Alternative social media platforms“If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.” Whilst this saying might work well when justifying why you still drive that car that’s fit for the scrapyard, in the world of social media there is always room for innovation and improvement. If a platform doesn’t click with the public, it will fail – the list of failed social networks is extensive; who remembers Bebo, MySpace, Digg?

This being said, it can be hard for businesses to look beyond Facebook, with over 1 billion registered users it is the ‘King’ of social networks and is constantly updating its offerings to make it more appealing to both personal and business users. Without doubt, Facebook is a great place to have your business listed; but to avoid ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’, take a look at a few lesser used social networks that can benefit your business and give you the edge over your competition.

Quora – The Professional Q&A Platform

Founded in 2010 and becoming a more comprehensive version of Yahoo answers, Quora’s popularity flourished in late 2015. Quora took a different approach to social media, with a simple question and answer feature; branded as a professional network with user’s main identity being their interests and expertise, users can request answers from industry experts and likewise be asked questions about their field of work or interests.

Quora search volume increase

Quora search popularity 2005-2015 (source)

Some of the greatest minds in business use Quora, lending answers and insight into the community’s questions. Account creation is simple and who knows, you might have your political questions answered by Hillary Clinton, your tech questions by Google software engineers and just about anything else you can imagine.

Using Quora for Your Business

Quora can be a great place to seek free expert advice on subjects, as well as professional opinions on recent world events. As a business, you can showcase your skills and knowledge to achieve various endorsements, creating a name for yourself and your company amongst other professionals.

Pitfalls

Sharing your business expertise with others is a great way to showcase your skills; however, there is an opportunity for competitors to leech from your answers to improve their own knowledge. Additionally, the platform can also be very subjective – whilst the moderation system is strict, when it comes to advice or opinions, especially on political matters, answers can be opinionated or even untruthful.

SlideShare – Escaping Death by PowerPoint

SlideShare offers an alternative to the seemingly loathed Microsoft Powerpoint; owned by LinkedIn, the slide hosting service allows users to upload presentation files such as PDF’s and PowerPoints, either privately or publicly. These documents can then be viewed on the platform itself, or can be embedded onto other sites. Popular slides posted on Slideshare are ranked well by Google and can often be found at the top end of search results.

The platform is already used by over 70 million professionals and allows for a wealth of engaging presentations to be viewed and used by any visitor of the site. Some of the most viewed ‘Slides’ include how-to guides, industry trend reports, life and work hacks, leadership advice and quizzes.

Using SlideShare for Your Business

SlideShare is already used primarily by B2B (business to business) users, particularly for seeking content from other experts. Promoting your business on their by showcasing your knowledge is a great way to create a reputation in your industry and attract new clients.

Pitfalls

Whilst sharing your expertise is great, try not to give too much away. If competitors are able to determine your business strategy it can put you on the back foot; to prevent this, you can make your slides private. Additionally, with the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, the future of SlideShare is not guaranteed.

StumbleUpon – Content is King

StumbleUpon has transformed from a scrappy start-up to a powerful social media platform, priding itself on content. After users select the topics they are interested in, the ‘stumble’ feature will direct them to a webpage based on their interests, users can then ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ the page. Liking the page will increase its value making it more visible to other users and content that receives a number of likes can generate large amounts of traffic to your website. StumbleUpon also offers a cheap advertising service, making your content visible to users selected by their demographics and interests.

SlideShare user interface

Using StumbleUpon for Your Business

Because many small businesses haven’t yet tapped into the power of StumbleUpon it presents a great opportunity for businesses to dominate their fields. Here are a few tips for creating content that is more likely to succeed:

  • Create unique content
  • Create content that offers value to the user (FAQ’s, Guides, Advice)
  • Create visually engaging content (video guides, infographics, annotated images, galleries)
  • Don’t create content that is sales driven such as product pages or lists of your services

Pitfalls

Content that receives too many ‘dislikes’ is less likely to be ‘stumbled upon’, meaning it will effectively be hidden from other users and all other content from the poster will lose value, therefore if you are considering using StumbleUpon to promote your content, ensure it offers value to the user. Additionally, whilst attracting traffic from StumbleUpon can be a great way to build awareness, grow followers and attract links traffic coming through StumbleUpon to your website generally has low conversion rates depending on your industry.

Need A Hand?

As a business, there are countless social media platforms out there which can be utilised to appeal to your customers. If you want to trial your businesses compatibility with alternative social media platforms, or find yourself in need of assistance around any part of your social media strategy, give our team a call today on 01793 766040.

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