A complete look at fringe social networks
There are so many social media sites out there now, it’s overwhelming. It’s hard to even count the ways we can connect and share information with people across the world.
With so many inventive and engaging ways to communicate, it’s difficult to know which ones will be effective marketing tools for your business. Venturing beyond the big seven networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest – can seem even more daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with them.
In this article, we examine several so-called “fringe” networks. It’s a starting point and the first in our blog series on the topic. Our aim is to help you decide whether any are suitable for your digital strategy. Let’s get started.
Snapchat is a messaging app for your smartphone that lets you send a photo or video to a friend that will disappear forever one to ten seconds after they receive it. This self-destruct feature is what distinguishes Snapchat from other social media platforms and what makes it so appealing for its demographic, users aged 13 to 23.
Tumblr is a blogging and social media platform that’s home to more than 238 million blogs. It lets you post all kinds of multimedia and other content to your own short-form blog, which you can then share easily across different social platforms. Unlike typical blogging sites, Tumblr makes it easy to quickly share any small thing – a quote, a photo, a video – that comes to mind. It is considered a great marketing tool to extend your brand’s reach and raise awareness.
Reddit is a social news website driven by user-generated content in the form of links, visuals or stories. It’s like a bulletin board for the web, with content listed on the home page and under categories (aka subreddits). Where Reddit is different is in the ability for users to rank content by voting up or down, ultimately determining which content is most relevant or important right now. Reddit has great viral potential, making it very effective for marketing if done well.
Foursquare is a location-based social network that allows users to check-in to locations they visit through the app on their smartphone, then share through Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. The benefit to business here is huge as users’ friends see where they are eating, shopping, working and more. This acts as an endorsement of sorts, and can be highly influential. Check us out on Foursquare.
Yelp is a free local business directory that has more than 142 million unique visitors each month. For business, it’s a great opportunity to increase your reach as your free account lets you add a detailed profile with photos, map and opening hours. Customers can message business owners through the site too, making it one more tool to extend your brand’s reach. Check us out on Yelp.
Vine is a video sharing social platform built by Twitter that lets you create and share 6-second videos filmed on your smartphone. These short clips repeat on a loop and can be shared easily on Vine and other social channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. We live in a highly visual world and we can digest information at a phenomenal rate. That’s why a cleverly crafted short video can be incredibly powerful and influential.
Weibo is a Chinese microblogging platform that has enjoyed spectacular growth since launching in 2009. The social media platform, also known as the Chinese version of Twitter, has a staggering 600 million registered users. With so many active users on Weibo, there’s no wonder businesses that have interested in the fast-growing Chinese market are promoting their products through Weibo.
Tsu is an online social networking site that supports the idea that users own the rights to their content and the economics that go with it. Users can write posts and share photos, videos and links, just like other social media platforms. The serious difference with Tsu is that when you post content, and people share/like/comment on it, this engagement earns your money. It’s still early days, but the fact that businesses are treated the same as people, there may real opportunity for your brand to get attention.
Finally, Ello is an ad-free social network that was launched in September 2014. Dubbed as the anti-Facebook, Ello is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum to sites like Tsu, pitching itself as the social network without advertising, manipulation and exploitation. So, it makes sense that not too many businesses have jumped at the chance to build a presence on Ello.
And we could go on and on. Other platforms worth mentioning before we end our article include Vimeo, SoundCloud, StumbleUpon and Quora to name a few. Remember, you don’t have to be on every social channel – just the ones that matter to you and your target audience.
If you want to learn more about social networks featured in this article, and whether you should be using them to market your brand, stay tuned or Like us on Facebook. In our new blog series, we’ll delve into greater detail, examine who’s using them, and discuss whether it’s worth investing your time to build a presence.