When most people think of social media, they mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, there are many other social media sites. Without abandoning your efforts on larger sites you can often gain great benefits by making inroads on smaller, growing platforms. The following sites are not new or obscure. What they have in common is that many businesses don’t recognize the advantages of incorporating them into their social media marketing strategies.
If you’ve been involved in online marketing for any amount of time, you’ve surely heard of Reddit. Reddit is often considered as a quirky, perhaps nerdy, platform for discussing various issues. Its marketing potential is often overlooked. Yet, when used the right way, you can get lots of leads, customers, and followers from Reddit.
One reason that Reddit isn’t often discussed for marketing is that users are not receptive to aggressive pitches, especially from newer users. This shouldn’t discourage you, though. It only means that you need to take some time to build your credibility. Join SubReddits where your audience spends time, share valuable information, and establish yourself as a helpful and knowledgeable member. People will be able to contact you by looking up your profile information.
Whatever business you’re in, there are almost certainly people discussing topics relevant to you on Reddit, and you can use Sysomos Search to identify and analyze those conversations, to spot opportunities for engagement.
WhatsApp, like Reddit, is well-known, but not usually thought of as a platform for marketing. WhatsApp is one of the world’s largest messaging services, with around one billion users worldwide. One of the advantages of this platform is that even people who don’t spend much time browsing social media threads on Facebook and Twitter may use WhatsApp to connect both for social and business reasons. You can think of WhatsApp as a free alternative to text messaging. The question is, how do you tap into this for marketing?
You can’t simply start contacting users on WhatsApp. You need to provide them with your number and get permission to contact them. When you do this, you can send them messages, similar to an email list. You may want to obtain a special WhatsApp number for this purpose, as otherwise, you could be getting lots of messages to your personal number. You can start WhatsApp groups on any theme.
You might be wondering how to target WhatsApp users who fit your customer profile. One way is to ask for WhatsApp contact info from your followers on other platforms, such as email, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You may very well find that the same contacts are more responsive on WhatsApp, as people are more likely to read chat messages than emails or Facebook messages. Send messages on WhatsApp using common sense and discretion. No one wants to be bombarded with promotional messages. However, if you use it the right way, WhatsApp can be a valuable tool for obtaining leads and building relationships.
Medium is a popular blogging site that’s quickly becoming one of the best places to establish your authority. Medium isn’t really made for marketing per se. However, it can be a powerful content marketing tool that complements your other efforts. One of the best features of Medium is that you can republish content from other places such as your blog. If you already have dozens or hundreds of articles on your website, it’s not much extra work to also publish them on Medium.
Many people find that the same post will get more traffic on Medium than on their own website, suggesting that Google favors this platform. As with any type of content marketing, you should strive to include keywords in your titles and entire article. You can include links in your Medium articles. While only certain third-party embeds are supported, this includes all the major social sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. In this manner, you can use Medium to get traffic to your other social media pages. You also have the possibility to earn money if enough readers upvote your articles.
TikTok, one of the newer social media sites, is a platform that highlights short videos. Users can post 15-second videos, a format that’s become popular on many sites. As with Facebook and Instagram Stories, you can create a series of linked videos to create stories of up to 60 seconds. The central “gimmick” of TikTok is that users pair each video with a song, taken from TikTok’s substantial library.
TikTok is fast-growing, especially with younger users. As a new platform, it’s still experimenting with marketing and advertising options. At this point, TikTok is best defined as a branding platform. You can create your own channel on the topic of your choice. One way to leverage this site is to partner with influencers and let them run your channel for a day. If your brand targets a young audience, especially people interested in music or entertainment, it’s worth experimenting with TikTok.
Pinterest is an often overlooked social media site that can be powerful for marketing. With over 200 million monthly users, Pinterest isn’t as big as Facebook but still reaches a wide audience. Just as importantly, many people visit this site specifically for shopping. Pinterest is especially useful for promoting physical products and anything where images are central.
You can invest in paid pins that drive traffic to your website. You can also use the site organically, posting lots of pins and joining group boards. For some boards, especially larger ones, you’ll need the board owner’s approval to do this. If you want to use Pinterest for marketing, make sure you set up a business account. With this type of account, you have access to more complete analytics that helps you plan your campaigns. Another crucial step is to confirm your website, which lets your pins rank better in search results.
Smaller Social Media Sites Can Enhance Your Marketing
You may want to include one or more of the above sites to your social media marketing strategy. These smaller sites don’t replace marketing on Facebook and other major platforms. They can, however, enhance your efforts and send more traffic to your other social media pages as well as your product pages or website.