The “big five” social media platforms are much like the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team — they dominate the field.
While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok are helping millions of businesses score clients, it’s easy to ignore other social media platforms that might come off the bench and drain a game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Here’s what you need to know:
What was once only a private person-to-person photo-sharing app in 2011, Snapchat has exploded into a visual storytelling experience. In 2022, more than 360 million daily active users created, consumed and shared visual stories with each other and on the app’s Discover page.
With nearly 60% of its users too young to rent a car, it’s easy to ignore this social media platform. However, Snap’s youthful user base is what makes it popular with influencer marketing.
Gen Z Snap users faithfully stalk profiles to binge stories of official and self-proclaimed brand and lifestyle influencers.
Snap Stories are the best way to be discovered and engage with consumers, especially if an influencer stars in them.
Even though Stories disappear after 24 hours, you can save them to use later as many times as you want. Create stories about your business, your daily journey, or a behind-the-scenes moment to give your brand a narrative people can relate to.
“The front page of the internet” is where you can “dive into anything.” Reddit’s former and current slogans couldn’t be truer about how its 50 million daily active users peruse the forum-based app. Reddit is built for finding, engaging and building a community — arguably the most important part of a successful social media strategy.
Forums have been around since the dawn of the internet and are sometimes criticized for being outdated, which is why some choose to ignore this social media platform.
But Reddit can be just as visually stimulating as other image-driven social apps. In fact, users posted 1.4 billion videos to the site this year, along with countless additional photos, links and more.
Reddit also introduced an audio-based, live-chat function called Reddit Talk in 2021. It works just like Twitter’s Spaces feature.
Discussion is the heart of Reddit. It’s one of the best social media platforms where users can dissect every granular detail about their passions with those who are just as passionate. This also makes it a respectable resource for advice on just about any topic.
The game here is to get involved. If you’re an HVAC pro, hop into Subreddits about heating and cooling, air quality or even home efficiency to join the conversations.
Arguably its most popular motif is AMA (Ask Me Anything), where a Subreddit host invites subscribers to do just that. Brand accounts will even invite experts or celebrities that align with them to “take over” the Subreddit and host the AMA session themselves.
If you want to engage with and build an online community of enthusiasts, you easily can do it on Reddit.
Pinterest has slowly but steadily tagged along on the coattails of other imagery-laden social apps. It’s understandable why some could ignore this social media platform in favor of similar ones that live in the spotlight.
In the early 2010s, Pinterest was heavily used to find recipes, arts and crafts, home décor tips and the like. But now, it’s a place like most other social sites where users can shop, connect with brands and more.
The platform operates on the idea that users click an external link after being lured into a post with high-quality imagery. You could easily use the platform exclusively for lead generation.
For example, post a before-and-after photo of a freshly pressure-washed driveway and link it to a free estimate form on your website.
Show and explain different issues for poor grass growth and link it to your blog post about lawn health. You can also use these ideas to create scroll-stopping content.
Another thing Pinterest has that even the most popular social platforms don’t is a heavily favored female audience. Women make up more than 75% of the app’s 445 million monthly active users. If your target customers are women, you can reach them on Pinterest.
Tumblr is “whatever you want it to be,” or so the app claims. If you’re not into ambiguous brand messaging, Tumblr is a microblogging network where users are encouraged to “make it theirs.” The app’s content is a hodgepodge of blogs, videos, memes, e-commerce stores and more.
Lots of business owners ignore this social media platform because Tumblr was widely known for lewd content. When the app cleaned up its act and banned certain NSFW posts in 2018, its monthly users declined from over 500 million to where it sits today at over 300 million.
Don’t let the dip fool you. Tumblr’s user base is as diverse and active as any other social media app out there. In fact, the difference between the percentage of Gen Z, Millennial and Gen X users is nominal, and in 2021 Tumblr saw 12.8 million blog posts per day.
It’s safe to say there’s a little bit of everything for everyone on Tumblr.
Its biggest draw is blogging capabilities and complete customization of your profile page. Tumblr is a space for all your knowledge to be shared in blog or visual form.
For instance, you can create a how-to post about winterizing plants, a pros and cons list of tanked versus tankless water heaters or even best practices to unclog a variety of drains.
Study the Social Field
Social media mistakes like ignoring less-popular platforms are all too common. Your small business’s social strategy should be a little more nuanced than hopping on the bandwagon of the social-media-platform darlings.
Look at all your options, even the red-headed stepchildren of the social media marketplace, and pair your strategy with the platforms where you and your potential customers benefit the most.