Social Media Marketing Isn’t New – It’s Using New Online Social Media Sites to Do Traditional Marketing

A while back, I did a series of blog posts called “Why Won’t My Social Media Marketing Campaigns Work?” In it, I discussed how to make your online marketing campaigns work harder.

One of the most effective ways to do this is through the use of new online social media sites. While many platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been around for years, there are now a host of newer sites that allow businesses to connect with customers, build brands, and market products.

In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through the process of using these new sites to get the results you want from your social media marketing efforts.

The Basics Of Each New Network

To keep things simple, let’s begin with the basics. Each new social media network handles the basics of having a profile, posting content, and connecting with other users in a similar way to the original sites we’re used to using. Here are the basics of each of the new social networks.

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • SnapChat
  • YouTube
  • Facebook

What Sets These Networks Apart?

Each one of these networks was designed with one thing in mind: to be the Facebook of the internet. And what is Facebook, you ask? Well, it’s the largest social media network in the world, with over 2 billion active monthly users who connect with friends and family, share interesting stories, and keep up with the news. Pretty much everything we’re used to doing on Facebook.

The other networks were designed to focus on a different group of people: those who want to work together, create community, and connect with other interested parties. Each one of these networks’ focuses are a little different, but they all have one thing in common: they want to make it easy for businesses to connect with customers and grow their audience.

Why Use These Sites Instead Of Your Regular Social Media Platforms?

There are a few important reasons why you might want to avoid using your regular social media platforms when posting to one of these networks:

  • The Reach: Due to the nature of the platforms, these sites have much greater reach than most social sites. While you can always post to your regular social media sites, you’ll rarely achieve the same level of engagement.
  • Content Consumption: Because these sites are more focused on providing value to their users, the content you post on them will be more likely to be consumed. More specifically, users will be more likely to engage with your content and share it with their audiences.
  • Community Building: These sites were built for community. Your post might not even appear on the platform’s home page if it doesn’t fit the community’s agenda. So you can bet that you’ll be able to engage with other users and potential customers around the topics you’re discussing.
  • Ease Of Use: Finally, these sites were built with user experience in mind. Which means that, generally speaking, they’re easier to use than your average social media platform.

How Do I Start Using These Sites?

With all that in mind, let’s get to the good stuff. Once you’ve decided which one of these networks you want to use, the next step is to find the right place to post. Each network has a slightly different approach to finding content for their users to consume, but in general, your posts will appear in three places:

  • On the home page
  • Alongside content curated from other users
  • At the top of a user’s feed

As you might guess, the home page of the network is where you’ll find the latest content that the network’s administrators deem to be of interest to their users. This content might include recent posts from other users, as well as curated content from businesses and organizations who have partnered with the network.

The second type of content is a little different. Instead of being curated by the network’s administrators, this content is curated by its users. So you might find a mix of sponsored and organic content on this page, alongside regular posts from users.

The last type of content is found in a user’s feed. A feed is essentially an unfiltered list of content that the user will see at the top of their profile page. This feed will consist of content from the site’s administrators, as well as content curated by the user themselves.

What Should I Post?

Before you start posting to any of these networks, you need to have a clear idea of what content will perform best. In broad strokes, you can think of these sites as being similar to broadcast radio stations. Each one of these networks was designed to be used in a similar way to the radio stations we grew up listening to. For instance, if you’ve ever listened to a sports radio station, you’ll have an idea of how to use Twitter’s sports section:

  • Follow team members to get live play-by-play coverage of sporting events
  • Retweet content that relates to your niche or interests
  • Like other users’ tweets that relate to your niche or interests
  • Reply to tweets that relate to your niche or interests
  • Use the site’s search tool to find content that relates to your niche or interests
  • Use saved articles and webpages to gather information about your niche or interests
  • Use hashtags when posting to gain more visibility for your content

As you can see, there are a number of similar ways you can use Twitter’s sports section to gain value. So if you’re looking for a place to advertise your sports teams, this would be a perfect fit. Or if you’re an entertainment journalist who wants to keep up with the latest news stories, you can use Twitter’s entertainment section to find exactly what you’re looking for.

How Do I Engage With My Audience On These Sites?

Now that you have a post-box full of content, you need to figure out how to engage with your audience. This is where things can get a little tricky. While many of the platforms have some form of engagement tools, these tools are generally located in the form of buttons or symbols you can click on to engage with content. These symbols indicate that you’re a valued member of the community and give you the opportunity to engage with other users via a few clicks.

For example, if you’re a fashion blogger and you’ve noticed that a lot of your audience is also interested in fashion Instagrammers, you can use the filter symbol on Twitter’s home page to follow only fashion account holders. Similarly, if you’ve noticed that a lot of your audience is also interested in eating disorders, you can click on the heart symbol on Instagram’s home page to follow only users who have that theme as their focus.

With these symbols, you can choose to engage with other users via a variety of methods including:

  • Retweeting
  • Liking
  • Favorite
  • Replying
  • Sharing
  • Staying Informed
  • Finding Community
  • Joining Discussions
  • Finding Deals
  • Finding Inspiration
  • Celebrating Anniversaries
  • Organizing Meetups
  • Adding Value

…and the list goes on.

How Do I Measure The Value Of These Networks?

Now that you have a general idea of how to use these networks, let’s move on to the more important question: how much value do these networks provide? Just like with any other form of marketing, the answer to this question is going to be different for every business.

On the one hand, these networks allow businesses to build credibility (i.e., trust) with potential customers by virtue of their size and depth. More and more people are relying on the internet to learn about brands and products, and these sites provide an opportunity to establish trust through an online identity. Furthermore, these sites allow businesses to connect with people who are already interested in the products they offer, creating a perfect opportunity to build a relationship and gain trust.