By Patrick Murphy, Published December 6, 2012
Originally Posted By Business2Community
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/social-media/6-social-networks-marketers-should-learn-to-ignore-0350348#euWPLB6gAlR5M42g.99
I’m going to let you in on a little digital marketing secret. You don’t need to build an active presence on every single social network. In fact, there are some you can outright ignore. The thing is, there is neither a list of social networks to ignore, nor is there a list of networks that you have to use. Different industries will get different benefits from different networks. What you need to do is look at each network individually and figure out which ones offer little value for you. You might be surprised by the results.
Pinterest is all about images. More than that though, it’s about collections. Pinterest’s greatest marketing strength is the encouragement it gives users to create lists of things they like. Consumer products, fashion and travel all do really well here.
B2B brands, insurance agencies, financial advisors and other non-consumer or intangible services will get little traction on Pinterest. You may be able to develop some traffic, but it is unlikely to be valuable or worthwhile
YouTube is another often-ignored social network, mainly because few businesses think of it as a social network. They see it as a video playground with little real value. For some businesses, that may be correct. It’s certainly difficult to build traffic with corporate videos.
But, just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you have to make corporate video. Vlogs, video blogs, are really successful on YouTube and there will be growth in this area. If you can blog, you can vlog so any business can use YouTube to upload video. You should create a channel, but start it as a storage space for video blog posts first. If you have no video output, YouTube is the easiest of social networks to ignore, but think twice before you cross it off.
The butt of so many jokes about social networks you should ignore, Google+ actually has a lot of key advantages over other networks. The ability to share among different groups make it ideal for sharing targeted content and the use of hangouts as broadcastable videos could create new marketing opportunities. The key advantage though is the first half of the name. Social and search are moving closer together and Google will put more and more emphasis on it’s own social network.
For now, it is the social equivalent of a ghost town. It should be left to content creators and big brands; they have an opportunity to lead the way with Google+. Smaller consumer brands can try it, and it will pay to have a presence, but social is about fishing where the fish are. For now that isn’t Google+.
If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is essential. If you aren’t actively posting to LinkedIn, joining in-group discussions or making connections, you need to start. Building a strong LinkedIn network is already vital to B2B success and it will only become more important. It has a value for executives in other industries too as it is the most powerful personal branding tool available.
But for consumer products or retail, it doesn’t offer much value. When you’re on LinkedIn, you’re there as a business person, not as a consumer.
Twitter is a great social media engagement tool. It’s also an essential marketing tool for consumer brands. It offers the opportunity to talk to your market, to engage with them on all manner of topics and reward loyal followers. It’s an essential tool for smaller brands, as it gives you a chance to get in front of consumers who normally see only the big guys. For big brands, it’s one of two cornerstones of social engagement.
The big social networks aren’t essential for everyone though. Twitter is essentially a content sharing and curation tool for businesses. Every business should use it to share content, but building a real following requires more than that. It requires hourly, never mind daily, engagement. A commitment most brands can’t make. If you’re strong on content, and have time to engage, Twitter is ideal. If your brand has other selling points, you might want to use Twitter as a launch pad, but focus on areas where your strengths are better used.
The other big social network that big brands have to use. For smaller to medium businesses, Facebook feels like a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be. Consumer brands will be expected to have a Facebook presence, so you can’t afford to be without one. That doesn’t mean it should be the focus. Facebook is a social network first and foremost and most users treat ads as a nuisance rather than a natural part of their activity. Brands built on social activities have a natural advantage here.
Other businesses have to work a lot harder to get traffic from Facebook, because users generally don’t want to leave Facebook. It’s relatively easy to build likes; it’s difficult to turn those likes into traffic. Especially for niche brands. Just like Twitter, Facebook is great for mass appeal, but you should always focus on your strengths. If your strengths lie in images, video or business know-how there are other places you can go.