It’s almost the end of 2018, time for all good internet marketing agencies, professional SEO services, and search engine optimization services to stop and think about the changing environment. This is a good idea in any business, but when you are involved in developing branding strategies, SEO techniques or digital marketing solutions, it is absolutely mandatory! These days, a 12-month-old branding strategy is more out-of-date than a 25-year-old airplane.
So, where does social media and social media marketing stand at the end of 2018? It is easy to get confused about this, because we sometimes confuse headline news with the real world. The general news and financial headlines tell us one story, while actual real world evidence says something different.
If you have been paying attention to news organizations like Fox News, CNN or the New York Times, it would be easy to get the idea that the Facebook ship has struck an iceberg and is sinking. Facebook executives have been called to testify before Congress, the market value of Facebook stock has declined by about 35% since hitting its July 2018, high and European governments are threatening to impose regulations on the giant social media platform. Discouraging, but the typical buyer of lipstick, plumbing supplies, dental care, legal advice, popular music or beer hardly seems to notice. If Facebook use has declined slightly in the past few months, those users have not turned away from social media; they are simply looking elsewhere.
Before you look elsewhere yourself, keep this in mind:
Social networks are now well established; there is a core group of them that does not change much from year-to-year, but they do seem to trade user time around. According to Alexa Internet (the internet data collection arm of Amazon) recently, Facebook and YouTube swapped places in the chart of most visited sites; YouTube’s web address (URL) is now being visited more times than the Facebook site.
The problem with that statistic is that, while many people use YouTube as a social media site, a lot of others go to YouTube only to watch news or entertainment. They never interact with it in the way Facebook viewers click around to find out what’s happening locally. Please do not misinterpret this. At Axiom, we believe very strongly in YouTube and video in general. We only want to point out that there is a lot of disagreement about what, exactly, is a social media site and what is not.
We reviewed a number of sources (Pew Research, Alexa Internet, Neilson, Forbes, etc.) before writing this article and found a lot of inconsistencies. Every one of those experts agree that Google is the most visited site in the world, and many of the newer sources list YouTube as the runner up with Facebook third. The difficulty is that some of the experts place platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Pinterest in the social media category while others totally ignore them. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are basically messaging services, both owned by Facebook. The WhatsApp platform started as an alternative to SMS and now supports sending and receiving a variety of media (text, photos, videos, etc.). It gets a Facebook wedge firmly into the mobile device (smart phone) sector.
Without going on for too long, here is what we think is the bottom line for our clients’ digital marketing solutions as well as those others involved in branding strategy and SEO techniques. First, these were the most popular social media sites in May 2018. Remember that numbers one and two may have swapped places recently, and that important names like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay are not on this list as they are not considered social media.
Social Media Platforms Ranking
We left out the data about time spent on sites, visits per day per user, clicks per site, etc. There is so much data that it is just confusing to most people. However, all of this tells us that Facebook and YouTube are still (far and away) the dominate players in the social media game. Two of the other sites in the top five are Facebook appendages (WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger) and Facebook will find some way to get those users to circle back to ‘home.’
If your business, professional practice, service or non-profit wants to engage in social media marketing, then Facebook and YouTube are still the places to start! That is why Axiom is often involved in social media marketing efforts for its clients. Look at some of these examples:
Of course, Axiom has other interests and skills, but we know that branding strategy and SEO techniques are more and more directed at social media. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that can reach your target markets, turn to Axiom. Your business needs more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to help your web presence penetrate your market. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.
Most young people will understand the meaning of the term “hashtag,” but if you are busy running your professional practice or small business, you may not understand the importance of these devices. Yes, a hashtag is a device, a method of tagging a social media message, a picture, an embedded video or other web-based material with a user generated name or ‘tag.’ Using hashtags makes it easy for other web users to find material about a particular subject or theme.
A content creator such as a business owner, an individual or a webmaster creates a hashtag by using the symbol, ‘#’, followed by a string of letters or numbers. For example, on the social media platform Facebook, the hashtag, “#mybaby” allows viewers to locate all the posts that have been tagged using that hashtag.
Without getting technical about ‘metatags’ or ‘metadata tags’ and how search engines use them, there are several things that you should know about hashtags. Most importantly, hashtags can be a critical element in a branding strategy, SEO strategy, any digital marketing solution or small business SEO effort. Secondly, hashtags tend to be specific to a given social media platform (the biggest are Facebook and Twitter). For the past year, the best-known hashtags have often been associated with Donald Trump, the most famous ‘tweeter’ in the world. Mr. Trump might not put it this way, but the hashtags he has created (and those created about him) have been absolutely essential to his personal branding strategy and his political success. For better or worse, social media and hashtags have played an important part in making him the president.
If you are struggling to find a digital marketing solution that works for your small business or professional practice, you should consider a professional internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services. We have the digital marketing solutions needed to give your web presence the rankings it should have. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Our digital marketing and business marketing teams are able to combine traditional marketing techniques like printing, direct mail advertising and a logo design service with creative web design. Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs. AXIOM understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Visit AXIOM’s small business services page by clicking this LINK or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.
AXIOM ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES does many, many things. AXIOM’s pros can help you or your small business with branding strategies, local SEO services, SEO techniques and even with direct mail marketing and direct mail advertising services. Historically, this has been the way that professionals like AXIOM have provided digital marketing solutions. That has been how any internet marketing agency has met its clients’ needs. But now there are new ways to reach customers or clients.
Businesses large and small are using platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google+ to communicate their marketing messages. Apple can give customers a peek at their newest smartphone or iPad. GM can tell you about a new model or a special deal on an older one. The beautiful thing about these social media platforms is that potential customers seek them out on their own. The business owner or service provider did not have to pay a TV or radio station, a newspaper or magazine publisher, or a billboard owner.
More and more people, young and old, turn to online media like YouTube or Facebook to get news and information. Your small business, professional practice or service can put their message in front of people in your local market. Take a look at how AXIOM used YouTube to help its client, OurSeniors.NET, to introduce its new printed and online magazine –
Or to market its services to help find assisted living facilities –
Or to help a surgeon demonstrate a better surgical procedure –
Or about the training required to become a surgeon –
The possibilities are endless, but only if you take advantage of them. Axiom Administrative Services can build a digital marketing strategy that starts with professional web design, professional SEO services
and then provides a full range of web services, including social media content. Axiom will coordinate internet marketing, online advertising, SEO, an email campaign and the full range of internet digital marketing solutions and services that you need. Start now by thinking about your needs and then contact Axiom Administrative Services by clicking the link or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.
Recently, we came across an amazing statistic. According to Flurry Analytics, a company that specializes in analyzing consumer interactions with mobile applications, the average American now spends five hours a day using his or her smartphone. This estimate sounds a little high to us, but no one can deny the incredible rise of smartphone use. According to Flurry, the average American now spends more time with their smartphone than watching TV.
In the daily lives of many Americans, ‘apps’ have now replaced stations or channels. This has huge importance for all advertisers, including local businesses or service providers. It means that big-budget, professionally produced video ads are less likely to be viewed then an amateur YouTube video that goes viral. As Flurry puts it, “Apps have grown more popular than watching TV — something that speaks to users’ interest in apps for more than just utility.”
The key to getting your small business or professional practice noticed by smartphone users is a compelling visual presentation. A static website must still be the foundation of your branding strategy, and you must still have a sound SEO strategy. That is the place users go when they are seeking basic information like a business’ phone number or map directions.
However, Flurry also reports that U.S. users are spending huge amounts of time in social media, messaging and media and entertainment applications. Facebook, the leader in smartphone time, holds a 19 percent share of the smartphone usage clock. Facebook is more than a site for looking at baby pictures or videos of your last party. It is also where users go to shop for shoes; they can see 3, 4 or 20 different styles on actual feet. It is where they go to see how a CPA would use QuickBooks to help their small business or to watch a walking tour of a house for sale.
In short, audio and visual presentations are the best way to draw attention to your small business, professional practice or service business. Axiom Administrative Services can provide professional help in producing these video presentations, placing them on Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat (the new and rising social media), and linking them to your other internet marketing vehicles. Social media plus video equals a more memorable, compelling result. See how by clicking on AXIOM VIDEO IN FACEBOOK.
A lot of attention is given to social media sites and their influence over everything from national politics to who the best rapper is. Politicians, news media, auto makers, sports teams, famous athletes and entertainers all recognize the importance of social media. In fact, many well-known people, products or causes now owe their fame entirely to social media.
When you think about digital marketing solutions or branding strategies for your small business, non-profit or professional practice, social media cannot be ignored. It is becoming the most important way in which many (or most) people get information, form opinions or interact with others. When building a branding strategy or digital marketing solution, we make the following definition- Social media is any web-based communication tool that enables people to share or consume information.
This information may be simple text messaging, fixed webpages like those on Facebook or general websites, audio material that can be heard or downloaded from the web or audio-visual presentations like those on YouTube. You and your business, non-profit or service provider organization will have a ranking in the social media world, but what about ranking the social media sites themselves?
Some of the results may surprise you. The website, Statista has ranked social media sites according to the number of active users each has. No one is surprised to learn that Facebook with over 2 billion users is the most popular social media website. Not bad for a business that started in a college dorm in 2003. Number 2 is YouTube with 1.5 billion users. This does surprise many people because they have not even thought of YouTube as a social media. It is, and it is used more and more to express opinions, share knowledge and to sell products.
Several of the top social media sites are essentially messaging services for sending and receiving text over the internet. Number 3, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger (number 4), We Chat (5) and QQ (6) all fall into this category. Number 7, and the fastest growing, is Instagram, a photo and video sharing service that allows users to exchange pictures and video freely. It may surprise you to learn that Twitter, even with it famous ‘tweeters’ like President Trump comes in at only # 10 (328 million users).
As an internet marketing agency and a provider of branding strategies, SEO strategies digital marketing solutions and small business SEO, AXIOM’s interest in social media is fitting the needs of our clients to the social media platform that best serves them. It will not surprise you to know that Facebook and YouTube are among our favorite vehicles. You can check us out by clicking on AXIOM ON FACEBOOK or AXIOM ON YOUTUBE. You can call us directly at (800) 888-6348, or use the link to find out more: AXIOM ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
Have a great day!
Today, the importance of social media marketing cannot be overlooked. Facebook started out as a ‘toy’ for a few college students, but it has now become one of the leading web marketing tools available to digital marketing professionals. Each day, tens of millions of people all over the world look at their own Facebook page, their friends’ pages, celebrities or interest groups they like. Facebook is literally a ‘web within the web.’
These pages often contain nothing but personal chatter, but there is also a huge opportunity for digital marketing. When your business, professional practice or service provider Facebook page is ‘liked’ by a single Facebook user, it opens the door to being seen by dozens of others in their social network. Often, these are people of similar age, background and tastes. The internet marketing potential of these social networks is obvious. A young woman who ‘likes’ a hair stylist or finds a bargain on her favorite shoes can let numerous friends of comparable taste know this information in seconds. In turn, they may pass the information on to dozens or hundreds of their social network friends.
These communications are sometimes trivial, but they often contain information, advice and opinions on serious subjects like, ‘how to choose a doctor,” “who to vote for” or “where to find legal” help. The digital marketing opportunity for politicians and professional practices is obvious.
If you provide a service, such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical contracting or hair styling, a single recommendation, referral or ‘like’ of your business Facebook page may bring exposure to hundreds of other people in the same demographic group and geographic area. Now, they know about you, they understand that someone they know and trust has endorsed you. When they have a similar need to fill, it is far more likely that they will call on you to do the job.
Search marketing and social media marketing are two of the most powerful forces in the internet advertising field. To learn more, read our blog article on SOCIAL MEDIA AND SEARCH MARKETING.
A non-profit may have a mission that is different from a business, but it still has many of the same challenges. One of the most important challenges is reaching the internet and social media market. See how AXIOM can help non-profits accomplish this goal. Click on Non-Profits and Internet Marketing.
Today, many people connect to the world through the internet. This is where they shop, make buying decisions and find out about new products or services. Often this comes from sites like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Find out how this can help your small business, non-profit or professional practice by clicking on Why is Social Media Marketing Important for Small Business?
If you are involved in business marketing, digital marketing or any form of internet advertising, you have had some exposure to the idea of using social media. The truth is that the term, “social media” is frequently misunderstood. Please think about “social media” and how it can help you in your web marketing effort. A business person or entrepreneur should think of social media as being an integral part of their internet marketing and overall business marketing plan.
You should not think of social media in the narrow sense of sites like Facebook or Twitter, platforms that are heavily involved in interpersonal relationships and chatter. Certainly, they cannot be ignored, but web-marketing experts also use web-based sites like Yelp or YouTube. A query in Yelp will get you a local listing for anything from dental offices to taco restaurants, while YouTube is now a primary source of information about almost any subject from patio screen repair to gastric bypass surgery.
The term ‘social media’ should be understood to mean any web-based technology through which an individual or organization might promote their service, business or professional practice. Social media has changed the ways in which customers, byers, clients and patients find the product, business or service they need. Search marketing has made it possible for someone to ask dozens of friends questions like, “Where is the best Happy Hour?”, “Do you know a good dermatologist?” or “Who fixed your shower door?”
“Web-based technology” once meant desktop computers or laptops; more and more, it means mobile devices, especially smart phones. This means that a balanced digital marketing plan must include mobile marketing. Social network marketing and social media marketing are now important parts of online advertising. Because social media grew so quickly, some business people might still think of it as being a passing fad or a minor part of a digital marketing plan. This is definitely not the case! Search marketing is now the primary way in which many products or services are chosen.
Do a quick test. Go to Yelp.com and search for “cardiologists near “ + [your zip code]. Most people do not think of cardiology as a social marketing subject, but this search will almost certainly turn up office listings and reviews for most of the practicing cardiologists in the area. Most cardiology practices will now have at least a web page and many have their own YouTube channel where you can learn about angiograms, vascular stints or how to help control your cholesterol. Both the web page and the YouTube channel are forms of digital marketing and internet advertising.
A presence on social media sites can help your business, non-profit or professional practice in numerous ways. First, it makes you or your organization more recognizable, accessible and familiar to customers or potential customers. The value of this familiarity is huge. Imagine that you are looking at a large store display while shopping for toothpaste. Are you more likely to choose a brand that is familiar or one you have never heard of? People almost always choose the familiar name.
The role of traditional advertising was to establish this brand familiarity. In the past, only large advertising budgets could make names like ‘Colgate’ toothpaste familiar to shoppers. Digital marketing, social media marketing and search marketing have made it possible to achieve this familiarity at a tiny fraction of the cost.
Second, social network marketing provides a chance to demonstrate your expertise, to show that you know your business, be it computer repair or tile installation. A complete internet marketing strategy should include traditional digital marketing like a company webpage, but also informative articles or online video marketing presentations that educate and inform your audience. Social network marketing can make you not only familiar, but also trusted as a source of services, products or advice.
Perhaps the most important reason for giving attention to social media marketing is that your competitors are already doing it. This is true of almost any service, profession, product or even idea. If you are providing a cat grooming service, you will find that entering the term ‘cat grooming’ on Facebook returns dozens of results that include descriptions, maps, directions and other information. Many people turn to Facebook to find this service. If you are a non-profit serving the needs of homeless people, a Facebook search returns dozens of results that relate directly to your local area. Social media marketing provides an effective, low-cost way to reach the consumers of your product, service or idea.
Future articles will take a close look at specific search marketing and social media marketing websites. As a business person, service provider or non-profit manager, you probably do not have the time or skill to devote to social network marketing or web marketing in general. At AXIOM Administrative Services, social media marketing is one of our primary concerns. AXIOM can help your business with any form of web marketing, including social media and social network marketing.
AXIOM understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Please visit AXIOM’s Small Business Services page or by calling 800-888-6348.