I love learning about new social networking sites and apps and figuring out how to use them to target various demographics. In 2008, when there was a huge downturn in the economy, I spent the year looking at hundreds of social networking sites and figuring out their target market. In 2009, I compiled the information and wrote a book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media but were afraid to ask… Building Business Using Consumer Generated Media.
Since then, I’ve been a “student” of social media. I find it crucial to stay on top of the trends and constantly filter through the sites to determine where my clients would benefit. Here are some of the newest social networking platforms and apps that I’ve been focusing on in addition to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and more. Some of these sites may be perfect for you to help your business get more exposure and visibility in 2013:
Launch.it – This new site acts as a newsroom where you can post your press releases on new products or services and then share them with your community. The best part is anyone on Launch.it can see your product or service and share it with their followers as well. It interacts with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and many other popular sites and bookmarking tools. The site is user friendly, free and has a clean solid look. It is geared toward tech but there are other products and services on the site.
Snapchat – This mobile app has created a lot of controversy since its launch, but its popularity is implacable. Similar to Instagram, you snap a photo and then send it to one or more persons in your social community. The photo appears for 1 to 10 seconds and then it’s gone. From a marketing perspective, this could be used to send messages about restaurants, retail shops or even real estate. There are endless possibilities for many industries and the best part is, there are tons of people already using it. You can link this with your Facebook or Twitter followers to see who else is on Snapchat and then chat away! It’s easy to use and it’s free.
So.cl – This is Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Google +, Facebook and Pinterest. It’s a picture-dominated site and at first glance it looks like Pinterest or Instagram, but it has got more depth to it. You can follow people by industry (and there are a lot of them) and see what they are posting before you delve in. This site is also free and has the potential to pick up momentum. This is certainly one to put on your radar.
Pingram.me – This new site is a combination of Pinterest and Instagram – You sign in using your Instagram account and it takes your Instagram photos and organizes them in Pinterest-like boards. It’s a good place for photos that you would normally just share on Instagram because it expands your reach. There is no charge for this site and it is currently in beta testing.
RebelMouse – This is a cool looking social site. It takes all of your social activity and puts it into one place. It has the look and feel of a Pinterest page with big photos with tweets of your activity. The more social sites someone has, the more likely they are to go to this site and view their content and other people’s content. Many early adopters use this site. It’s also free and easy to use.
Spreecast – Video social networking has become more and more popular. There are millions of users on YouTube. Google Hangouts are popular for conferences, cooking classes and even to hear new talent. Skype is also extremely popular for conference calls. Spreecast takes video one step further by enabling you to host your own show live (it also tapes the show and plays it later). You can even replay the show on your own blog site. Social Media guru Gary Vaynerchuk has a show on Spreecast. Many celebrities and large brands host shows on Spreecast.
About.me – This isn’t a new site, but it has become a great way to put all your links in one place and then share them on your signature line or on your business card. It’s an online business card that includes all your social sites.
It’s important to also look at targeted social media sites like: EdWeb.net (for educators), Jewgle (for Jewish Adults), Honest Buildings (for commercial real estate and architects) and Café Mom (for mothers). There are tons more out there and each has their own viability.
There are new sites or social media products launching every day. I always tell my clients that before embarking on a social media campaign or expanding existing tactics, you should check out some of these newer sites. However, just because it is new doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use it. The key is to make sure the site fits with your marketing messaging and targets your buyer persona.