- Facebook (1,600,000,000+ users per month) – A place to connect with friends, family and those you never wanted to be friends with in the first place. View people’s photos of their kids, dogs, weddings, and vacations, and comment with raging jealously, pride or other feelings you can’t help but share on a public forum. You also can connect with brands in order to see up-and-coming product launches and events, or take part in brand contests and giveaways.
- YouTube (1,000,000,000+ users per month) – Looking for an important piece of news content or a cat chasing a laser pointer? Welcome to YouTube, one of BLASTmedia’s favorite social platforms. Be sure you’re aware of YouTube’s new format change if you’re wanting to become the latest online meme.
- Twitter (200,000,000+ users per month) – Socialize with people you know… and those you don’t. Luckily all social interactions are limited to 140 characters, which keep messages short, sweet and potentially that less awkward. This medium allows you to be connected to all your favorite celebrities, friends and people you know will provide entertaining content due to the inability to keep things to themselves.
- LinkedIn (160,000,000+ users per month) – Connect with colleagues, friends and those in the business with whom you’d like to see yourself one day. This space is about networking for business. If you are looking for a job, this is the place for you. Plaster your awesomeness and accomplishments and get noticed.
- Google+ (135,000,000+ users per month) – Google’s answer to the almighty Facebook. It works directly via Gmail and allows you to post updates, content and add people to your inner ‘circles’.
- Instagram (90,000,000+ users per month) – Post images of your feet, the wing of an airplane, and other stereotypical photos, then mess with the hue to make it look like an art piece. With Instagram, everyone is a professional photographer. Just be sure you’re well aware of Instagram’s terms of service change or that innocent (yet blatant) photo steal from J. Crew will cost you.
- Pinterest (85,500,000+ users per month) – The audience is predominantly women, and boy do they like to browse! Pinterest boasts thousands of photos in home décor, cooking, weddings, cute animals, and other mind-numbing and time-passing imagery. Place your picks on digital ‘pin boards’ for future viewing. There is even a feature to have secret boards in order to plan future events like a wedding before you are engaged, not that anyone would ever do that… right?
- MySpace (70,500,000+ users per month) – In a time long, long ago there was a single social network known as MySpace. At the beginning MySpace was the ‘it’ social medium… but that was back in the (gasp!) 90’s. Alas, thanks to the financial and social backing from the one and only Justin Timberlake, the MySpace resurgence is alive and well.
- Foursquare (10,000,000+ users per month) – Ever wanted someone to know where you are at all times? Creep factor aside, this app is great for finding specials at restaurants and stores, and finding out which meal is best through friend suggestions via custom tips.
Facebook and social media management technology top marketing dollar investments for 2013
With two-thirds of the US internet population expected to belong to a social network by the end of 2013, according to eMarketer estimates, the majority of brands are now actively using social media to manage their digital presence.
Q3 2012 findings from media buying and solutions provider STRATA showed 91.9% of those surveyed were using social media. The vast majority (82.4%) of US agencies reported using Facebook for clients’ social media campaigns, nearly double or more the number using the popular platforms YouTube (41.9%), Twitter (36.5%) and LinkedIn (23%).
Emerging platforms Google+ and Pinterest saw significant growth in reported quarter-over-quarter usage with roughly one in four US agencies likely to use each of these networks for clients’ social media campaigns.
Additional findings from engagement advertising firm SocialVibe showed the necessity of ensuring social media coverage on Facebook and the value of expanding coverage to Google+. The engagement advertising firm found 77% of US internet users connected with brands via Facebook in October of this year; 14% did so using Google+—more than did so on YouTube (13%) or Twitter (6%).
Financial investment in Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest marketing programs is likely to increase through 2013, according to a Q4 2012 survey from Strongmail. The marketing solutions provider found 39.6% of business executives worldwide planned to boost Facebook marketing spending next year, 23.3% planned to spend more on Twitter, and 14.9% on Pinterest.
Beyond increased investment specifically to social networks, a good portion of business executives reported plans to boost spending on tools and technology used to measure and manage social media programs. About 27% reported plans to increase spending to social media management technology, and 14.8% said the same for listening platforms, reflecting the importance of not just maintaining brand presence on social networks, but measuring the effects of that presence.
eMarketer estimates US social network ad spending will account for nearly one in 10 US digital ad dollars in 2013.