Facebook and Twitter may be the best-known social media sites, but they’re not the only ones that can benefit small businesses. Among English-speaking social sites, LinkedIn sits at the number five spot, trailing behind Twitter, Trendstream’s GlobalWebIndex reports. Meanwhile, Pinterest ranks number seven. Both sites are growing quickly, with LinkedIn growing at 30 percent, and Pinterest at 20 percent, Jeff Bullas reports. For small businesses seeking cost-effective marketing methods, both these platforms represent untapped opportunities.
Socialbakers has found Facebook posts with photos generate more “Like”s, comments, and shares than any other type of post, constituting 93 percent of the most interactive posts. Pinterest leverages this visual appeal by enabling users to upload images and other media content as “Pins” and organize them on “boards” where others can see them.
Pins create a way to visually build your brand. You can pin images associated with your company logo. You can also post graphics that position your expertise or support your sales theme, such as quotes or infographics with statistics.
Pinterest can help generate leads. Your Pins can attract followers from within Pinterest. You can also link your Pinterest account to other sites to attract followers from there.
LinkedIn boasts 200 million users, including 74 million from the United States, according to its site. It provides the business-oriented equivalent of Facebook, which can boost your brand in several ways.
Customizing your URL will distinguish your page from competitors and from others with similar names. Ideally, choose a URL consistent with a domain name representing your brand. Use a service such as WebHostingBlueBook.com to locate a good URL domain name.
Your profile’s headline field lets you describe what makes you and your products or services unique. Other fields establish credibility by citing your professional credentials and displaying references.
LinkedIn also provides promotional opportunities. You can network with other professionals in your field or your target market by using the site’s private messaging and groups features. Participating in group discussions and sharing content gives you a way to establish your expertise and build business relationships.
The above methods can also serve to drive traffic to your other social media platforms. For instance, you can include links in your profile. You can also share content of interest to groups you participate in, where appropriate.
Integrating Your Social Toolkit
Pinterest and LinkedIn work best when used in conjunction with your other social media tools as part of a single toolkit, rather than viewing them in competition with Facebook and Twitter. You can integrate your Pinterest account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts for cross-platform sharing. Likewise, you can use your LinkedIn profile to link to your Facebook or Twitter pages, and vice versa. You can also share content from these social media hubs with your LinkedIn networks.
You will get the most leverage out of using these social media tools if you track your results. Sprout Social provides one way to do this by integrating management of your LinkedIn page with your Facebook and Twitter activity and providing you with analytic feedback on the results of your campaigns.