For years the social media marketing scene has been dominated by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. While still the places that most advertisers go to create their pages and market to the masses there are some other options available that have some pretty large and loyal fan bases that you might want to consider.
Amazingly there are a few websites that get overlooked by almost all those that are new to social media marketing. That is pretty easy to do in a world that is dominated by the likes of Facebook (2 billion users) and YouTube (1.5 billion users). With those kind of numbers it is no wonder everyone immediately scours the internet to learn how to market to the world on these websites.
However, throughout this article we will talk about a few overlooked websites that can help you in your marketing efforts. Sure they don’t have the billions of users that are available on the major social media networks, but they still command audiences that number in the millions. Also you will not be competing with EVERYONE that is trying to get the attention of the masses on these juggernauts.
One final note before you get started reading about just a few of the sites that are overlooked: Do not let others discourage you from using smaller sites. You will hear that sites such as these and many others do not work for social media marketing. That is simply not even true. You simply need to remember to follow the rules of the site and also to be honest and thoughtful. Building a reputation for your brand that makes others know you as an expert that gives honest and helpful advice and as someone who engages in a positive way will help your brand grow faster on any social platform that you choose.
Quora, They have questions and you should answer
People love to get answers to their questions and that is what has made Quora such a huge success over the years and with 190 million visitors per year it is not hard to believe.
So exactly how does Quora work? Quora allows their users to ask questions about anything and get answers from other users. The beauty is that when you answer someones question you are able to include links, media and use text formatting that allows your answers become unique, relevant and accurate.
The SEO backlink opportunities are amazing with this type of social media as well, but should not be the only reason you consider using Quora. Simply by answering questions you can build brand awareness through your answers. Think about it like this. You answer a question with the correct information time and time again. People begin to trust you and look at you as somewhat of an expert. This also can translate very well to them trusting the brand you promoting through your account with Quora. However, you could go the opposite way and be rude and uncaring and just get down voted into oblivion and I am pretty sure that is not the way you really want to go.
Another great feature is that you can link your social media account to your other networks such as Facebook to leverage all of your brand exposure.
Rules to follow when using Quora:
- Give thought to your answers and make them accurate as well as genuine.
- Ask questions to get answers that you might need as well.
- Include media, links, and text formatting in all of your answers. Like a blog post that is thought out do the same with your answers.
- Make sure you Upvote good answers and comment only when appropriate.
- Never be an Internet bully. Make sure you are always viewed well even when you give a response that is in contradiction to others.
- Make sure you are one of the earliest people to answer. As a question gets older the opportunity to garner attention gets less.
- Make sure you completely fill out your Quora profile. People will look at your profile and see your websites.
Reddit, specialized topics, conversations and question answering
Reddit can be your brands best friend. There are so many specialized topics and conversations that finding a place for your brand to fit in should not be to hard at all. Also like Quora there is an “Ask Me Anything” portion of this website that gives you a chance to increase your brand awareness. Known throughout the web as “The Front Page of the Internet” Reddit gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your targeted audience.
Boasting 250 million users the opportunity to connect directly with audiences that are truly interested in your type of products or services is amazing. Taking the time to engage with other users through conversations, content, questions and more will help you build not only your brand, but eventually will translate to a level of trust that will bring you new customers.
Like Quora making sure that you are respectful, thoughtful and accurate in your answers and how you deal with them is going to go a long way in building up your brand image.
One of the things that can be a challenge about Reddit is the outdated look to its website. The sites design and navigation are maintained with an old-school look. The people here are very protective of their community and it will take some time to establish your brand as one that is trusted, but with the niche topics that are available the opportunity is huge.
Reddit is essentially broken down into Sub-areas (subreddits) that are mini communities. These communities are dedicated to a broad range of topics and can be generalized or specific. This is helpful to companies that want to establish their brand with small, but highly motivated communities within Reddit. Since the topics are specialized the people who join are normally interested in learning more about companies that fit within the topics of the community.
Some tips for you to remember when using Reddit:
- Search the subreddits for the topics and communities that best define your brand.
- Use “best” to sort content by relevancy.
- There are always those that are looking to be bullies on the Internet (trolls). Just ignore them and do not feed their need to bash everyone for anything.
- Yes there is a reddit etiquette. Learn to use it so that you are able to convey your message the way the communities like it.
- Make sure not to share content that makes your brand look like a used car salesman. People do not respond well to spammy content. Make it relevant and useful to the community.
- Make sure that you are following others who engage with you positively or who publish content that is relevant to your brand. The interest level is much higher from these people and will payoff for you in the long run.
Pinterest, Social Media picture boards
While Pinterest has a lot of dedicated users, 175 million users as of January 2018, the stigma is that they are all mommy bloggers, food people and do it yourselfers. OK, while some of this is true, the opportunities for building a brand here still exist.
So what is Pinterest? You create a board where you pin topics. These topics are basically an image with some details below them. People can interact with your board by liking, sharing (or re-pinning) or commenting. This can have a viral effect and all to often a popular pin gets shared to other social media outlets. I am pretty sure that most of you have seen them on Facebook as pins are shared there everyday, unless of course you do not use Facebook.
These tips from Hootsuite can help you get the most from your Pinterest account:
- Make sure you create a business account.
- Make sure that you have a complete profile. Images, links and company description.
- Make sure your pins are categorized and makes sense.
- Engage with others. The more people who you interact with the more likely your pins will get noticed.
- Share content from other pinners to your board.
- Make use of the Pin Button with all of your blog content from your website to encourage sharing and engagement.
LinkedIn, not just for business networking
Originally meant as a platform for professionals to network with other professionals, Linkedin is starting to become a way to grow your brand as well. Over 250 million people use Linkedin and that number is continuing to grow each year. The reason for this growth is that Linkendin is constantly making changes to its platform to appeal to more people and develop more into a social media platform for professionals.
While the audience is more a site of professionals, they do have interests and passions that make them look around on the site. You can connect with these users that share an interest in your types of products or services and benefit from not only their desire to utilize your company, but also the respect that they can afford you to others if they like what you offer. They can be some of your best promoters if you are smart about how you market to them.
Look for niche communities through Linkendin Groups and join those that fit with your industry and engage with others.
To get the most out of Linkedin:
- Signup and create a business page under your account.
- Make sure you completely fill out all relevant information. People trust those that they feel are sharing honest information.
- Make sure to post content regularly to maintain interest.
- Engage with the people in your groups on a regular basis.
- Follow relevant industry professionals, businesses, pages, and Pulse authors.
The ability to market your brand through social media is only limited by your imagination and motivation. There are other sites as well that you can leverage to help grow your company. Sometimes following the leader and doing what everyone else is doing is not always a great idea. The shear number of people and businesses that try to market their brands on Facebook and YouTube for example can make it difficult for you to grow your brand very fast. The smaller platforms that I discussed here can be a great opportunity as the competition is not as great and you have a greater chance at getting noticed as you market your brand.
Remember to engage in a thoughtful way that is helpful to others and builds your credibility and gains their trust. Honesty goes a long ways even if it means recommending a competitor that has a product that you do not carry and can help someone out. They will remember this for a long time.
While I talked about a few of the smaller social media sites that hold opportunities for you there are a multitude of sites beyond these such as Snapchat, Instagram, Google+, Vine and others that can be used in similar manners. The best way to get the most of each of these is to make a solid marketing plan and follow it to get the most of your chosen platforms.