January 14, 2016
/ by Guest Contributor
Moosa Hemani is an SEO consultatnt at SEtalks.com. You can follow him on Twitter @mmhemani.
Facebook and Twitter come to mind when someone mentions social media marketing. The fact is, both of these networks can prove to be worthless from a marketing point of view, particularly if you are a small business and your service or product isn’t too exciting.
For instance, Facebook shows the best of your updates to no more than 20 percent of your fans or followers (in fact, 6 percent sounds like a more accurate figure), unless you “boost” your posts through paid advertising.
There are other ways of increasing the organic reach of your posts but sometimes there are better options.
Twitter is no different when it comes to reach and impact. You never know who reads your tweets and how they react to them.
I’m not saying that Facebook, Twitter and other conventional social platforms are lousy places to market your business. Most of us view our Facebook newsfeed or scan our Twitter feed on a daily basis, so presence on these pilgrimage social networks has become almost obligatory for all kinds of businesses, big and small.
But, you will need to make break-neck efforts (and break the bank) to build up a sizable following and make some impact.
What if your time and money can be spent better on a not-so-popular social media platform?
Statista recently released the list of top social networks ranked by the number of users. Facebook occupies the top spot, as expected. But it’s surprising to see Twitter ranked seventh, Google+ ranked ninth, Instagram ranked 10th and LinkedIn at the bottom of the list (18th).
The list includes Chinese networks and Skype, while missing some popular platforms such as Pinterest and YouTube. It also includes WhatsApp and Snapchat with their 800 million and 200 million users respectively, underlining the fact that social mobile apps may be the next big thing in social marketing.
There’s another list published by eMarketer that ranks social networks based on their popularity with U.S. marketers. Seventy-two percent of them are interested in Instagram for marketing their business in the coming year, followed by 41 percent who consider Pinterest the right channel to spend ad dollars.
And then, there are the top fringe social media networks in the UK, which include Vine, Tumblr, Vimeo and Quora.
There are many unorthodox fringe social apps and networks that are gaining popularity, but let’s not get confused further. We’ll take a closer look at some of the top unorthodox social networks and mobile apps. But first, let’s see how you can select the best fringe social network for your business.
The best social network should send you more traffic and business leads with less work. This can happen only if the users of that network are the same people who would be interested in using your product.
Ask the following questions to find out which particular unconventional social media platform will be most fruitful for your business.
A particular social network may be the mainstay of your content marketing strategy, or it may be a complementary network to promote some other medium.
For example, you can use WhatsApp to promote your website or to sell individual products directly. Or, you may just be looking to create brand awareness.
You need to make sure you have enough time to consistently create updates and interact with your audience.
You need talent and equipment to create great content, without which none of your social media networks can perform as you desire.
If you’re going to use Tumblr, for example, make sure you have the people and skills to create the kind of top-notch visual or text content that trends there.
Every social network takes time to learn and achieve proficiency. Some media are simpler to learn than others.
You should keep in mind that it will take you some time, probably a few weeks or months, before you can fully understand the mood of a social network and start driving results.
Want to learn how listening to customers on social can benefit your brand? Read the free “LiSTEN” e-book!
This is the most important question. All of your customers may be using Facebook, but what are the other networks most of them use? There are ways to find out.
Thanks to technology, it’s not mission impossible to find out which particular social networks your customers frequent. Here are a few ways:
The social networks that I’ll discuss don’t include the big six—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest—simply because they are too well known to be called unorthodox. Here are the next seven most important networks that are not as widely used for marketing.
The video and photo sharing app boasts 200 million active mobile users and a whopping 6 billion video views per day (compared to 8 billion for Facebook). The messages self-destruct after you’ve viewed them, and that’s what makes Snapchat so addictive for users.
Should I Use Snapchat for Business and How?
The mobile social media giant WhatsApp has grown to more than 800 million users, up from about 500 million since Facebook acquired it last year.
Although not very popular in the U.S., WhatsApp is being used by thousands of local small businesses in other parts of the world. The group-messaging feature allows you to send messages to your entire contact list at once, without disclosing the recipients to one another.
This, unlike most other social networks, gives you an organic reach of 100 percent!
Should I Use WhatsApp for Business and How?
Vine videos play more than half a trillion loops each year. Your choice of this six-second video-making app will depend upon whether you have customers using Twitter and Tumblr, and whether you can sell yourself in six seconds.
Should I Use Vine for Business and How?
The micro-blogging platform is great for your business if you have (or are looking to build) a sleek, modern brand with some stunning visual appeal. Tumblr is ranked no. 1 in social sentiment towards brands, which means that the users will welcome your brand as long as you give them quality content that they want to see. People can follow your Tumblr blog and re-share your content to their networks, a feature that gives Tumblr unparalleled social reach.
Should I Use Tumblr for Business and How?
Tumblr is a feature-rich platform supporting text, photos, video, GIFs, polls and surveys, etc. Use it if you’re tired of using WordPress or think it’s too old-fashioned.
Yelp boasts 100 million unique monthly users, and is the fastest growing online and mobile review platform. It may not be social media in the strictest terms, but with more than 26,000 reviews being posted every minute Yelp marketing is indispensable for your brick-and-mortar business if the international review behemoth is present in your country.
Should I Use Yelp for Business and How?
With just 2.9 million monthly active users, Quora may be much smaller than the other social networks that I’ve mentioned. But, it is unique because it is dedicated to questions that people have and their answers. Quora results pop up all too often when you’re searching for the answer to a question on Google. People use Quora to research questions and to read answers by industry experts.
Should I Use Quora for Business and How?
SlideShare has just 70 million users, but has a targeted audience of serious-minded professionals. Just like LinkedIn, which acquired SlideShare in 2012, it is the ideal platform for B2B marketers, some 17 percent of whom use SlideShare to launch their new products.
SlideShare has great SEO performance and your presentation has better search visibility than if you hosted it on your own site.
Should I Use SlideShare for Business and How?
Unorthodox social networks are usually more discreet and targeted, so your efforts and brand don’t drown in the sea of mega-brands with big budgets and followings. These networks also offer a wider reach and more engagement for each minute of your time that you spend marketing on social media.
While you cannot ignore your presence on a few of the big six social networks, you may find much better results from one or two fringe social networks.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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