Although you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and potentially even Google+ to your marketing efforts, they’re not the only sites and options out there. When it comes to online marketing, there are many other sites that could be worth exploring. Here are a few that we think could be potentially valuable.
Tumblr is a quick and easy to set up blogging platform. An upside of Tumblr is that you can post content on it more frequently than you can on Facebook. The downside of Tumblr is that you can’t host your blog, and Tumblr’s servers aren’t the most reliable. When they go down, so does your content. Photos tend to perform better than other types of content on the site, which makes it a natural choice for those in the media or fashion industries.
Pinterest is a social photo sharing website, based on the theme of a “virtual pinboard”. Users choose photos and “pin” (bookmark) them to theme-based “boards”. Pinterest was named one of the “50 Best Sites of 2011” by Time magazine. You might not think photo sharing sites work for your business or industry, but with a little creativity, sites like Pinterest can actually be valuable marketing tools. For example, Indiana Tourism uses Pinterest to catalog interesting Indiana-related products and photos.
Foursquare and other location-based sites like Gowalla allow users to “check-in” at specific locations and connect with friends as they do, sharing useful tips and seeing what their friends are doing. Users can earn also earn points and badges as incentives for check-ins. Location-based social sites obviously work particularly well for businesses with physical locations, like retail stores and restaurants. However, brands can also use Foursquare and other similar sites by setting up brand pages and sharing their favorite tips (read more in our blog post on Foursquare marketing).
Yelp is a site that relies totally on community reviews to help users find information on businesses in their area. Businesses can also post special discounts for Yelp users and create business profiles on the site. As more and more people begin to use Yelp to decide where to eat, shop, get their hair cut, and any number of other things, it’s important to monitor what people are saying about you and your business. A bad review or two doesn’t mean a lot, but consistent bad reviews could be the kiss of death.
As social media continues to be the way people communicate with one another and get their information, it’s important to monitor the sites that are out there and evaluate which ones fit your business needs. Make sure you don’t fall behind!