By Evan LePage
The following is an excerpt from A Guide to Getting Started on Social Networks by HootSuite University. The guide teaches businesses how to leverage nine popular social networks to better connect with customers and prospects. Part 3 of this series covers Pinterest, Tumblr and Foursquare.
With a growing number of social networks, it can be difficult to determine where businesses should put their attention and resources. As as each social network is different, they each require their own content and engagement strategies for their unique audiences.
Unique audiences definitely applies to Pinterest, Tumblr and Foursquare, three social networks that fall outside of the social media strategies of most businesses today. Each of these three networks serves an engaged audience with particular tastes. Though they don’t have as many users as Facebook or LinkedIn, their users are extremely engaged and passionate – meaning tons of opportunities for your brand.
Pinterest has over 70 million users. With over 2.5 billion monthly page views, it has become one of today’s top social networks. Pinterest allows individuals to organize images and videos into personalized visual collections, known as Pinboards. Users can then create pinboards from design inspirations and their favorite products, and browse through public pins and follow boards created by other users.
When using Pinterest, consider the following:
- Because the average Pinterest user spends over 15 minutes on the the site per visit, Pinterest can provide significant value to businesses looking for a simple tool that engages customers effectively.
- Pinterest is perfect for contests as the network encourages user-generated content. For example, with photo-pinning contests, businesses can get their followers to pin photos showcasing creative uses their products.
Airbnb, an online vacation rental website, recently launched a contest where they gave a free trip to one of their Pinterest followers. To enter the contest, followers were encouraged to pin images of all the destinations they wanted to travel. By tagging Airbnb in each pin, followers were entered into the content, and by sharing their pinned images on other social networks, they increased their chances of winning. Not only did Airbnb see an increase in followers on Pinterest, their contest was shared across other networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Tumblr is a publishing platform that is home to 160 million blogs. With its easy to use blogging platform, Tumblr exemplifies the power of social sharing, and provides businesses with a powerful publishing platform.
Tumblr allows businesses to share as well as follow other blogs. Brands are able to take advantage of the user-friendly platform and tell their story through text, photos, links, and videos.
When using Tumblr, consider the following:
- Tumblr is a free platform that is easy to use, providing a place where businesses can easily host their company blog or website.
- Businesses can make their Tumblr page their brand’s content hub where sales and marketing share photos of new products, infographics or other types of promotional content.
The news website, Mashable, uses the Tumblr platform for their company blog, where they share behind-the-scenes company culture, helping to build their online community and following.
Foursquare is a mobile geolocation app that allows people to “check in” to different types of venues, such as restaurants, retail businesses and other popular locations. Once a user arrives at a destination they can use their Foursquare app on their mobile phone and ‘check in’. Popular with young professionals, Foursquare helps to create connections between individuals, their friends, and the places they like to go.
For businesses, Foursquare offers a unique opportunity for businesses to localize marketing efforts and deepen customer connections. With over 1.6 million businesses using Foursquare’s merchant platform, businesses can create or claim a listing on Foursquare, allowing them to gain recognition and connect with their customer base.
When using Foursquare, consider the following:
- Foursquare is an effective tool for listening to the tips and feedback that customers are leaving for the businesses they check into.
- Businesses can support sales and marketing initiatives by sharing or featuring certain products.
- Businesses can also create ‘specials’ for that will pop up for nearby Foursquare users acting as an incentive to visit one shop over another.
Luxury hotels like the Wynn Las Vegas use Foursquare as a tool to help their hotels improve their overall service. Recently they had a promotion on Foursquare that encouraged guests to ‘check in’ to the hotel’s profile on Foursquare. Once checked in, guests were invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne.
To learn more about today’s top social networks, and discover what you need to know for your business to get started and excel with social media, download the Guide to Getting Started on Social Networks today.