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The 4 Social Media Platforms You Forgot About That Can Help Your Business

When most businesses think about social media marketing, they think Facebook ads and Instagram posts, maybe even a Tweet or two in order to stay connected and relevant to their audience. While these may be the largest and most used social media platforms, there are several others that are just as popular that can also help your business grow its brand, generate new and strengthen current leads, and advertise your product or service to an audience that is interested in buying. 

Pinterest has almost 300 million users active every month—the majority of whom are women. Pinterest is also a visual platform, but it is used vastly different from Instagram. Users create “boards” to “pin” products, articles, recipes, home décor, party and wedding themes, and so, so much more. These pins are often linked to a business’ website, store, or blog. Users can return to their “pins” to click and visit the original source of the item to make a purchase or further connect with the business in some way.

 Most users say they use Pinterest to plan purchases and about 90% of them have made a purchase of something they found on Pinterest. So, if your business falls into a creative category (e.g. wedding planner, party décor, catering, fashion, etc.) or sells a physical product then Pinterest is an ideal place for your business. 

Pinterest is also distinctive in that other industries can take advantage of the unique posting and “pinning” to organically grow their branding and lead generation. For example, real estate agents can post homes or rentals; personal trainers can create their own pins for workouts or healthy recipes; and financial planners can pin their blog articles with money saving tips. 

Advertising on Pinterest is a bit different than that of Facebook and there is a bit more room for organic advertising. When a business creates a new pin, they can enter “tags” or keywords to associate with the pin so that it comes up when the phrase is searched by users. Pinterest also has paid advertising capabilities as well to help ensure your pin makes it to the top of results for popular searches.
Technically a branch of Facebook, but the Facebook Messenger app is downloaded separately from the Facebook app and comes with a few additional features. If you haven’t heard of it, this app allows Facebook users to connect and communicate via direct messages—included business users. There are separate advertising campaigns just for Facebook Messenger, which can greatly assist those businesses who rely more on lead generation than online conversions. 

This app also allows your audience another way to get in touch. For some, a phone call may feel like more of a commitment to your service than they may be ready for, but a Facebook Message is easier to send. From here, you can warm up your lead until they are ready to buy.
Having the app downloaded in addition to your Facebook account will help to further advance your social proofing and trust building among your customers.
Since YouTube is restricted to videos, it can severely limit the types of business that can benefit from this platform—at least organically. If your business can benefit from creating a “How To” video, product review, or customer review then creating and uploading these videos yourself can be a simple way to promote your brand, service, and/or product with minimal investment to the 2 billion monthly users (or the 30 million daily active users). 

YouTube does allow for pre-video and in-video advertising, so even if your business will not benefit (or does benefit enough) from self-published videos, you can still have commercials made and advertised to viewers of all kinds. 

As an added bonus, YouTube is owned by Google; this means you’ll have access to Google’s advertising platform to maximize the performance of your YouTube ads or the display of your own videos. 

In addition, with the Google partnership, you can optimize the search for your company’s videos with the inclusion of specific keywords in the title, description, and in the video’s keyword tags.
Technically Yelp is less of a social media platform and more of a review/reputation platform, but it does allow businesses to create an account in order to interact with their customers and reviewers, post pictures, and overall maintain your brand and company image. 

Yelp is where many (178 million monthly users) go to find word-of-mouth confirmation about your business, its service, and products. Most shoppers will look at reviews before making a purchasing decision; to see how others have experienced your business and what they can expect to experience themselves. 

With Yelp, you can build trust in your brand by seeking positive reviews, thanking customers, and responding to negative reviews. Even bad reviews need attention to show others how you respond to criticism and what you are willing to do to right a wrong.

In addition to these platforms, there are four social media sites all businesses should have—check them out here.

In this day in age, there is a high need for a digital presence; without one, you hardly exist to younger generations and tech savvy individuals who prefer to do there own online research before making a purchase. Getting into Social Media Marketing is relatively easy and can be extremely affordable (sometimes even free, if you discount your own personal effort).

With more than 5 million members, and millions of connections across more than 30,000 local communities, Alignable is the online network where small business owners across North America drive leads and prospects, generate referrals, land new business, build trusted relationships, and share great advice.

Members use Alignable to get the industry answers they need, connect within their local business community or across the country, and increase buzz for their business.

Headquartered in Boston, Alignable was made public in 2014 and is venture-backed by Mayfield Fund, Recruit Strategic Partners, Saturn Partners, NextView Ventures and Lead Edge Capital.
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