alternatives to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
As the title of this section suggests, there are alternatives to the Big Three and the pay-for-play method of social media marketing.
Some of the proposed replacements to social media sites may include sources that you may not have thought of before.
why use Pinterest?
What started as a female-based forum for recipes and decorating has evolved into a search engine with ubiquitous interest.
Surprisingly, after the Big Three, Pinterest has become the largest social media arena globally and the third-largest in the USA (Source: emarketer.com).
And for businesses, it has become one of the most important social media marketing venues. This fact is particularly spot-on if the ventures have a visual aspect to them.
How active is Pinterest? Over 300 million active users are on Pinterest every month.
At one time, the predominant gender of users was female, but that is changing. By 2018, males attributed to 50% of all new accounts.
Pew Research reports that the majority of users are between the ages of 30 and 49, which is 35% of total users.
Another hard statistic is that they hold 28% of all adult social media participants.
The other strong major age group for Pinterest, the 18 to 29-year old, represents 34% of monthly visitors, with 50% of all millennials in the USA participating every month. Read that again. Every other millennial in the USA is an active visitor of Pinterest each month.
Income-wise, 50% of users earn $50,000 or more per year, with 10% of their households earner more than $125,000 per year. That is an attention-grabbing segment of the population that posses a significant disposable income and credible purchasing power.
The process devised for following topics uses the term "pins," which is like a tweet on Twitter. An indication of a topic's popularity is apparent not only by the sheer number of viewers (called "Pinners") but also by the number of times the theme experiences a referral or "repin." This repinning is an indication of the topic's intensity.
In 2019, there were 200 billion pins, which equates to 667 pins per user.
But here is an eye-popping statistic. Based on viewed content, 83% of weekly Pinners purchased from brands seen there. And that is what it is all about.
Here are just a few more interesting figures:
- The average visitor spends 14 minutes on Pinterest per visit.
- 64% of users say it is the platform to find trusted products and services.
- 85% use Pinterest before initiating a new project.
- 98% say that they try new things based on Pinterest.
- 66% of Pinterest visitors make a purchase when eagle-eyeing a brand pin.
- 77% of frequent Pinners discover new brands and products on this platform.
Pinterest has plenty of marketing aids built into the system. Each time an individual signs up, a quick survey collects their demographics that records the new member's viewing and purchasing habits.
With a commercial membership comes a potent marketing tool they call "Analytics." And what is unusual is that it is free.
what does Pinterest Analytics do?
Pinterest Analytics provides a unique platform to track your performance. You can see from your dashboard what your audience enjoys about your profile and website. It also gives vital info about content outside of your profile.
The tracking of this marketing information equates to some of the paid-for utilities we have seen.
Here are just some of the data categories that the commercial accounts provide in their Analytics:
- It provides data that is not only traffic sources defined by region but also by top sources.
- How many times your content appears, or impressions, it makes in search or feeds, such as keywords used or categories viewed.
- How often others have repinned you, that is, found your info noteworthy and have shared it with others.
- Reports the number of visits from the platform as clicks, as well as unique visitors.
- Does historical tracking of your content while reporting the results of your audience's search.
- Breakdowns of what fascinated your audience and the ranking of the posts in which your content appeared.
- Details on whether your content became saved for future use and if recommended to others.
With this type of data, you can build a strategy that will open opportunities that are not available on other platforms.
how does Pinterest work?
To better understand how the mechanism of Pinterest works, let us review some of the basics, and see how it applies to you.
Creating a pin is the ultimate goal of Pinterest. A pin occurs when a visitor saves an image or video to their board. The term board is synonymous with an account.
As a byproduct of the topic and visual appeal, the Pinner has started the process of creating a link back to its initiating source. The result is referral traffic to your site, leading to interaction or sales, which your initial pin originated.
The mechanism of Pinterest is much easier to do than to explain. Once you try it for yourself, the value of Pinterest is very palpable.
Because Pinterest is more of an idea and product/service orientated social network, it is ideal for commercial use. (Remember how we redefined the term "commercial.")
Over the years, Pinterest users have gained the trust of its subscribers as a forum that provides factual and relevant content. And the accepted sources of the recommendations are from others on the forum.
For this reason, if you can provide content that motivates and energizes, the result will yield genuine engagement with an optimum audience.
As one can tell, we highly encourage the use of Pinterest as an alternative social media platform.
You can become very engaged with real results without spending a dime.
is YouTube for you?
That is a tough question for many.
What if you realized that you were neglecting to get your word out on the universe's second-largest search engine? What is your reaction?
Your answer might be that you don't want to create a channel on YouTube to become a "vlogger." But the right answer is that it may be easier than you think.
Remember, you are not looking to create content on an everyday basis like a vlogger to generate a following. Their videos are needed to provide a constant flow of fresh content to draw viewership, and that is because they are a podium to place advertisements for someone else's product. It takes a great deal of work to form a following sufficient to make an income on just being a YouTube vlogger.
It takes millions of views to make a significant income. At the time of this writing, a million views typically net about $3,800. If you only get a few thousand views per day? Well, you do the math.
On the other hand, you are on YouTube to promote yourself and your product or service.
Your intent should be to tie your website, its audience, other social media outlets, and your YouTube presence together.
Speaking of audience, this is an opportunity to tap into a new market population. While the audience that you are reaching now may prefer their information in a written word format, there is another and wholly different potential group out there. Some would choose a video presentation rather than weighing through a few thousand words of content.
Again, the economic return on the cost to present your offering to a potential market of billions is astounding. In actuality, it will not cost you a dime. Yes, YouTube is another medium that has broad appeal and influence. Yet, it does not require a monetary commitment to participate.
what are other benefits to YouTube?
Since Google owns YouTube, there is preferential treatment in ranking on Google search when it comes to YouTube content. This excellent but underrealized side-benefit is a byproduct of Google's ranking algorithm.
A consequence of this new visibility is that you start to create a following in a different vehicle that is not only supportive and but also nurtures your other marketing. Referring visitors from your website or Pinterest exposure to your YouTube channel, or in the opposite direction, allows you to give a more dynamic presentation, compared to a static format.
There is a similar benefit in reverse. Your video can have channel viewers clicking to your site, where value reinforcement and conversion to a commitment can occur.
It is imperative to understand that if you provide a genuine benefit to your prospective follower, you have captured a new member for your audience. Solving a problem or providing meaningful information will inspire viewers also to accept you, and in turn, your service or product.
It can also build a relationship of confidence that will promote further brand loyalty, leading to additional sales, and even referrals of new viewers.
But the focus should be on meaningful and helpful content; otherwise, it will appear as being merely a commercial for your brand. That is how many large companies have failed. They deliver long-winded YouTube videos, which are just commercials meant to be extensions of their television campaigns.
If you have visited YouTube, you have seen the unwanted and unexpected pay-to-play 15 or 30-second ads that pop up.
Like most, you have clicked the "Skip Ads" button to get to the content for which you were searching. Now imagine if your video were nothing more than a 6 to 8-minute extended commercial. See our point!
Later on, we have an entire section in which we go into greater detail on the basics of how to produce your content for YouTube.
If you don’t have any interest in being a “Tuber,” just skip it. Still, you may find it surprising how inexpensive and easy it is.
But first, let’s take a look at LinkedIn.
how to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool?
We like using statistics, and not just because they help us to prove our point. The reason we use stats is that used properly, they are demonstrative, brief, and add clarity.
So here is why Linkedin is significant in a statistical format:
- has over 660 million users
- 675 million individual visits monthly
- 40% of monthly users visit LinkedIn daily
- most used social media platform for Fortune 500
- purchased by Microsoft for over $26 billion
- 87 million users are millennials
- 50% of users are college graduates
- 27% of all Americans use LinkedIn
- how-to posts receive twice as many views as questions
- 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn
- yields 80% of B2B leads from LinkedIn vs 13% for Twitter and 7% for Facebook
Get the idea?
One stat that we did not cite above was that the household income of the average LinkedIn user is $109,000. That demographic alone speaks to the buying power of a vast potential audience.
LinkedIn differs from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in one major area. LinkedIn is about people nurturing their careers and developing businesses.
This platform is the one social media that brings individuals together that are looking for solutions and ideas to better themselves. It is also the place to launch yourself as a frontrunner in your field or industry.
To advance your goals, LinkedIn provides a podium from which one can:
- feature product launches
- explain industry trends
- provide how-to's and tips
- define product benefits
- create links to your webpage
- promote your personal or business successes
- plug business events
- use as a launching platform for educational videos
The application of these means and methods should not appear to be self-serving. However, it should create and build brand consciousness while still being able to breed new business and strengthen brand standing.
LinkedIn is a real content-orientated stage for commerce. For that reason, publishing evocative subject matter that others will share across the platform is essential.
When posting engaging subject matter, you are effectively creating an organic marketing magnet for free, while at the same time, collecting insight and ideas from your participation.
While LinkedIn may not be suited for everyone's marketing plan, if it does, be prepared to use it as the powerful tool that it is.
how to use testimonials?
Besides using social media to drive traffic to you, strongly consider the importance of testimonials.
Whether you are selling a product or service, or just offering advice, testimonials are priceless.
Third-party comments and reactions to your content provide unbiased responses that are more convincing than anything that you could ever say yourself or about yourself.
Your site should elicit testimonials because they establish credibility and create trust in your viewership.
But that only works if they are positive.
How should you use testimonials?
Here are a few best practices concerning how to tap them to your benefit:
- Make sure that you control the testimonials that appear on the site. In other words, do not allow anyone to say anything that they wish to post.
- Viewer comments should be diverse in their subject matter. Post responses that cover multiple subjects or products from various types of visitors. The testimonials that vary in composition and content will look more realistic.
- Try to personalize each comment with a photo or video. It helps to build confidence.
- Be careful that you are only using the respondent's name, personal information, or photo with their permission. If you do not receive their approval, only use their initials.
- Use recommendations prominently. Not only on the homepage but anywhere that there is a call to action.
- Make sure that testimonials appear on the pages that get the most hits.
- Create a testimonial section or page where all of your testimonials are reviewable all in one place. Ask yourself if you read multiple online reviews when you buy a product or pay for a service. Doesn't that experience become influential?
Remember to look at testimonials as if they were referrals. They are impartial and reliable views of what your content presents, and more readily accepted as fact than anything that you can say.