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Alternative Social Media

social media logosA good social media marketing strategy is essential to any e-commerce business in 2014. Whether your goal is to increase site traffic, brand awareness, or conversions, it’s well worth while to explore the marketing potential of social media.  At the moment Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the names atop many marketing campaigns, but that doesn’t mean other forms of social media should be overlooked. Taking a look at alternative social media platforms (the smaller guys) can help diversify and expand the reach of any marketing effort. Before implementing a marketing plan, it is absolutely essential to have a working knowledge of the social communities you’ll be engaging with.

Instagram

Instagram is a free mobile app that allows users to easily share photos and video. A picture is worth a thousand words, and sharing well composed photos can crate buzz around a brand or product. Merchants can showcase their products, show a human side to the company, or simply participate in the community, anything to engage potential customers. Ultimately, Instagram offers two distinct opportunities for merchants: the ability to easily distribute visual content, and the potential to reach an audience of over 150 million mobile users.

Pinterest

Operating like a virtual pin-board, Pinterest allows users to pin content to their own boards, as well as comment on other pins. Every pin contains a link to its source, so an effective Pinterest presence and be a good way to drive traffic and build authority. According to a recent study, 47% of the U.S. women have made a purchase based on a Pinterest referral; this leads all forms of social media, performing 16% higher than Twitter and 14% higher than Facebook. With its continued growth and impressive referral rate, it’s hard to see why many marketers neglect the site. I wouldn’t be surprised if those same marketers changed their strategy by the end of 2014.

The Rest

Instagram and Pinterest are clearly the best of alternative social media for e-commerce, however, other alternative social media sites can bring value to a marketing campaign. LinkedIn, Reddit, and Vine, just to name a few, all provide vastly different communities for marketers to engage. By no means should these smaller platforms be the focal point of a social media campaign for e-commerce, but they are worth consideration when looking to diversify the audience of marketing efforts. Because the realm of social media is ever-changing, it’s advantageous to keep an eye on the development of the smaller guys.

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