movement until Fall 2013. It also depends a lot on what the mobile industry puts out and when.

 

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