Everyone knows Facebook – THE social network is an established part of the daily lives of people across all age segments. There even was a Hollywood movie made starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake in 2010. Google+ should ring a bell as well, although the search engine's social network never reached the heights of its blue competition. Only recently Google made it known that it is going to restructure Google+ – The whens and hows remain to be seen. Social networks can be more than platforms for status updates. There are many specialists nowadays. There are, for example, professional, job-related networks like Xing and LinkedIn that we have already written about in the past. Other networks seem to be made for private usage but turn out to be suited for marketing just as well.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing networks. Founded a mere four years ago, the virtual pinboard already counts 100 million active users. Most of them (70%), however, are from the United States. About 1.5 percent are from Germany, which is still 1.5 million users – and rising.
Pinterest allows users to create boards with visual bookmarks (“pins”). Not only can users pin images they like, but they can also share visual content they created themselves. Pinterest therefore functions like a visual discovery tool and as a virtual memory disc for interesting content.
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Instagram has about 200 million monthly active users worldwide and about 3 million in Germany. Instagram is one of the social networks made for the mobile era. Although it is possible to access the platform from a desktop computer, its full functionality can only be explored with a smartphone. Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual network that invites users to take snapshots (also videos) and edit them with filter effects. These photographs can then be shared with the user's social circle or the general public. The audience for the shared images can be increased by selecting fitting hashtags.
As visual discovery tools, both Pinterest and Instagram are perfectly suited for image cultivation. They allow companies to give visual impressions of themselves. Businesses that sell visually appealing products can profit from these platforms especially. Hence it should not be a surprise that Victoria's Secret is the most popular brand on Instagram (4.4 million followers). As a virtual shopping window, Instagram and Pinterest can be used to present products with relatively little effort and budget. Boticca, an online shot for fashion accessories, for example found that Pinterest delivers more new customers than Facebook.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are a great way to categorize content on the web. The topic or keyword is inserted right after the #-symbol. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social networks content can be categorized and browsed using the respective hashtag (for example #marketing for marketing-related content). It is possible to use more than one hashtags per post. Using hashtags should be integrated into the common social media practice as this principle of organizing content on the web is only going to continue to expand.
Tumblr is a social network that focusses on blogs. A great number of templates, some of them free of charge, can be used to create an own blog with relatively few resources. Not only blogs, but also citations, images and links can be posted on a Tumblr blog.
A lot of hype has surrounded Tumblr in recent years. However, ever since Yahoo purchased the network hoping to freshen up its own dusty image, the hype has cooled down a bit. User numbers have been stagnating recently, which may also be due to the fact that Tumblr is more suited to be used on desktop computers rather than on mobile devices.
W4 knows social networks. Tailored to your wishes and needs, we can develop a social media strategy for you. Whether it is Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest or a mix of all – We are happy to give you advice!