Using new social platforms for businesses
Most SME owners will be well-versed in using Facebook or Twitter to promote their products/services. The world of social media, however, is fast-paced and numerous social apps come into existence each month.
In this article, we take a look at some of the ‘newer’ platforms and how to use them to your advantage when building your brand.
Get snapping on Snapchat.
If you think Snapchat’s just for teenagers, think again! Studies show that Snapchat’s age demographics have shifted as more businesses are starting to become aware of the market opportunities the app provides.
According to online statistics company Statista, the largest Snapchat age demographic currently is 18- to 24-year-olds, with 25-to 34 year-olds hot on their heels. If those are your target age groups, create a Snapchat profile now! But how do you kick-start your Snapchat marketing campaign?
- Target influencers. The first thing to do is to learn how to differentiate between influencers and casual users. Influencers are prolific Snapchatters who, consequently, have large followings. Use your networking skills to target relevant influencers and get your business on their radar.
- Account takeover. Once you’ve teamed up with an influencer, have them do an account takeover to cross-promote your business to their followers. Takeovers often lead to sustainable business partnerships, e.g. by offering them an exclusive contract to wear your clothes in their snaps.
- Giveaway. Reward loyal followers by having a monthly giveaway. It’s the perfect opportunity for your followers to advertise you. Just prompt them to snap pictures promoting your product and pick a random winner. The prize can be vouchers or free samples. The winner is likely to promote you a second time as they’ll want to show off their victory to their followers (potential new clients).
- Exclusive footage. Give your followers the VIP treatment by posting Snapchat exclusives and creating a buzz in the process. This includes previewing a new product before it hits your (virtual) shelves or showing behind-the-scenes footage live from your business HQ.
Promote on Periscope
Twitter-owned Periscope combines Snapchat and YouTube features to allow users to stream videos live, which are temporarily published on their profile for 24 hours.
A Twitter account is required. However, if your business already is on Twitter, Periscope is a great addition. It allows you to tweet a livestream link to your followers. Here are a few suggestions on how to use Periscope for business:
- Tutorials. Whether you’re a handyman or a make-up artist, tutorials are a great way to connect with your audience and to share your expertise. On Periscope, you can take advantage of the livestreaming feature by creating a weekly tutorial series. Keep the videos entertaining and you’ll draw in a substantial audience. Also ask your followers what topics they want to see discussed to increase audience engagement.
- Live events. If, for example, you’re reopening your restaurant after refurbishments, you can give your followers the sense that they are there by streaming it live. Periscope can be linked up to professional video equipment so you don’t have to worry about recording everything on your phone. Garner some attention by posting promos for the event on various social media platforms and your own website beforehand.
- Testimonial interviews. Testimonials and online customer reviews play an important part in attracting potential clients. Testimonial interviews take an old concept and update it to modern standards. These videos don’t have to be hour-long in-depth interviews, but can be short clips in which satisfied clients tell your followers what you’ve done for them. Potential clients like hearing success stories and success often breeds success.
- Special promos. Create special promos that reward the viewer for watching the whole video. You can do this by promoting a particular product throughout the video, then giving the viewers a promotional code for that item near the end of the livestream. Discounts codes can go a long way when it comes to persuading new customers into ordering from your shop. If they like your service at a discounted price, they will pay full price next time.
Reddit has been the topic of the “Is this social media or a forum?” debate since it’s conception. For the sake of this blog article, we will take Reddit as a form of social media as it involves users sharing user-generated content with each other. There also is an element of “liking or unliking” content in the form of “upvoting and downvoting.”
Whereas Periscope and Snapchat are easy to manoeuvre, Reddit is not for the faint of heart. It largely consists of different communities, called subreddits, and each is moderated.
The line between legitimate business promotions and spam is incredibly fine and moderators are quick to ban users if they suspect they’re spamming. However, stick to the following guide and your business will benefit greatly.
- Networking using subreddits. Reddit can open up networking opportunities as there is a subreddit for any topic imaginable. Even if you are selling the most obscure products, you’ll still be able to find your target audience. When approaching a subreddit, however, be sure to read their rules first and never advertise in your first post.
- Networking with Redditors. Gain their trust before you post anything promotional. This means you should appear as a Reddit user: commenting on other people’s posts, upvote them, post relevant material yourself and build up relationships with Reddit influencers. Once you do start promoting your product, make sure it stays on-topic and comes as across as informative. When these Reddit relationships have been established, you can get people to do your marketing for you (much like on Snapchat and Periscope).
- Reddit ads. Once you have mastered the above, you can start using Reddit ads. These are cheaper than the alternatives offered by other social media sites. They are easy to set up and, if posted in larger sub-reddits, will reach a large audience.
These are only a few new social platforms to choose from. However, we hope that our suggestions have shown you how to make them a successful part of your online marketing strategy.
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