The Best Social Media Channels You Don’t Use – Yet

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Everyone knows about the big players on social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus contain billions of accounts and give marketers vast audiences to segment and tap. While their scope and reach are tremendous, though, these media giants can leave some small businesses feeling lost in their immensity. How do you attract Twitter followers when your latest tweet is just one of half a billion – that’s with a B – sent every day? Great content creation, strong SEO and organic traffic build your brand, but while you’re aiming for relevance on the big channels, consider some offbeat social streams to take full advantage of a powerful free medium.

Reddit

Sometimes controversial and often chaotic, Reddit nevertheless draws more than 114 million unique visitors every month. The platform is largely male – about 80 percent of daily Reddit visitors are men – and young, with the largest segment of the social network’s population falling between the ages of 18 and 29. Significantly, it’s already highly segmented, and Redditors sort themselves into groups called sub-reddits. Popular sub-reddits include categories for news, science and hobbies from knitting to fishing. Another popular feature is Reddit’s AMA, or “Ask Me Anything,” sessions during which verified experts, artists and famous people answer text questions from a live audience of readers.

Advantages:

  • You have a pre-sorted audience.
  • Every major industry has at least one sub-reddit devoted to it.
  • It’s far less crowded with competitors than larger social media networks
  • It isn’t privately owned and gives users greater latitude
  • Doing an AMA as an expert in your industry helps establish your authority

Disadvantages:

  • Reddit can be somewhat lawless. Each sub-reddit has its own moderators, but some are less strict than others. Venture with caution into some areas of the sprawling site.
  • The millions of registered Reddit users comprise a smaller audience than Facebook’s billions.
  • It’s best used for links to content, not as a home for content itself.
  • Compiling user data can be a challenge because it has no built-in analytics as other social networks do.

Pinterest

Pinterest is hardly an unknown in the social media sphere, but it’s often seen as a B2C site for shoppers to create virtual look books and wish lists or as a DIY haven. Few content creators are making the most of the visually-oriented site for their B2B clients, but it’s a better fit than you might think. With close to 50 million unique visitors monthly, Pinterest lets smaller businesses be heard while still reaching a large audience. Pinterest skews toward female audiences as much as Reddit does to male visitors with about 80 percent of its audience being women.

Advantages:

  • Pinterest has enjoyed exponential growth, and creating a Pinterest presence now could pay off.
  • More than half the workers in America are women; B2B companies can tap into that audience where they already live by joining the conversation on Pinterest.
  • The highly visual platform makes it easy to showcase consumer products.

Disadvantages:

  • Pinterest gives users relatively little room for text content, which can make coming up with interesting pin board material a challenge for some industries.
  • The site’s built-in search feature design requires additional time adding keywords and descriptions to content to make it more readily searchable.

Vimeo

With 70 million unique visitors, Vimeo can hardly be called small, yet it isn’t the behemoth that YouTube is. That’s it’s greatest virtue. By posting your videos to Vimeo, you’re reaching an audience that skews older and more affluent than the thick middle of the YouTube bell curve. The site’s clean, ad-free design lets viewers focus on the content, which streams at a higher default resolution than those on its larger counterpart.

Advantages:

  • Vimeo has a businesslike look that naturally works well for corporate videos and webinars.
  • Videos can be password-protected.
  • User comments tend to be thoughtful and constructive.

Disadvantages:

  • Higher-quality video comes at the cost of occasionally lengthy buffer times.
  • Vimeo’s search feature is not as robust as YouTube’s outstanding version.

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