For entrepreneurs looking to find the most cost effective ways to spend their advertising dollars, it is important to stay on top of current trends. I’ve been writing about Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising the last couple of weeks, particularly in relation to Bing Ads and Google Adwords, with the aim of driving home some important facts related to my new PPC program, but social media is also an effective way to advertise, and so it is important to keep on top of the latest trends in the ever-changing world of social media in order to make informed decisions about how to spend your advertising dollars. With that in mind, here’s a quick overview of some of the latest trends in social media.
Imgur’s Email Updates
According to Chris Crum at WebProNews, Imgur has recently announced plans to start an email service. If you are using Reddit (as I strongly recommend you do), you have likely already come across Imgur (pronounced ‘image-er’). If you haven’t, it is a social networking service where people share images, or upload images to share on Facebook, or sites like Reddit and Voat with an unique URL. The addition of their newsletter is good news for advertisers, as it will ensure that their users are visiting the site more often, and driving more traffic to the rapidly growing site. If you don’t have money to advertise on Imgur, don’t worry, because it can also be a great place for native advertising, as reported by Michelle Castillo of CMSN. So if you aren’t using Imgur, take a look at the site and start thinking about how it could benefit your business.
Pinterest’s Traffic on the Rise
I’ve recommend including Pinterest in your social media campaigns in the past, and reiterated their earning potential after they introduced buyable pins. Recently Pinterest has seen an increase in daily traffic, demonstrating that the earning potential of Pinterest continues to rise. After celebrating their 60 billionth pin and seeing a 66% rise in traffic this March, the Pew Research Center came out with a study that shows that Pinterest has seen its adult users nearly double since 2012. With this kind of growth, and no signs of slowing, it’s clear that Pinterest is a site that is worth looking into if you haven’t already incorporated it into your social media strategy.
The Pew Search Center’s recent study also offers stats on Instagram, and while Pinterest is still edging out Instagram among adults users (31% to 28%), Instagram has seen an even steeper rise, more than doubling its percentage from 2012. Coupled with this, the numbers of users who visit the site every day has increased from 49% to 59%, according to Josh Wolford from WebProNews. While Instagram is primarily known for images that the likes of the Kardashian clan share on the social networking site, it is also a popular site for fashionistas, foodies, photographers, and many others. So if your business is falls under any of these categories, be sure to include Instagram in your social media plan so you can take advantage of this growing trend, especially if your product caters to a younger audience.
Slow Growth for Facebook Pages
Though Facebook remains the titan of all social media networks, Facebook pages have not seen rapid growth as of late. In fact, they are almost stagnating. According to Locowise, the average Facebook page only saw a 0.21 increase in page likes, up a paltry 0.01% from the previous month, and not even enough to garner a single additional ‘like’ for pages with fewer than 100 followers. While it is still a good idea to have a Facebook page in order to keep regular customers or readers in the loop and offer updates to those who don’t use other social media platforms, it is becoming clear that if you want to drive traffic through Facebook, you are going to have to do it through advertising, which means you will have to pay.
Twitter’s Stagnating User Base
Alex Wilhelm of Tech Cruch notes that after seeing their number of users grow by 5.8% and 6.3% in the second and third quarters of 2014, Twitter’s growth rate dropped to 4.8% for the last quarter of 2014, its second slowest growth at the time. The two most recent quarters have been enough worse. The first quarter of 2015 saw a meager 1.4% increase, less than half of its previous lowest quarterly growth rate, while the second quarter saw that rate almost cut in half with an unimpressive 0.75% increase. Though Twitter remains a giant among social networks, and though this kind of stagnation can be expected of a company that’s ballooned to over 300 million users, this incremental growth was enough to cause Twitter’s stock to drop to below its IPO. Though using twitter as part of your social media platform remains important, it is likewise important to make sure you are including other social networking sites, especially those like Instagram that seem to be more popular among young users.
Facebook and Twitter remain vital to any social media campaign, but as various social networking sites crop up, we will see sites rise and fall, as we did with MySpace. It is therefore important to keep your pulse on the latest trends. Instagram, Pinterest, and Imgur, all of which are centered on images, have each seen rapid growth and show no signs of slowing. It is important, then, to incorporate sites like these into your social media campaign so that they can work in concert with the efforts you are putting forward on the more seasoned social networking sites.
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