3 Alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for Business

By Rhonda Bradley / 25 April 2018

Find out why your business should consider using Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora for business.

In a recent survey, more than half of all companies surveyed say social media has helped increase their revenue. But what if your company is not in that top half? Or what if you’re a small business trying to compete against major corporations? 

Has social media become so big that you can’t compete?

The answer is: Not if you’re willing to explore alternative platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular social channels for business. But an alternate channel might be more effective for your company if you craft a winning strategy. 

In this article,  you’ll learn about 3 alternate channels that sometimes outshine the others. Discover which platforms can help you:

  • Reach customers in the “consideration” stage of the buyer’s journey
  • Bring you straight to a targeted audience in the middle of a conversation about your topic
  • Build authority for you and your blog

Instead of working overtime to gain attention on a high-competition channel, consider one of these 3 platforms that sometimes deliver striking results for business.

Pinterest Reaches Buyers in the Consideration Stage

Pinterest is an image-driven social media site. Its 200 million monthly users browse for inspiration and product ideas on any topic that can be presented in a fun and attractive format.

Popular Pinterest categories include:

  • Food
  • Home decorating
  • Beauty and fashion
  • Used auto sales
  • Digital marketing and programming

Due to its fun and casual nature, Pinterest is often overlooked by businesses. But the platform offers serious opportunities for brands hoping to reach customers as they’re making purchase decisions.

Nearly three-fourths of pinners (Pinterest users) say Pinterest inspires them to shop when they aren’t actually looking for anything and “90% say Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase.” 

For example, digital marketing agency Wpromote invested in Pinterest’s Propel program hoping to lower their client’s cost-per-action (CPA). The overall results showed 40% improvement in client CPA. One even dropped their costs by 70%.

“We’re able to reach new customers on Pinterest at a much lower cost than any other paid channel, and the success that we’ve seen for our other clients is leading us to prioritize scaling Pinterest efforts in 2018,” said Ashley Talley, Account Director at Wpromote.

The success that we’ve seen for our other clients is leading us to prioritize scaling Pinterest efforts in 2018.

Below is an example of a typical Pinterest feed. Notice the promoted pins by Ziploc Bags and FabFitFun.

Sample Pinterest newsfeed

Pinterest is a social media channel that offers a unique opportunity to reach customers in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

Reddit Reaches a Highly Specific Audience

Referred to as “The Front Page of the Internet,” Reddit is host to 275 million monthly users who participate in its 45,000 communities at least once a month. The site ranks 7th in the world and 4th in the U.S., making it the 3rd most-visited social channel on the internet.

Reddit thrives on anonymity, and users are encouraged to adopt pseudonyms instead of revealing their true identities. This makes Reddit’s personality different from the other major social channels. 

To outsiders, Reddit can appear sarcastic and a bit rough around the edges. But these are the same qualities that make it work. 

Users engage in open conversation without the need to polish their thoughts. They enjoy the chance to express themselves without fear of being judged by friends or potential employers.

Screenshot of Reddit

The end result is a community that interacts with each other more freely than on other social platforms.

Reddit is a good marketing opportunity for businesses wanting to reach specific audiences. Promoted posts allow brands to market to niche communities for as little as $5 a day. 

Reddit recently announced an expansion of their promoted posts that could be a game-changer for marketers. 

“We’re starting to roll out Promoted Posts to the Reddit apps. Previously, you could only advertise using Reddit Promoted Posts on our desktop and mobile websites. Next week, we’re making the ad inventory on our iOS app available, with Android to follow in the coming weeks,” explained Reddit.

Still wondering if Reddit is a good marketing tool for businesses?

Duracell Batteries collaborated with Reddit to drive awareness of their Star Wars holiday broadcast spot. By targeting select communities with simple banner ads, they were able to reach target customers “on a massive scale.” 

The results were “the second highest unaided brand awareness among twelve other digital partners surveyed”.

Reddit allows businesses to target highly engaged and specific audiences.

Quora Builds Authority as an Expert in Your Field

Known as the place to get and give answers, Quora’s 200 million unique monthly visitors join in public Q&A sessions from around the world. Its U.S. users tend to be highly educated and live in metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts. 

Questions cover a gamut of topics and include just about anything you can imagine. Anyone can ask and answer questions.

Celebrities and politicians often drop in to get and give answers. Questions range from “Why is the Trans-Pacific Partnership so important?” to “What makes Macbeth such a compelling character?”. 

Quora users receive thoughtful answers from a variety of people, including verified users like Barack Obama and Ethan Hawke.

Ethan Hawke Quora page

According to many successful marketers and bloggers, Quora is a goldmine of opportunity. It’s a place where brands can establish authority on topics of their expertise.

Marketer Neil Patel once used Quora to generate 9,872 visitors to his site in one month. He said “Quora is possibly the best site to establish yourself as a topic and content expert” in the B2B industry. 

IMPACT, a marketing agency takes it a step further by using Quora for insightful audience research.

“By regularly engaging with other members, you’re able to gain key insights from leading experts, target your audience, and even repurpose your content while answering and asking questions,” said Carolyn Edgecomb on IMPACT’s blog.

SmartBlogger Imran Esmail has turned Quora into a “traffic-driving machine” for his business blog. He stresses that it’s a source of long-term traffic for his business. He says it’s a heavily trafficked website with only a small group of people answering questions. 

If you’re an expert in your field and willing to help out by answering related questions, Quora may be a smart place to invest your time. 

What Are the Best Social Media Sites for Business?

Remember that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube aren’t the only options for business marketing. Consider alternate channels like Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora that may help you meet or exceed your goals more quickly.

The best social media sites for your business are the ones that help you achieve your goals. Align your objectives with a channel’s strengths to find the best match for your brand.

 Consider the advantages these unconventional social channels have to offer:

  • Pinterest: Engage users as they’re considering purchases.
  • Reddit: Reach targeted audiences on a personal level.
  • Quora: Establish authority and drive traffic to your site.

According to a recent survey, building a community of followers is one of the top 3 social media challenges businesses face. Maybe the challenge can be lightened by finding an alternate platform that’s more effective for achieving your goals.
 

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