August 2, 2012
Thinking Beyond Facebook: Other Social Media Channels to Try
Social media is a great platform for marketing, SEO, and customer service. However, many companies make the mistake of limiting their social media presence to just one or two networks. This is a bad thing because it limits the number of potential customers that they can reach, and because it restricts the ways that they can engage with their consumers. Not all consumers use all networks, and even the ones that are on more than one site often use each site in a different way.
Here’s a few suggestions for ways to expand your social media presence beyond the realms of Facebook pages.
Instagram is a great place for young and fashionable brands. Until recently, Instagram was only available for users of iOS devices, but now there’s an app for Android too. Many brands use Instagram to give their users an insight into the company behind the brand, sharing photos of the office, photos of employees at work, and photos of new designs before they’re released. If you’re heading to a trade show, why not share images of people having fun (or looking silly, half asleep at the airport), to generate some buzz for your next announcement.
Pinterest is a photo sharing site where people “pin” images of products that they like. Currently, the site skews female in demographics, and there’s a lot of fashion items, cookery, crafts, and interior design stuff getting pinned, but there is a geek culture presence there too.
As a brand, it’s a good idea to watch Pinterest (you can get an idea of what’s popular, what’s not, and what could be an emerging trend), and to also join in with your own pins. Ask for feedback, post interesting new designs, and keep an eye on what gets re-pinned.
Most companies already have a presence on Twitter, but many struggle to use it correctly. It’s a bad idea to try to force conversations on Twitter – if you try to barge in to an existing community and force people to use a specific hashtag, for example, it could backfire. Instead of trying to shape the conversation, watch what people are doing and saying about your brand. Thank users that are talking about your brand positively, and adopt the hashtags that they’re already using.
Linkedin is a social network aimed at professionals. The idea behind Linkedin is that it acts as both an online CV, and a place for professionals to talk to each other and share ideas and tips. Because Linkedin is an open community, it does have some problems – there are lots of head-hunters on the site, and there are also lots of school kids using the site as a way to try to get free answers for their homework questions. However, it’s still a popular place for professionals in some industries. It’s a good idea to set up a profile for your company on Linkedin, and to monitor what people are saying.
You should also consider joining the slightly newer (but also popular) Glassdoor site, which is used by employees to talk about companies, share salary information, and give insider tips about corporate cultures.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Boom Online Marketing. To find out more about social media please read our great blog posts.