Social Media Marketing: Beyond Facebook and Twitter
One billion registered Facebook users are difficult to ignore. So are 500 million registered Twitter users. However, if your content marketing efforts are focused solely on the big two social media sites, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with potential customers on sites that are more targeted to your product and/or service than the general interest sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As of April 2013, there are more than 400 social media sites. There are sites for book enthusiasts, job seekers, artists, classmates, film buffs and knitters. More than half of all Americans (56%) have at least one social media account, according to a recent study by Edison Research. And it’s not just the 20-somethings that are sharing and tweeting and liking. Nearly half of all Americans between the ages of 46 and 54 have at least one social media profile.
1. LinkedIn. LinkedIn began in 2003 to help business professionals network with others in their industry and to help job seekers and companies find one another easily. Today, the site has more than 110 million unique users and has morphed into a way for businesses to network and market their products to targeted populations. To use LinkedIn effectively, you need to participate in the community, adding contacts (called connections). Once you have a network of people in your industry, you can share articles from your Web site that help to establish you and your company as experts in your particular field.
Not only is LinkedIn a good place to market your product or service to professionals in your industry, it’s also a good place to connect with content writers for hire. In fact, I’d be wary of the Web writer that isn’t well-represented on a number of social media sites.
2. Pinterest. The fastest-growing social media site today—Pinterest—also has great potential for content marketers. The site, which launched in 2010, has grown to reach more than 85 million (mostly female) users each month in just three years. The online bulletin board lets users create boards, add to existing boards or share boards with friends. How can content marketers use Pinterest? When you start thinking about it, the possibilities abound. For example, you could create a board with pictures of customers using your product in different, creative ways. You could compile a board of expert tips in your field. You could even create a board using client photos and copies of complimentary letters and emails you’ve received.
3. Google+. Ignore Google’s social media site at your peril. Although the search engine giant’s social media format is a little clumsy, the interaction of this Web giant is difficult to ignore. In addition to the search engine, Google owns YouTube, gmail and Google Docs. The potential for cross-promotion already exists and is likely to improve in the future.
4. Special interest sites. The three sites above appeal to a wide range of interests. If your product is focused on a specific industry, check out special interest sites, such as GoodReads (books), DeviantArt (art and photography) or Ravelry (knitting), just to name a few.
So, don’t limit your content marketing efforts to just Facebook and Twitter. Seek out social media sites that focus on your particular industry and keep an eye out for new sites! More and more are created every month.
Sandy M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.