Social Media Guide Part 2

Some new some not so new. For the most part, these networks are on the rise, and getting in before they are monetised or early in the piece can be a great opportunity to get some free advertising.
Published on Sep 7 2015 by Brett Montgomery

The Names You May Not Be Familiar With:

pinterest

Pinterest (17% usage rate of those on social networks in Australia)

In Brief: A collage of content.

This network was the fastest in history to reach 10 million monthly visitors in the U.S.A. Users on the network effectively aggregate content in a visual platform, meaning that it is a great place to browse for things to buy and inspiration on all kinds of things from types of cake to bake through to wedding decorations. Having a majority of users being female this represents a great channel to reach young aspirationals who are likely to have a reasonable disposable income. Creation of imagery beautiful enough to garner attention may be challenging and time consuming but there is a plethora of online tools that can help this process along and keep costs down.

The Good:

  • If used to best effect this can get your product or services in front of a large audience.

  • At present the monetisation of the network is such that you only pay when you make a sale.

The Bad:

  • Appears to be a network more suited to tangible products that are visually attractive. Services or products that lack visual appeal or ‘sexiness’ are going to be hard to promote here.

  • Can be time consuming to create content that will get good cut through

Users:

Females 18-35 spending an average of 17 minutes per session browsing. Interestingly a higher percentage of regional than metro users.


tumblr logo1

Tumblr (5% usage rate of those on social networks in Australia)  Under 30’s

In Brief: Blogs with an emphasis on the visuals.

If you are a GIF lover this one is for you. Tumblr is like a hybrid of Instagram, Pinterest and your traditional blog. Heavily focused on visuals this is again a great medium for tangible products to be featured. The bonus of Tumblr against rivals like Pinterest is that the amount of text in posts is uncapped, telling a story in more than words is possible here but by no means mandatory. Tumblr was a site that took a long time to be monetised, and recently the Australian incarnation of the network was the second (behind the U.S.A.) to have advertising implemented. The effectiveness of this advertising and the effect it will have on usage is as yet unclear. With only a 5% usage rate this may only be an option for reaching niche groups online.

The Good:

  • Post can be rich in both text and visuals.

  • With Yahoo! as the parent company the network is unlikely to fade into obscurity any time soon, it is also likely Yahoo! will be doing whatever it takes for the network to rise in prominence

The Bad:

  • With small numbers of local users this is a channel with a time cost vs benefit that may be impossible to justify at present.

Users:

18-29 year olds was the only significant demographic noted, however under 18’s may change these numbers as they grow up.


snapchat logo

Snapchat (15% usage rate of those on social networks in Australia) Under 30’s

In Brief: More than a tool for sending regrettable pictures.

Snapchat gained notoriety as an app that allowed people to send pictures that would quickly disappear which was quickly put to more sinister use. Since it has grown to become one of the most prominent ways for young people the world over to communicate. With the my story feature of the app users are able to get almost real time video and pictures of what friends are up too. Also featured in my story are curated snaps from events during the most recent NBA finals this feature was used to give an amazing new perspective. Fans that were on Snapchat and attended the game were able to share their experience creating an all new viewing experience for those not in attendance. Further to this application it appears a foray into the world of QR codes is another way Snapchat is constantly evolving.

The Good:

  • Snapchat is an innovative company that is experimenting with new ways for business and its users to interact making for constantly evolving opportunities on the platform.

  • Getting organic extra mileage out of an event online through Snapchat is less contrived than traditional advertising.

The Bad:

  • Anyone 30 or older is not likely to be very active on the network if at all.

  • Content pushed out through the platform only stays live for short periods of time making for a content hungry platform.

Users:

Youth. 38% of 18-29 age group use Snapchat as opposed to the 15% of the general populous. Estimates are that the usage rates is also extremely high in those under 18.


googleplus

Google+ (23% usage rate of those on social networks in Australia)

In Brief: As good as dead.

Surprisingly Google+ grew its number of users from 2014 to 2015, however it appears most likely that this network is not long for this world. Google has recently decided to split their social efforts into smaller parts to try and allow the features that were a success to grow. At this stage watching this space appears to be the best plan, hangouts and photos will live on but if there will be any meaningful application for business is anyones guess.

The Good:

The Bad:

  • If you already invested time and money, or were a fan of the network it appears to have been for nothing.

Users:

Most likely someone forced to sign up so they could comment on YouTube videos.


Medium

Medium (not included in study)

In Brief: Text focused blogs

Going against the grain of other sites such as Tumblr or Instagram, Medium places a healthy emphasis on the almighty word. With estimated length of read times listed when browsing through posts users are able to pick how long they choose to be engaged for. This is a newer network from the creators of twitter and blogger that attempts to reimagine publishing. Given that Medium was not included in the 2015 Sensis social media study could be read as either it still being a niche network for Australians or simply that it has flown under the radar thus far.

The Good:

  • If you are able to create good enough content to get noticed on here popularity makes post stick to the top of search results and feeds meaning quality not quantity will get content infront of users.

  • With a lack of advertising leveraged in the right way this can represent a way to get in front of users with no monetary cost.

The Bad:

  • Estimation of how useful this network is at present is impossible as numbers of local users are unknown.

Honorable mention:

Vine logo

Vine (3% of users on social in Aus)

Not a widely used network at this point, for the most part the short videos are embedded in posts on other sites or shared via other networks. Think Instagram if it was purely video and only featured the explore tab.

Most consumers on social networks are looking for coupons, discounts or promos when interacting with brands and companies. This finding indicates that consumers may not want to engage with what you have to say unless they think they are getting something in return. However resorting to crude sales promotions is not always the the way forward, a soft sell that showcases your product/services or illustrates the expertise and knowledge you have can be just as powerful and is the way forward for many businesses.

In deciding what social media will be beneficial to your business there are three questions that need to be answered:

  • Do your target audience spend time on the network?

  • Is the network a good platform for effectively communicating the value your company offers?

  • Are you able to post consistently enough to add value, rather than take away?

Whatever channel you think is right for your business one thing is essential; Have a strategy. Sensis found that 80% of SME’s didn’t implement strategies for their social media activities, which is staggering when combined with the fact that companies are forecasting increased spends in this area. What this does signify is that this is a big consideration for all businesses now, but what reward you can reap from the investment is the real test.  


The Sensis Social Media Report 2015 was used to source data and insights for this post, available here.