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Did you know that there are at least 133 social media platforms in existence? Clearly, with so many, it’s not practical to be on all platforms. Therefore, it’s key for you to choose the networks that make sense for your brand strategically.
Instead of focusing on the most common social media platforms out there (think Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram), we’re going to discuss some extremely invaluable social networks that brands quite often overlook. Let’s discuss their benefits and how they can assist you in connecting with your customers, boosting brand awareness and increasing leads and, thus, sales.
1. What type of business do you have?
Are you a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) brand? You want to establish a social media presence where your core target audience is. A B2B business, for example, fares better with networks like LinkedIn, where you can establish a digital relationship with key individuals within organizations you wish to enter into business with. B2C companies (especially those with physical products) can thrive on a picture-based site like Pinterest or Reddit, where super fans can start discussion threads.
Related: The Business of Harnessing the Power of Social Media
2. Which channel best fits your social goals?
Knowing your audience is essential, but so is being aware of your social goals. Are you looking to interact with customers and get feedback? Do you want to showcase your offerings? Or are you simply looking to sit in chat rooms to hear what the masses want? There’s a unique platform for each of these needs. Below are five such platforms and how each can align with your social media strategies.
3. Which channels are competitors using?
You know how the saying goes: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. An easy way to see which platforms could work best for you is to simply research which networks your current competitors are active on. You’ll be able to see their engagement, the type of content that’s popular and how often you should post. Instead of trying to acquire as much social media real estate as you can, focus instead on what’s working for others.
Now, onto platforms that brands often overlook and why they should be considered to help increase your brand awareness, reach your target audience and drive sales.
Related: How to Succeed on Social Media By Using Your Competitors
The world’s largest professional network: LinkedIn
Most professionals use LinkedIn, but are you using it to boost your brand awareness? As of July 2022, there was a whopping 849.6 million worldwide users — its top users being boomers, Gen X and millennials.
The platform gives you a powerful search engine to conduct market research and learn who’s who in your industry. It enables you to link up directly with peers you wish to collaborate with. It also acts as a lead generation funnel through features like the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program. Here you can learn and gain resources, such as how-to guides on building a robust newsletter list and guidance on developing content ideas to grow your audience.
You also have the opportunity to build your brand by becoming a thought leader when you publish authoritative niche content. The best part about using LinkedIn is that you can build a massive network with just their basic free service.
The leading local business connector: Nextdoor
As of July 2022, Nextdoor boasted 69 million users. With a user demographic consisting of boomers, Gen X, and millennials, this B2C platform is best used by those seeking to boost brand awareness and desire to market locally.
Founded in 2008, Nextdoor is a social networking platform explicitly designed to help people from different neighborhoods stay up to date on the latest neighborhood news and find local service-provider recommendations.
The best way to connect with buyers is to claim your free business page. This helps you establish a presence within your local community. Secondly, you can ask loyal customers to leave recommendations to help rank your page, so your business appears in neighborhood search results.
Stay in touch with the community through business posts where you can share news and press releases. Lastly, advertising your sales and promotions via Nextdoor Ads is a cost-effective way to generate leads and convert them into willing buyers.
Related: Are Nextdoor Ads the Best New Way to Gain Local Customers?
The biggest visual discovery engine: Pinterest
Pinterest is like a storehouse of pictures. It’s a repository where you’ll find images to draw inspiration for your own campaigns. 85% of people on the platform use it as the starting point for new projects.
The platform’s global reach means it has a strong following, with 433 million worldwide users as of July 2022. It’s a popular site among millennials, but Gen X, Gen Z, and boomers also command a strong presence.
Pinterest is B2C-focused and can be used for brand discovery. Use it to establish and curate your brand through visual means. You can successfully leverage this social media platform by investing in quality product/service pictures and optimizing them as you upload them to Pinterest. Moreover, by ensuring your pictures link back to your website, Pinterest becomes a vehicle that drives your sales and traffic. Just look at the numbers: 80% of active Pinterest users claim to discover new products and or brands while browsing the platform.
That’s not all, however. Thanks to Pinterest’s high domain authority, any published content on the platform has greater visibility on different search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
The new kid on the block: Clubhouse
Clubhouse was all the rage in 2020 when the platform first launched. The audio-only app’s biggest marketing hack had been its elitist “invite-only” strategy.
However, as the platform moved from its iOS-exclusive offering and more people joined, the hype died down. That’s not to say B2B and B2C companies can’t use it to engage the mostly millennial user base. With a strong user base of at least 10 million and a plethora of virtual discussions taking place in different rooms, there’s no shortage of places where you can learn from other professionals within your industry and the needs and wants of your consumer.
You can also take advantage of the platform to hear reviews directly from your consumers in real time. Host live discussions, Q&A sessions and different types of virtual events. Participate in relevant conversations by joining industry-specific rooms and collaborate with peers by engaging in their conversations.
You can gain insight into new campaigns and even products by paying attention to different niche conversations. By actively listening, you can easily identify gaps in your industry that you could potentially meet based on what people are complaining about.
When it comes to drawing attention to your brand and generating leads, you can do this by hosting brand-affiliated interviews, fireside chats and panels. In addition, you can also sponsor room events. Team members can engage in these events if needed. Otherwise, most hosts are happy to give sponsoring brands a shoutout to promote your product or service during the session.
Related: 5 Foolproof Ways to Generate Leads Through Social Media
The go-to social news site and forum: Reddit
Reddit is nearly as old as Facebook, having been founded in Medford, Massachusetts, in 2005. And like most social media apps, it is free to join hence its 48 million monthly U.S. user base. The platform is a news website-slash-social-forum making it great for both B2B and B2C brands. With 64% of Reddit’s users being 18 to 29-year-olds, the site positions itself as a powerful marketing tool if your products or services have this demographic as a target audience.
Growing your brand on the platform can be done in various ways. You can interact with customers by asking them to share pictures of themselves for shoutouts or to win prizes, start sub-Reddit threads to discuss features of your products or answer troubleshooting questions, create sub-Reddit threads with brand-loyal super fans who’re willing to monitor and curate threads, and announce your latest news and any upcoming conferences, webinars and events.
The point is there are more social media platforms besides Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. So take time to develop a social media strategy for each new platform. Curate your presence within the different subcultures and communities existing online.