Of course you already know this, but in case you’ve had a momentary brain lapse, let me remind you that Google is a MASSIVE enterprise. Google is the largest search engine by a long shot. By early 2014, Google had 67.6% of the global search market share with Bing coming in second at 18.7% and Yahoo third with only 10%. As of the 4th quarter of 2013, Google’s Android mobile operating system had a firm hold on more than 77% of the global market share. Google’s email client, aptly named “Gmail,” has more than 500 million users. More than 1 billion unique users visit Google’s YouTube video network each month, and there are more than 100 hours of video uploaded to the site each MINUTE. Google+ surpassed Twitter in 2013 as the second most popular social network with 540 million monthly active users. Google also has the second most used web browser, with Chrome claiming 20% of the global market share behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer’s 58% and Firefox sitting in third place with 15%.
Back when the social media revolution began, there were few options available to businesses – blogs, forums and MySpace were the highlights. Shortly thereafter, Facebook, which began as a platform for college students became available to the masses and Twitter launched… fast-forward to today. Social media now takes the form of networks (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace), videos (YouTube, Vimeo, Vine), images (Instagram, Flickr), blogs (Blogger, WordPress), microblogs (Twitter, Tumblr), chats and video chats (SnapChat, WhatsApp, Skype), bookmarking/content-sharing sites (Pinterest, Digg, StumbleUpon, SlideShare), communities (reddit), music (Spotify, Last.FM, SoundCloud), Q&A forums (Quora, Ask.FM), location-based platforms (Foursquare, Swarm, Yelp), review sites (Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor), and shopping (Amazon, eBay).
Online social opportunities for each and every business are endless. Unfortunately, time and money are not. Think you can just choose your favorite platform and dive-in head first? Probably not a good idea. It’s unlikely that your entire target audience will be devoted to one social site (see below). In fact, they most likely use several different social platforms at different times for different reasons. So try to be everywhere, right? NO. You’ll spread yourself too thin.
Have you ever been following someone on Twitter or Instagram (who is NOT a celebrity) and noticed a huge spike in their number of followers from one day to the next? I have. It’s weird. Does such an increase make me, the follower, think that what you have to say suddenly got more interesting or credible? Nope. Do I suddenly find you to be more important? Nope. Especially when a quick check of who the influx of followers are provides all the evidence I need to see that most (if not all) of this newly found flock are fake accounts rather than real people.
Here’s a look at the follower numbers for an account that buys followers periodically. You can clearly see the days that purchases were made and days that Twitter does massive fake account deletions.
There’s a reason that popularity of social sites like Instagram and Pinterest have skyrocketed recently. It is the same reason that you used to be drawn to the stories in the newspaper that had images associated with them (hey! remember when you actually held a newspaper in your hand and read it?). By design, we’re visual beings. We’re built to see a wide spectrum of colors, depth and texture.
But the reason we’re drawn to imagery goes beyond that – when we view imagery, we each see something unique and we connect emotionally to the visual by creating our meaning for it. Visuals make more lasting impressions because we process them differently than we do text. According to a recent LinkedIn blog post, when we process imagery we are using 75% of our sensory neurons. Imagery has become the new headline. In this new fast-paced world where we’re dealing with a barrage of messages and continuous noise via every social channel, imagery is what we (marketers) need to use to capture the attention of our audience.
By now we’ve all seen the best selfie ever. (See below in case you have been living under a proverbial rock.) How could you not love this photo? The spontaneity, casualness and silliness of it made it go viral instantly. So much so that it not only set the record for the highest number of retweets (more than 2.5 million right now and 700,000 in the first hour), which was Ellen’s goal, but it also crashed Twitter.