Everyone’s familiar with the tried and true social media networks that have dominated the way we receive information and connect with each other. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have established themselves as dominant players in the game, and you’d be hard pressed to find a successful business that doesn’t use at least 3 out of those 4 networks.
The only problem with relying on those networks is that they don’t cater to everyone – everyone prefers to receive content in different ways, and choosing some networks that lie slightly outside the beaten path can help you make stronger connections with the people who would love to know what you’re all about.
Most people make the mistake of associating Pinterest solely with crafters. While the platform does provide a valuable resource for the DIY savvy individual, it also provides you with an excellent way to showcase your business. How do people use your products and services? What are some projects or tutorials relevant to your niche that your audience may find helpful? Starting a board on Pinterest is a great way to get this message across. You might have to think outside of the box, but you’ll be able to create content that your extended audience will find relevant to their lifestyles.
Tumblr is something of an odd duck, but it isn’t one you should overlook. Tumblr is a giant collection of niches, and it’s designed specifically to make content easy to share. There are a modest number of major businesses and companies hidden in the corners of Tumblr, and you’d be surprised how well they fare on the platform. In addition to sharing photo content relevant to your audience, you can take advantage of Tumblr’s “ask” features to publicly answer questions your customers may have. Even government agencies have taken advantage of this feature in order to connect with people, because it has a track record of being an effective outreach method with high engagement.
Snapchat is something that more businesses are starting to delve into. On the surface, it seems like a novelty app. Users share photos or videos that disappear within a few seconds, or add them to a viewable story that exists for 24 hours. Snapchat is an excellent way to provide exclusive sneak peaks to your customers. The aura exclusivity that surrounds a brief glimpse will make your customers feel more like insiders who are privy to what’s going on behind the scenes.
Another excellent use for Snapchat is running something called a takeover. This is where a popular social influencer is allowed to take control of your Snapchat for a day, providing your users with content. This is a big draw, especially when you use an influencer whose target audience is similar to that of your business. They’ll come to see their favorite internet personality, and they’ll stay once they understand the value you provide.
Imagine being able to hold a text message conversation with your customers. That’s exactly what WhatsApp will allow you to do. It’s a popular app that allows people to hold conversations anywhere in the world without a direct exchange of personal information, such as a private phone number. WhatsApp has the potential to be the perfect customer service tool. It’s a little more warm and welcoming than a contact form, and users will be able to receive information from a real person in real time. You can’t beat that quality of service.
Foursquare is a great way to help customers find you. Think of it as a cleverly crafted hybrid of Facebook check-ins, the old style White Pages, and Yelp. When people are looking for businesses that cater to what they need (or even places to eat and drink), Foursquare directs them to the places they’re looking for. Putting your business on Foursquare will make it more visible, and the testimonials you receive can help drive new customers right into your lap.
It’s never too early to jump on board when it comes to a social network. You never know when something is going to take off, and you want to establish yourself on that network before you competitor can even see it coming. Some social networks will inevitably fold over time, but it can be difficult to determine which won’t survive until the end of the year. Don’t be quick to dismiss newcomers – they may help your livelihood in the future.
Kate Thora is an artistic person with an unquenched love for dancing, singing and writing. The last passion she turned into a job, working as a content creator for Uphours - an online directory containing information about businesses worldwide. Feel free to follow Kate on Twitter @katethora1