At Saxum, our digital team brainstorms, crafts and executes marketing campaigns on a multitude of social platforms. They’ll be the first to tell you that every platform has its quirks, drawbacks and selling points, and that there’s no “right” answer when deciding what to try. Where one platform doesn’t make sense for a business, another one will. I always tell people, “You can never fully plan for when something really takes off, and you can’t be bummed when something isn’t as successful as you’d hoped. As a marketer, you’re in a constant state of experimentation to find what works and feels appropriate for your client.”
To celebrate Social Media Day, we’re taking a look at some of the most influential platforms and how they’ve changed the world we live in today.
Ah, Facebook. I have an account, my mom has an account, even my grandmother has a Facebook account. When Mark Zuckerberg registered thefacebook.com in 2004, I doubt he would have imagined it turning a profit of $1.51 billion in Q1 of this year alone. With more than 1.65 billion active users, Facebook continues its reign as the most used social platform for both personal and business use.
More than 10 years ago, in just 25 characters, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, let the world know he was “just setting up my twttr.” That, my friends, was the first Tweet that ever lived on Twitter. You can thank Twitter for #posts #with #a #million #hashtags, a feature that paved the way for users to identify and catalog a specific word for search. Just recently, a slew of changes to the platform had been announced, changes that will fill our timelines with longer videos and the ability to Retweet and quote Tweet ourselves. #blessed
What if I told you that you could network with a sea of professionals while sitting on your couch? Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has coined itself the “World’s Largest Professional Network” for people looking to find business connections, job opportunities and industry news. Own a business yourself? You can use LinkedIn to find new ventures, partners and even qualified employees. Think of LinkedIn as a digital refrigerator you can decorate with your life accomplishments, no magnets needed.
Psst: For those of you who enjoy creeping on old friends, flames or foes, LinkedIn will alert the other person that you’ve viewed their profile. You’ve been warned!
For the more visually stimulated, there’s Instagram. The most recent social platform to celebrate a huge milestone of 500 million users, Instagram is a beautiful space for people to share their lives and to tell stories using images and captions. Never before have people (or brands!) spent so much time curating beautiful photography that tells a story with or without a headline. Raise your hand if you’ve Instagrammed a plate of food before. Okay, me too.
Do you have burlap or mason jars in your house? You can likely thank Pinterest for that resurgence. Launched in 2010, Pinterest has become a hub for those needing inspiration for fitness workouts, cooking meals, making wedding plans and more. Trying to reach people on this platform? Try adding content later in the evening, when users are at home watching Silicon Valley and building their Pinterest boards.
Snapchat has recently surpassed Twitter, settling in as #3 in the Social Media Top 3. Each day, Snapchat will reach up to 41% of 18-34 year-olds in the U.S. What makes Snapchat so special? The ability to transform yourself into a dog or swap faces with a friend, of course! Okay, that’s not the only good part. Businesses with target audiences as young as 13 years old can create playful Lenses or Geofilters for people to use in their own Snapchat stories, creating virtual product or business “endorsements”.
Social media is making it easier than ever for businesses to engage with people in a more personal space. When you’re able to place yourself in the literal hands of a potential customer via his or her mobile device, social media begins to make a little more sense to even the most traditional marketer.
And so I leave you with one question to ask yourself. “How has social media impacted my life or the lives of others around me?” It’s one I find myself asking quite often.