7 Alternative Social Media Channels for Small Businesses

Social media is the problem; it is also the solution. 78% of the U.S population has at least one social network profile and the average social media user has five accounts! Not only that, over 57% of social media users agree that they make a purchase decision based on reviews about the brand. So, where does your business stand? Do you have the power to move your customers through social media?

As a small business owner, you might have already tapped into Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to promote your services and push your brand. We agree that Facebook and Twitter are the two giants here with over 1.7 billion users, but there are other great social media platforms that will help you target niche audiences.

Here are 7 rapidly growing social media platforms that will help you up your social media game.

Quora

In its true essence, Quora is not exactly a ‘social’ platform as it is not conversational in nature. On Quora, people can ask and answer questions that come under a number of self-defined categories. Pretty basic, right? So how do small businesses leverage the potential of Quora? Businesses can drive traffic back to their site by demonstrating their expertise in a field thereby also improving the customers’ trust on the brand.

Key Takeaway – Your bio on Quora is an excellent branding tool!

User Base100 million monthly unique visitors

How to win at Quora marketing?

  • Create a Quora profile and add your bio. You can create multiple bios to fit various topics. Include your business name in the bio. Some examples include “Content Marketer at XYZ”, “Digital Marketing Expert at ABC” and “Founder – XYZ”.
  • Also, don’t forget to add areas of expertise, schools & colleges, interests and “About Me” section to your Quora account.
  • Create a page for your company on Quora, build a topic around it and add description about your company.
  • To further improve the visibility for your business, request other Quorans to review the topic. Once this is done, participate in topics relevant to your niche and also start answering questions.
  • Respond personally to questions involving your brand. Not only will it give your competitive advantage but you’ll also win more customers.

Quora for small businesses

 

Pinterest

Pinterest pins are 100x more viral than a tweet and the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 16,000 times longer than that of a Facebook post, 3.5 months to be precise. On Pinterest, if an user likes your idea, they pin it to their boards. Also, Pinterest is a social media platform that is dominated by women, which only makes it all the more interesting. If you are a small business unit dealing with crafts, home decor,  accessories, apparels, food & drinks, clothing or travel, you might benefit immensely by being active on Pinterest.

Key Takeaway –  Pinterest users are more engaged and loyal towards a brand that they follow. A massive 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product/service because of Pinterest and around 93% of Pinterest users are likely to make a purchase from the brands that they follow on Pinterest, according to a recent research conducted by Millward Brown.

User Base – Over 100 million active users

How to win at Pinterest Marketing?

Small Businesses must get creative and broaden their business concept. You don’t really have to pin visuals related only your product. You can post visuals about other products, services and concepts tangentially related to your business. Also, you must decide on goals for your Pinterest presence like driving traffic, boosting sales or creating a brand presence. With those goals in mind, you can create and maintain your profile. Don’t forget to add the Pinterest icon to your website pages, so site visitors can also check out your pins!

Constant Contact is one small business that is creating waves on Pinterest. Even though they sell software, their Pinterest page has diverse range of pins from marketing tips to small business quotes.

Pinterest marketing

 

Tumblr

Tumblr ranks as one of the most popular 50 sites on the internet, has over 305 million blogs and around 50 million blog posts. So, if you aren’t using Tumblr as a part of your social media strategy, you might be missing out on a huge chunk of unique user base. Tumblr also makes it really simple to share your content with millions of users, helping you to get a large audience without having to spend a lot on marketing.

Key Takeaway – On average, a Tumblr user spends over 28 minutes on the site. Also, around 34 million people use Tumblr on a monthly basis, half of which are users aged between 16 and 24.

User BaseAround 555 million active users

How to win at Tumblr Marketing?

  • Tumblr is not your usual social media platform. What works well on Tumblr is evergreen information – in form of entertainment, news, advice or tips. Also, you must focus on creating highly shareable content.
  • C-Town Supermarket, a general store based at Brooklyn, turned to Tumblr when they found out that a lot of customers are not picking up the flyers. They now list their offers, tips and tricks on saving money and other updates on their Tumblr Board.

Tumblr small business

Vine

Fondly referred to as the “Instagram for Video”, users can record a six second video and post it on Vine. A lot of small businesses are turning to Vine to run promotions, educate their customers and establish a brand image. One huge advantage that small businesses get out of using Vine is that they don’t have to use high quality recorders and editing to get a video done. Businesses can quickly shoot “Vines” and start conversing with their audience.

Key Takeaway – 71% of Vine users are millennials!

User Base – Around 200 million active monthly users

How to win at Vine Marketing?

  • Small business must aim at demonstrating competitive advantage and engaging with customers. Also, Vine makes it easier for you to share brand promotions and offers.
  • Conoco Gas Station is one brand that is winning at Vine with their creative ads and extremely interesting videos. Their vines during Broncos match were played in loops over 2.5 lakh times.

Vine for small businesses

 

Yik Yak

Yik Yak is a location-based app and allows its users to publish anonymous posts (aka “Yaks”) for other users in that area to see. A lot of small businesses are turning to Yik Yak to learn more about the potential customer base and also to engage with anonymous users. Yik Yak also can become a local bulletin board by showing the most recent Yaks by other users within a 1.5 mile radius. Because Yik Yak heavily uses “location”, small businesses can reach out to their potential customers quite easily.

Key Takeaway  – Yik Yak now connects across 2,000 campuses across the U.S.

How to win at Yik Yak Marketing?

  • On Yik Yak, other users can anonymously vote and reply on your posts. You can use not more than 200 characters and emoji’s to compile a Yak. One way to subtly promote your product on Yik Yak is by influencing people to engage in local activities. Your “Yak” shouldn’t look like a promotion but must seem natural to other users.
  • For example, brands can ask questions like, “Who’s going to ABC Pizza Place today?”, “Buy 1 get 1 free at XYZ Bars, who’s in?” or “Happy Hours at XYZ club, who wants to join?”, thereby promoting natural conversation around your business.

 

Instagram

Instagram is the second most socially engaged network, just after Facebook. Instagram is no longer about pretty photos and filters, many brands are using Instagram as a powerful tool for building loyal followers. Also the engagement rate for Instagram posts is around 4.3%, which is 120x more engagement per follower when compared to Twitter and 58x more engagement per follower than Facebook.

Key Takeaway – Over 60% of Instagram users log-in daily to go through their feed.

User Base400 million active users.

How to win at Instagram Marketing?

  • Every single Instagram photo is an opportunity for growth. Constantly create top notch visual content that is also unique. Add general hashtags that are relevant to every Instagram photo.
  • Also, start a conversation with your followers. Don’t just write captions, engage with your customers through comments. Small Businesses can also use Instagram to organize contests and giveaways.
  • Bloom & Wild, a company based in the UK that delivers fresh flowers, constantly nails it on Instagram. With over 26,000 followers, Bloom & Wild shares visually appealing content that is crisp and creative.

Instagram for small business

Reddit

Reddit, “The front page to the Internet”, allows users to bring all the best content on the web to a single page. One great advantage of using Reddit is that there are a number of smaller communities called “subreddits”, where people can discuss, vote and like ideas. Reddit users are also very internet-savvy people and you will easily find a diverse group of audience on Reddit.

Key Takeaway – Reddit is one of the 10 most popular sites in the US.

User Base – 234 million unique users

How to win at Reddit Marketing?

  • Small Businesses can use Reddit to their advantage by finding relevant subreddits and by posting good content there. Also, you can engage in conversations with your audience, thereby promoting your brand.
  • For example, Transamerica, went on to the Finance subreddit and posted excellent financial advice. You can read all about it here.

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