Previously the social media marketing throne was held by Myspace; however once Facebook launched it was quickly replaced. Since then, there have been numerous challenges for the throne, from Google’s failed attempts with Buzz and Wave, through to the two which currently sit in second and third place, Twitter and LinkedIn.

However, with 2012 fast approaching here at JE Consulting we’ve decided to take a little bit of time out to see if there are any serious challengers to Facebook’s social media marketing throne.

StumbleUpon:

Now we know that StumbleUpon isn’t a new social media platform per-se, however on December 5th 2011 the website which originally launched in 2001 announced it’s new format, which included introducing a new logo – gone is the blue and green circle with SU in the middle; now there is a reddish-orange circle with a funkier SU; and along with the new logo the creators of StumbleUpon have introduced a new design and “Channels”.

The latter is likely to be of the biggest importance for businesses and brands.

Until the launch of the new look site, StumbleUpon didn’t let brands or businesses advertise on the site; however with channels this has been reversed and by using relevant keywords, adding relevant content and placing themselves in the right channel, businesses can now reach out to a wider audience.

Is it worth investing time in? Whilst the changes StumbleUpon have made now make the site easier to use and accessible to businesses and brands; the site still doesn’t look like a serious challenger to Twitter or LinkedIn, let alone the Facebook throne.

Tumblr:

I cannot stress enough how important it is for businesses to blog regularly. Blogging offers various benefits to a business and to a website; not only does it give businesses the opportunity to promote their products and services in a way which shows them in the best light possible; but it also allows the intergration of links – and for those businesses engaging in guest blogging (if you’re not already doing so, you should seriously consider it for 2012) it also allows back-links which will in time boost your SEO.

There are two blogging platforms which are common amongst businesses and individuals – these being wordpress.com and blogger.com; however there is a third which although it may have slipped through the net for most, is extremely popular – step forward Tumblr.

Tumblr offers the user – whether an individual or a business – everything they could require, all in one place.

Users who’ve signed up to the site are able to effortlessly share anything, from photographs and videos, through to quotes, links, music and text; using desktop computers, email and mobile phones.

American marketing trade publication, Brandweek, which has been circulating for 25 years, said of Tumblr: “Marketers trying to keep pace with Twitter and Facebook may want to check out another emerging social media platform: Tumblr.”

Is it worth investing time in? This is a question I asked my personal followers on Twitter as I have a good mix of businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals. I believe the following which I received from one of my followers, MDJCreative, sums Tumblr up perfectly for any businesses unsure as to whether to use it or not.

“I’ve integrated a Tumblr blog into my website, meaning that the followers of the blog are really following my website. Also I find Tumblr more interactive when getting feedback to blog posts etc compared to my Twitter posts and Facebook page.”

Xing / Viadeo:

Whilst Xing and Viadeo are two different websites, they’re ultimately trying to target the same market – the market which is currently occupied by LinkedIn.

Xing is a social media network for business professionals and was founded in 2003. During the last eight years it has managed to gain roughly 11 million users. Viadeo, again is another network which is almost identical to LinkedIn and after being founded in 2004 it has achieved 40million users.

Are they worth investing time in? Whilst Xing is popular within German speaking countries, along with Turkey and Spain; if you’re looking to target other businesses or gain networks from other businesses with your social media marketing campaign, you’d be better suited staying with LinkedIn.

Whilst only 1 of the three platforms mentioned above seem to be able to offer a serious challenge to the already occupied throne within their social media marketing field; this doesn’t mean that we should stop looking for other platforms to utilise in 2012.

Categories: Blog