What’s the Difference? Explaining the Top Social Media Channels

social-media-channelsWhich social media channel will work best for my event? What’s are the up-and-comer channels that I should be aware of? What’s the difference between them all?!

These are common questions, both within the endurance industry and across other industries as well, so you’re not alone if you have them running through your head. To help us all out, we asked our social media nerds here at ACTIVE to give us a simple, straightforward list of the top social media channels and what they’re good for:

Think of it like a mini-website. Use it to:

  • Keep followers up to date on news, sending special offers/discounts, etc.
  • Build loyalty and brand awareness
  • Let others promote you through “shares”
  • Link to articles, pose questions to participants and crowdsource ideas
  • Advertise
  • Analyze your audience/results

It’s essentially a ticker tape of latest news. Use it to:

  • Disseminate news, timely updates and special offers
  • Link to articles, blogs, websites and special landing pages
  • Have quick, real-time conversations with followers
  • Monitor the pulse of your audience
  • Provide fast, personalized customer service and event-day engagement

Video is very hot right now. Use it to:

  • Give participants a feel for your event due to the highly visual nature
  • Get the added benefit of YouTube’s search engine optimization (use  keywords!)
  • Give pre-event sneak peeks, 1-2 minute videos from the course, participant interviews, etc
  • Build brand awareness and community

It’s all about thought leadership and brand awareness. Use it to:

  • Provide helpful information and the expertise of industry influencers (e.g. running coaches, nutritionists, personal trainers, seasoned participants)
  • Promote via most other social media channels
  • Build a following (just don’t push the sales!)

Google +
New tool growing in popularity, but current audience is mostly tech savvy, early adopters. Use it to:

  • Market to targeted, niche audiences with its “circles”
  • Get preferential treatment on search engines

This is a virtual form of a cork board full of thumbtacked pictures. Use it to:

  • Access women-dominated audiences, as women outnumber men 5-to-1
  • Disseminate event images
  • Build loyalty and advocacy among followers

Hopefully this list helps you decide when and how to use each channel. Print it out and use it as a cheat sheet!

SEE ALSO: 10 Unbelievable Social Media Stats for 2013