Social Media 101

They’re ubiquitous. Those little social media icons can be seen in nearly every commercial and website, as well as on all types of marketing material. But what does the prevalence of “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter” really mean?

It means social media is a great, free way to reach the masses. And by masses I mean the 91% of online adults that use social media regularly, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Rep.(Especially once you have designed a visually appealing cover, background, and/or icon.) Furthermore, 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand. With numbers like that, no wonder businesses are rushing to represent themselves in the social media sphere.

And more important that joining social networks is which social network you join. Recent research has shown that B2B companies have the most effective social media campaigns on LinkedIn, a seven time higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate than Facebook. Interestingly, Pinterest is proving itself to be a great lead generator as recent stats show that 59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the site compared to 33% of Facebook users. And what about Twitter? 79% of US Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow. And those recommendations mean more followers and more conversion.

In this digital age, most businesses could benefit from a good dose of social media in their marketing mix. It is a fun, creative way to reach your audience. And while each network is different, they all allow for meaningful ways to engage your consumers, ranging from segmenting your statuses on LinkedIn to sweepstakes on Facebook.

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