June 12, 2013

Successful Social Media Marketing: It's Not Cookie-Cutter

Social media marketing is an organism that’s constantly influx. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ are all different animals. The demographics of their users are diverse—and they’re constantly changing. We spend more and more of our time connected to social networks. And keen marketers recognize this: 50 percent of small business owners claim to have gained new customers through social media initiatives, while 85 percent of businesses said social media helped them increase their market exposure.

Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing is a two-way street. Businesses reach out one way, and customers reach back the other way. But this concept still falls on many deaf ears these days, as 56 percent of customer tweets go ignored. Furthermore, only 23 percent of companies analyze data gleaned from their social media channels.

But the fact remains: There’s an ocean of potential customers out there waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately for marketers, no two social media networks are the same. And in order to launch successful campaigns, it’s important to understand the differences between the networks as well as the demographics that make up their core constituencies.


Facebook boasts 850 million monthly active users, so it’s not at all surprising the staggering amount of businesses—more than 15 million—that have created a presence on the social networking juggernaut.

And that presence has paid off for many of them in the form of new customers, with 77 percent of business-to-consumer and 43 percent of business-to-business companies reporting they’ve generated sales through marketing campaigns on Facebook.


Similarly, businesses are flocking to Twitter as well, with 77 percent of Fortune 100 companies establishing presences on the social networking site known for its truncated communications. According to recently released figures, 107 million Americans call themselves Twitterers, while 33 million Brazilians and 30 million Japanese do so as well, making up the three biggest blocks of Twitter users across the globe.

Marketers should keep these figures in mind when crafting campaigns to better understand precisely who they’re targeting. According to a recent report, 34 percent of marketers have generated sales leads through Twitter, a number which might increase with more consumer-focused advertising.


Google’s answer to Facebook boasts 135 million active users, and while companies have been slower to embrace Google+, 48 percent of Fortune 100 companies now utilize the service. Unlike its counterpart in Pinterest, which is mostly female-driven, Google+ claims a user-base that’s 68 percent male. Forty-two percent of the service’s users are single, while 27 percent are married.

Overall, 40 percent of marketers use Google+, while 70 percent of them want to learn more about it and 67 percent of them plan on increasing their marketing activities on the social networking site.


The fastest site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visitors, Pinterest has celebrated a traffic increase of more than 2,700 percent since May 2011. Slowly but surely, companies are recognizing the power of Pinterest; 25 percent of Fortune 100 companies now have a presence on the site.

Again, it’s vital for companies to understand their audiences as they shift their marketing attention from social media platform to social media platform. According to recent data, 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, and half of the site’s users have children.

 So Now What?

Don’t expect a social media campaign that works on one network to work the same on another. In order to be successful with social media content marketing, it’s important to be familiar with your audience. What works on Google+ likely won’t work on Pinterest.

Just because social networking sites are social networking sites doesn’t mean they are the same thing. And they shouldn’t be treated as such. 

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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