So often when we talk about Social Media Platforms it’s about the big 3 – Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

Occasionally a dialogue will start about the pros and cons of Google+, but in the main it’s about the Big 3

But what else should you be looking at as part of your Social Media arsenal and how can you use these platforms to boost your business?

This article was originally written for Trafford Business Connect in the Summer and since we wrote the article Ed Miliband potentially became the most high profile contributor to Medium posts yesterday where he used the platform to get greater outreach for his speech via the blogging platform

Let’s look at 5 of the Best to fit within your Social Media and Content Marketing Plans


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INSTAGRAM

I recently delivered a talk on Content Marketing and explained the benefits of Instagram in reaching a younger tech savvy audience – but the landscape is changing and whilst Instagram is still the domain of teenagers who got there early to avoid parental snooping – the fastest growing demographic on Instagram is now 40-60 year olds!

Social Media and content marketing is about being in the place where your customers eyes are and whilst a lot of noise is made about Instagram Selfies or Food Porn (yes, such a term does exist) it does have other uses

Instagram works for several reasons

1. People often digest information better visually through images rather than the written word
2. You can tell the story behind your company and offer a behind the scenes view
3. Mobile 1st Platform – so it’s always within your customers reach

Whilst many use LinkedIn or Twitter for distribution channels – Instagram is about consuming the content within the app itself rather than linking out to your website, so the creative process is one that needs planning

But big takeaway – if I was a recruitment company or a B2B company looking to grow with new staff or an apprentice – I would be using Instagram to play the long game in terms of showcasing the business as a good place to work and attracting staff that understand the year they are living in.

The companies that grow in the future will be the ones that understand where the world is now and where it’s going rather than doing as they always have done

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YOUTUBE

Recent stats released revealed that one in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone. Just think about that figure for a while!!!

Youtube naturally is the most well-known name in the online video market and offers the option to embed videos on your website

Chances are your businesses is already producing content that can be used for video whether it’s the last business networking presentation you delivered or re-purposing your latest written blog into easily editable chunks you can explore further on video

Often video marketing fails at the 1st hurdle due to perceived cost of entry and while a video with full production values may be expensive to produce every single week, there is the ability to produce high quality videos on an Iphone, microphone and stand. In fact some of the leading marketing experts simply use their web cam to record some of their most viewed videos in the thousands

The 2nd reason video marketing fails is a video is produced without considering the actual distribution and this is where the big 3 platforms of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook come in alongside a strong mailing list

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AUDIOBOO

At one point in our lives most us will have listened to a podcast or an audiobook

Audioboo allows smartphone and website users to record audio, upload and playback digital audio recordings of up to 10 minutes long

These can then be shared via other social media channels, embedded on to your website and users have a profile on the website akin to traditional social media channels

These audio clips can be used as an extension of your written blog to increase the time people spend on your website or to back up testimonials with audio from clients

With many of us spending large amounts of our time on computers – an audio clip that plays in the background while we’re getting on with our daily work is a useful asset

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PINTEREST

Pinterest I’m going to cover briefly as for the vast majority of businesses reading this article it will not be relevant

Whilst some will debate the platform has a value for all, when it comes to Social Media I always go with the thought – where is your time best spent?

So if you are a craft, wedding, interiors, e-commerce business i’d recommend you spend a large amount of thought and time to how you would utilise Pinterest to gain sales and web traffic. When people are on Pinterest they are in buying mode or planning to buy mode so it’s time well spent

For other businesses especially B2B – it says a lot that one of the biggest tech websites Mashable pin of the latest Amazon Fire Phone has been hearted and re-pinned less than a pair of curtains from an interior company. The same applies to many of their infographics

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MEDIUM

Medium I’ve selected as a curveball as 99% of Trafford Business Connect readers won’t have heard of it (Update – you probably have as of today when Ed Miliband used it for the 1st time) yet it was founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone in August 2012

They describe it as “a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends”

At the moment it’s used a lot more in the States than it is in the UK, but due to the names behind it, it’s worth keeping an eye on it as a platform

The interface to blog on is as intuitive and as easy to use as WordPress and will challenge the subjects you write about to further enhance your blogging content on your own website

WHAT NEXT?
Go investigate – think how you can use these platforms for your business – Just Do It

If you’d like to chat about Social Media Training or Outsourced Social Media Services call Alex on 07806774279 or email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

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