Thursday, February 19, 2015

There’s no arguing that Facebook and Twitter are two of the best social media advertising mediums available—the sheer number of users, combined with sophisticated targeting capabilities leave these two platforms to be regarded as the best options for maximizing ROI. But they’re not the only options, and given the right circumstances, a campaign can be successful and cost less money when implemented on other social media networks.

Here are a few to consider:

Reddit

Noted as one of the largest forums on the Internet, Reddit has a notoriously passionate fan base that is segmented into various interest groups via “subreddits,” or topics. If it makes sense to discuss a business’ product or service in a popular subreddit, there are several creative ways brands can create that dialogue. A well-known CEO or industry expert on staff can host an AMA or “ask me anything” post where users can ask questions about the product and how it can be used. Or, there may already be a discussion about the product that a company can chime in on. And, Reddit’s current advertising cost structure is a really good value—sponsored posts can be placed in appropriate threads and cost just $1.00 per thousand impressions.

Yelp!

Many people are familiar with the Yelp! website and mobile application, which allow customers to review local businesses for public consumption. People are less familiar with the community engagement and collaboration opportunities many Yelp! territories offer businesses in their region. Most metropolitan communities on Yelp! are overseen by one or more Community Managers, who coordinate events for elite members who are most likely to leave a business review on the site. These events are typically free of cost, and are promoted on Yelp!. Plus, positive reviews will make potential customers more likely to visit a business for the first time.

Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most interactive sites on the web, and its users tend to be motivated “doers” who are extremely engaged with the content they consume. In 2014, the platform introduced advertising to its dashboard via “promoted pins.” Subsequent studies found that Pinterest users were much more likely to embrace promoted content than Facebook or Twitter users, as long as the pins kept in the spirit of the DIY/craft/trendy pins that were already populating their homepage. Creating useful and actionable content on Pinterest is step #1, but using Pinterest’s new advertising feature to push your information to interested users is a great way to build an audience for a brand or product.

Foursquare

Similar to Yelp!, the Foursquare app itself gives B2C businesses ample promotional opportunities by just participating as a business. Foursquare rewards users for “checking-in” while visiting local shops, restaurants, and venues. Once checked in, users get badges, discounts, and access to first-hand reviews for the location they’re visiting. Business owners can claim their business by visiting business.foursquare.com and start customizing rewards their customers can earn. Promoting the in-app incentives elsewhere can help a business gain traction and favorable reviews on the app.

Social media gives businesses the ability to cultivate customer advocates that relay positive experiences to their peers. The aforementioned platforms are 4 of the most community-oriented networks in existence today, and they can be great, cost-effective tools businesses can use to help encourage virtual word-of-mouth.