Social Networks and Their Value for Marketing

Social networks have become an indispensable part of many people’s lives and an important platform for companies. Businesses can develop strong relationships with their customers through various social media, including but not limited to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, What’s Up, LinkedIn, and so forth. Social networking is one of the major ways people communicate, develop and maintain social ties, as well as pass their time and get information about their favorite brands (Phua, Jin, & Kim, 2017). This paper includes a brief analysis of some social networks and their value for a social media marketer.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world, and the number of its users is almost two billion people. This network has the most diverse platform as its subscribers can share text messages, pictures, video, and audio files. In the USA, almost 70% of adult people used Facebook to communicate as compared to other social networks. The network was created as a channel for the communication of students, but the audience expanded dramatically.

At present, Facebook users can be of different ages, although young people are still more active. However, adults and older adults also use this platform. This diversity has led to the wide use of this social network in the business world. Companies create Facebook profiles to share information about their new products and services, get feedback from their customers, and develop relationships with their customers. One of the things learned about Facebook was related to gender differences or rather no difference in the frequency of the use of this social network (Thelwall & Vis, 2017). Another thing acknowledged is the way Facebook is used by small-size companies that manage to create communities, which is highly valued by their customers.

Instagram is another popular social network used throughout the globe. This social media network is mainly image-based as people share pictures. The platform is mainly used by young people, but there are also many older people. One of the recent changes introduced was the text-based communication option. Instagram subscribers can share their ideas and emotions through the specific backgrounds and fonts, which is a mixture of visual and textual components. Instagram can be used by many companies in various industries. The age of people is very diverse as well as socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds of its users.

Therefore, potentially the vast majority of businesses can use this platform for the promotion of their products and services. However, companies should remember that the focus is on images, so their promotion should be shaped accordingly. The two things learned about this platform are associated with the use of Instagram. First, females have more privacy concerns as compared to male subscribers (Thelwall & Vis, 2017). Secondly, it is not used for the maintenance of relationships but focuses on certain image development.

Snapchat is also a valuable social media network that can be used by many companies. This application is aimed at active mobile phone users who like sharing and using the most recent advances, such as augmented reality. The target audience is mainly adolescents and young adults, but older people can also be quite active. This application is perfect for the most urgent messages, such as information concerning sales, new products, quick updates, and the like. One of the things learned was rather an unexpected high rank among social networks that have a positive effect on people (Welch, 2017). Another interesting fact learned is related to the way the application can be used. The histories developed can be shared and used to remind customers about the way brands or companies evolved and communicated with them.

Finally, YouTube is one of the most famous platforms to share videos. This social media network is also used as a search tool or source of information (Phua et al., 2017). YouTube also has a very diverse array of users as these can be people of different ages, ethnicity, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational background, and so forth. This application is widely used in numerous industries and spheres. It has been acknowledged that video messages are becoming more popular than textual or image-based. This information is valuable for social media marketers and companies. It is clear that YouTube and video messages can become a strong promotion tool as well as a platform for effective communication with customers.

The increasing popularity and effectiveness of video messages are some of the important things learned so far. Another valuable discovery is the fact that YouTube has a positive effect on users’ development and wellbeing (Welch, 2017). This platform is my favorite as the educational component of this platform makes it relevant and reliable, as seen by customers. Social media marketers can help companies promote their products and services. Besides, it is possible to study customers’ preferences and needs through the analysis of search results and inquiries, as well as the content of people’s posts.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are popular social networks that can facilitate communication between companies and their customers. These platforms are acquiring many similar features as they follow recent trends, such as the increasing popularity of video messages. Facebook is one of the central tools to be used to create strong relationships with customers through the development of communities.

YouTube can be mainly used to share important or interesting messaging concerning new products or services as well as possible ways to benefit from the use of the things the company offers. At that, Snapchat and Instagram can also be useful as a platform for sharing quick visual-based messages. Importantly, businesses should use all these networks to the fullest with their products and services in mind.

References

Phua, J., Jin, S., & Kim, J. (2017). Gratifications of using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat to follow brands: The moderating effect of social comparison, trust, tie strength, and network homophily on brand identification, brand engagement, brand commitment, and membership intention. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 412-424.

Thelwall, M., & Vis, F. (2017). Gender and image sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp in the UK. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(6), 702-720.

Welch, A. (2017). This social media site ranked worst for mental health. CBS News. Web.