In social media there is only one rule: there is no rule. So of course, I could tell you that you should be on all networks. However, who has the time to run 78 different social networks? So you have to make a choice.
A study from LinkedIn claims that people operate differently on their personal networks versus their professional ones, but this premise isn’t accurate. Why? There are no such things as personal and professional networks, only networks that you use in different ways. As a business, it’s critical to remember this because the types of conversations and interactions need to be more personal in social communities.
So which network do you choose? Well, if you want to go to college, you have to go to elementary school first. It’s the same thing with social networks. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the elementary school for social media. They’re like your ABCs. So when you’re ready to move past the ABCs, there are three other social networks that you might want to consider.
First, Google +. If you think that Google + is just a Facebook owned by Google, let me tell you that you are not totally wrong. For now. However, Google said recently in Chicago that Google + is actually the fastest growing social network. In June 2012 there were 425 million Gmail accounts, more than 200 million Google + accounts with 100 million active users in September 2012.
In addition to this, there are over 5 billion “+1” per day. It’s the fastest global social share button in history. Moreover, if someone likes a brand in your Google + circles and you’re logged into Google, that brand will rise to top of your search. So, I hope you understand the need for your business to share content (videos, photos, text…) on Google +.
Second, Pinterest. Yes really. You want me to post pictures? Yes, I want you to post pictures. Content is king (or a prince at least). The interesting thing with Pinterest is that it’s very different from all other networks. The layout is different andthe communities are different so the use case is going to be different. It’s a great tool to try new things with your communities.
If you run a design agency, a fashion line or a photo agency, of course Pinterest is a natural fit, but in reality Pinterest works for virtually any business. Take, for example, a business that creates kitchen tools. The business can create a Pinterest board showing people using their products at home, and another board showing the food they prepared. This is powerful marketing! The Inside Network’s AppData reminds us that almost 98% of Pinterest’s fans on Facebook are women. Take this opportunity to show the creative side of your business and think outside of the box!
Last but not least: Quora. For almost two years now, I’ve been using Quora. For those who don’t know this network, Quora is a Q&A social network that is really simple to use. You enter a certain number of centers of interest, the platform links them together and shows you a list of questions that people have asked in relation to your centers of interest. You’re free to answer a question or just look at other people’s responses. It’s a great tool for personal use, and frequently better than Wikipedia since the people who answer are generally professionals. This can be really useful for your business in many different ways. You can see who is asking questions about your company, who answers the questions (maybe find some new influencers), see what others say about your business and much more. Keep in mind that the questions you ask and the answers you give, will all be listed on your profile page. So be sure that you know what you’re talking about in case recruiters are looking for new credible assets on the network…
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest and Quora are different networks with different use cases and different communities. The next steps are up to you. Please feel free to join this conversation at https://twitter.com/AntoineXSr
12 Oct 2012