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Who’s Winning In the Fight For Social Media Dominance?

When it comes to marketing your business on social media the rules of the game are changing. With both Twitter and Facebook making significant changes to the way they operate by pushing their ad solutions to marketers and making organic reach harder, new strategies for connecting to your audiences on social channels means a change in social strategies.

We’re seeing a head end of a few significant social media platforms that provide the most value, with the long tail of networks most likely falling away quite fast. According to Bing’s top searches of 2013 the most searched social media sites globally are

1) Facebook
2) Pinterest
3) Twitter
4) Linkedin
5) Instagram

In the UK specifically the most searched for social networks were.

1) Twitter
2) Linkedin
3) Skype
4) Facebook
5) Tumblr

However just because a network might be popular doesn’t mean it’s the most effective communication channel for your business. According to a December 2013 report by AdAge Facebook are now limiting the visibility of posts on fan’s timelines unless you promote them with a Facebook Ad campaign. Brands have reported up to an 83% drop in visibility for their organic posts after stopping their Facebook ad campaigns, resulting in companies having less than a 30% chance of achieving organic traffic from Facebook.

So for small businesses it may make more sense to focus less on Facebook marketing and move their efforts to Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin as the big 3 to focus on for organic traffic. As yet we haven’t seen any organic penalization for not taking up the Twitter Ads offering (although don’t rule that out that Twitter will follow Facebook’s lead in the future).

Pinterest clearly fills an audience desire for more visual based content on the web although distilling a converting message into a picture for Pinterest does take a different mindset to articles and other forms of written content digital marketers have previously been creating.

Linkedin always has been a business based social network, although there has been some privacy concerns around their new connection suggestion algorithms and recent push to get users to feed their email accounts through LinkedIn’s servers (presumambly for some sort of data gathering).

Ultimately going forward, small businesses may need to think about increasing their ad spend on social media to gain visibility as organic opportunities decrease and building a social media marketing budget into their product pricing structures.

Whilst it does reduce the democratization that the internet and social media promised in the early days, businesses do need to be where the numbers are, and ultimately the social networks do need to sustain their platforms and return value to their shareholders.

Which social media channels are yielding the best results for your particular business? Let us know in the comments section below.

Photo credit: Flickr CC

Simon Dunant
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About The Author

Simon Dunant

Simon Dunant is the founder digital marketing consultancy New Rise Digital and Podcast Power Marketing . He also hosts the Podcast Power Marketing podcast on iTunes and is the author of the book "Essential Digital Marketing For Small Business." He has over 15 years experience of helping businesses, creative artists and bloggers make sense of the digital marketing landscape. Simon has hosted 2 previous digital marketing podcasts and has spoken at numerous conferences and events including Midem (Cannes), Popkomm (Berlin), ADE Music Conference (Amsterdam) and Britespace (London).

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