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Did you know that there is at least 133 social media platforms existing? Obviously, with so many, it’s not practical to be on all platforms. That’s why it’s critical for you to choose the networks that make strategic sense for your brand.
Rather than focusing on the most common social media platforms out there (think Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram), let’s go over some extremely invaluable social networks that brands often overlook. Let’s talk about their benefits and how they can help you connect with your customers, increase brand awareness and increase leads and thus more sales.
1. What kind of business do you have?
Are you a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) brand? You want to be present on social media where your core audience is. For example, a B2B company does better with networks like LinkedIn, where you can build a digital relationship with key figures within organizations you want to do business with. B2C businesses (especially those with physical products) can thrive on an image-based site like Pinterest or Reddit, where superfans can start discussion threads.
Related: Harnessing the power of social media
Knowing your audience is essential, but so are your social goals. Do you want to communicate with customers and get feedback? Do you want to show your offer? Or do you just want to sit in chat rooms to hear what the masses want? There is a unique platform for each of these needs. Below are five such platforms and how each can be aligned with your social media strategies.
3. What channels do competitors use?
You know the saying, keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. An easy way to see which platforms might work best for you is to simply research which networks your current competitors operate on. You can see their engagement, the type of content that is popular and how often you have to post. Instead of trying to acquire as much social media real estate as possible, instead focus on what works for others.
Now, on platforms that brands often overlook and why they should be considered to increase your brand awareness, reach your target audience and drive sales.
Related: How To Succeed On Social Media Using Your Competitors
The world’s largest professional network: LinkedIn
Most professionals use LinkedIn, but do you also use it to increase your brand awareness? From July 2022 there was no less than 849.6 million global users – the top users are boomers, Gen X and millennials.
The platform provides you with a powerful search engine to conduct market research and learn who is who in your industry. It allows you to connect directly with colleagues you want to collaborate with. It also acts as a funnel for lead generation through features like the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program. Here you can learn and obtain resources such as 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 thing about using LinkedIn is that you can build a huge network with just their basic free service.
The leading local business connector: Nextdoor
From July 2022, next-door boasted 69 million users. Immediately user demographics Consisting of boomers, Gen X, and millennials, this B2C platform is best used by those looking to increase brand awareness and increase the desire to market locally.
founded in 2008, next-door is a social networking platform explicitly designed to help people from different neighborhoods keep up to date with the latest neighborhood news and find recommendations from local service providers.
The best way to connect with buyers is to claim your free company page. This helps you to be present in your local community. Second, you can ask loyal customers to leave recommendations to rank your page so that your business appears in nearby search results.
Stay connected with the community through business messages where you can share news and press releases. Finally, advertise your sales and promotions through 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 Acquire Local Customers?
The largest visual discovery engine: Pinterest
Pinterest is like a repository of photos. It’s a repository where you can find images to get inspiration for your own campaigns. 85% of people on the platform as a 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 is a popular site among millennials, but Gen X, Gen Z and boomers are also strongly represented.
Pinterest is B2C focused and can be used for brand discovery. Use it to establish and manage your brand visually. You can successfully leverage this social media platform by investing in high-quality product/service photos and optimizing them as you upload them to Pinterest. In addition, by ensuring that your photos 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, all content published on the platform is more visible in various search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
The new boy in the neighborhood: Clubhouse
Clubhouse was all the rage in 2020 when the platform was first launched. The biggest marketing hack of the audio-only app was its elitist “invitation-only” strategy.
However, when the platform moved away from the iOS exclusive offering and more people joined, the hype died down. That’s not to say that B2B and B2C companies can’t use it to engage the primarily millennial user base. With a strong user base of at least 10 million and a plethora of virtual discussions taking place in various rooms, there is no shortage of places to 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 various types of virtual events. Participate in relevant conversations by joining industry-specific rooms and collaborate with colleagues by joining 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 promoting your brand and generating leads, you can do it by hosting brand-related interviews, fireside chats, and panels. You can also sponsor indoor events. If necessary, team members can participate in these events. 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
reddit is almost as old as Facebook, founded in Medford, Massachusetts, in 2005. And like most social media apps, it’s free to join, hence the 48 million monthly US user base. The platform is a news website slash social forum which makes it great for both B2B and B2C brands. Of 64% of Reddit users as 18 to 29 year olds, the site positions itself as a powerful marketing tool if your products or services target this audience.
Growing your brand on the platform can be done in different 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 superfans willing to follow and manage discussions, and announce your latest news and any upcoming conferences, webinars and events.
The thing is, there are more social media platforms than Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. So take the time to develop a social media strategy for each new platform. Manage your presence within the various subcultures and communities that exist online.