Social Media Landscape 2012

Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are but three of the most popular social media networks. But really, there is a dense ecosystem of niche players and so deciding which ones to add to the marketing mix depends on your products/services and target audience. For example, if you are a musician, you may want to add ReverbNation, or if you are a recruitment company, then LinkedIn is a must!

If a hotel, then maintaining a proactive presence on TripAdvisor makes a great deal of sense. But as the return on investment (ROI) is not often immediate, a careful review of the social media landscape must first be undertaken. After this is done and networks have been selected for participation, resources need to be allocated, and realistic goals need to be set with a plan of action for achieving — because really there is no point setting up a page on, say, Facebook if you don’t plan to maintain. More harm can be done to a brand if a page is set up and weeks/months go by, and no updates appear, or worse yet, communication from prospects and clients on the page go unanswered.

The graphic above not only provides insight into the wider array of popular social networks but it groups them by the type of interaction (publishing, sharing, playing, networking, buying, localization) and primary device for communication ((laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphones). All are very helpful for determining which social media network makes the most sense for your brand.

That said, further insight into the current social media landscape can be gleaned at They have an interactive grid that provides insight into which networks are most effective with: Customer Communication, Brand Exposure, Traffic To Your Site, and Search Engine Optimization.

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