Overdrive Interactive is a BrightEdge agency client and an agency co-marketing partner. Jeff Selig is Overdrive's VP of Earned Media and Analytics.
It’s not easy to keep up with all the changes in the social media ecosystem. Trends shift, social sites are updated, and some of the best social media websites and apps come while others go. Just last year, for instance, we lost the popular platforms, Vine, Meerkat, and Blab.
To help users get the most recent snapshot of the best social media websites in the social media ecosystem, Overdrive Interactive has updated its popular Social Media Map.
This downloadable pdf is an excellent resource for marketers that covers the very best social media websites, apps, and tools. It has 231 live links, so users can easily explore them, and it is broken down into 23 categories. Some of these categories and sites are for individual use and not applicable for businesses.
Therefore, to guide you through the Social Media Map, here’s a breakdown of the most relevant categories and sites for business marketing needs.
First and foremost, if your business doesn’t have a company profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you should reconsider. Facebook, the most famous and largest social network, has 1.79 billion monthly active users (MAU) and offers highly-targeted paid advertising options. Twitter gets 317 million MAU, also sells paid ads, and its streams are often displayed in Google’s search results.
Though there’s debate on the necessity of a Google+ account, Google+ gets 300 million MAU. Most of their activity comes from India, Thailand, and Mexico, so they are worth considering depending on your targeted audience.
The new entrant in the Social Media Map is vTime, the world’s first mobile virtual reality social network, but still ranks among the best social media websites. Businesses can use vTime to conduct virtual meetings. Their tools can read Excel spreadsheets and convert data into 3D models and graph visualizations.
There aren’t a lot of marketing options in vTime for now, but businesses should follow the general conversation around VR. VR can be used for product launches or demos, facility and operational tours, and visualization of complex data.
Businesses can use these messaging apps for internal communications, and, in some cases, marketing. Businesses can advertise on Skype through AOL Advertising. Facebook Messenger bots can be used for customer service and brand awareness. It’s common for businesses in India and Brazil to offer their WhatsApp numbers for customer service inquiries. In fact, 29% of users like to receive business communications via WhatsApp or WeChat. Therefore, you may be able to reach or help your audience through these messaging apps.
The sites in this category are a mix of networks you should use for B2B marketing, platforms you can use to grow your workforce, and tools to help your workforce collaborate across your organization. LinkedIn (106 million MAU) and SlideShare (70 million MAU) are very important professional networks for B2B marketing and are always considered in the list of best social media websites. If your business is looking for talent in Europe, XING and Viadeo are very popular platforms for recruiting besides LinkedIn.
Depending on your audience demographic (especially age and location) and the type of services you offer, you may want to have a social presence in these international social networks. When creating your international social strategy, make sure that your team understands local environments and how international audiences use those social channels so that your communications don’t miss the mark.
Many of these streaming service platforms offer various advertising solutions, ranging from display and audio ads to sponsorship deals. Let’s look at Spotify for instance. With 70 million free subscribers, Spotify offers a large pool to target. Their advertising can be very targeted – listeners’ moods, habits, mindsets, tastes, activities, demographic, and device, to name a few. This ensures that your messaging finds the right audience and is relevant to their needs.
Commerce and Payment
Most of the tools listed in this category are peer to peer. But, PayPal and Dwolla are great tools for facilitating e-commerce transactions. Venmo, though owned by Paypal does not yet work with Paypal and is the dominant payment app among millennials.
Crowdfunding doesn’t have to be just for start-up B2C organizations. Indiegogo offers Enterprise Crowdfunding to service established companies. These companies can use crowdfunding to get feedback and fine-tune their product and marketing message before it hits the production line or stores. This is also a great way for businesses to discover new ideas and innovate. B2B companies can also use crowdfunding: Bitvore, a B2B technology corporation, used Crowdfunder to close new investor commitments and get $435,000 in capital.
Listening, Management and Tracking
Both categories contain tools for monitoring and improving your social media presence. Tools such as Overdrive Interactive’s SocialEye can help you schedule your content ahead of time, monitor engagements, and review your social analytics. The listening tools should help businesses track conversations around your brand, industry, and your competitors, and develop strategies to respond or participate in those conversations.
News & Content
These news and content apps should be a constant part of your social media marketing and content creation strategy. Use them to follow and participate in current conversations, understand how your users’ needs might be changing, and adapt quickly to help them. You should also consider using platforms like BuzzFeed, Medium, and Flipboard to publish or share your business content.
“According to results of a new comScore study, ads within a podcast were found to be the least intrusive when compared with other types of digital ads. And not only do listeners not mind hearing them—they act on them…The study of 2,000 U.S. respondents ages 18 to 49 found that two-thirds of listeners have acted on ads they heard in a podcast either by researching a product or service or by actually purchasing something they first heard about in an episode.”
Podcast listenership grew by 23% between 2015 and 2016 and its growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down. For now, before the bubble bursts and while supply is relatively low, businesses should consider either creating their own podcasts or looking for sponsorship opportunities with relevant partners.
76% of B2B marketers blog. It’s great for SEO, branding, content marketing, and sales. If your business doesn’t have a blog, these tools will help you develop and manage one, or find new mediums to publish your content.
Livestreaming is hot in social media but is still underutilized by marketers: in 2016, only 14% of marketers used live video. You don’t need expensive equipment or long hours of production to publish these videos. You should outline your presentation beforehand but keep it flexible and interact with your audience.
Make sure that you are offering value and promote your livestreaming session ahead of time. It’s highly recommended that businesses livestream because it’s a great way to create more video content. For platforms like Facebook where organic reach is dying, live streams are more visibly promoted than standard organic posts. Here are some examples of how brands can use Facebook Live.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t include great visuals with all your content, from social media posts to your individual website pages. We are visual creatures and more likely to remember text accompanied with visuals. You can use the tools in this category to curate images or ideas for images you can create.
Along with sharing images for visuals, it is also important to have a strong video strategy. This year, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic. Your business can create various types of videos- product demos, moving text with visuals, interviews with your talented employees, etc. You can use the platforms in this category to publish your videos, or curate videos for sharing.
Local & Location
If your business can benefit from location-based advertising, apps like foursquare offer targeted advertising options. Depending on your business and business needs, you can use Eventbrite to host public events for a wider reach (if you want more control, Eventbrite may not be your best option). You should also claim your business in these apps. Even if your company doesn’t use them, other users may find you there and get the wrong or incomplete information about your business.
Not every business will be able to advertise in dating apps. If you can find a way to relate your ad campaigns in the dating world context like these businesses did on Grindr and Tinder, you may be able to capture new leads there.
What are people saying about your business or your competitors? It’s very beneficial for companies to review these apps for opportunities to create FAQs, improve your solutions or customer service, even find potential customer testimonials to share in other platforms. You should also review these apps to make sure that your profile information is accurate.
Similar to the reviews category, the reference category offers tools to help businesses find new content ideas or new leads. You can use these reference sites to learn more about your industry, or to identify questions that others have that you can answer. If possible, update or respond to inquiries, and create or update your company profile.
Whichever social media strategies and tactics you currently employ, the Social Media Map is a great tool to help you explore and create new strategies. Download Overdrive Interactive’s 2017 Social Media Map for free here.