Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become household names and even extensions of us. How many times have you gone out and seen someone glued to their phone on one of these channels? If we don’t start breaking away from them for drinks with friends, bathroom breaks, work meetings… we might start growing hashtags out of our fingers. We’re obsessed. While I’m a bag fan of the three for personal use and strategically used as part of various social media campaigns in business, I think many businesses are missing the ball by not looking at the following less common social media channels.
“You mean there’s a whole other world outside of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?! By golly…”
Flipboard is a mobile app that gathers articles, blogs, and other news features from across the Internet and brings them together in one location. Users can follow news outlets, bloggers, different content creators, and boards that are created by other Flipboard users.
This social media channel reminds me of Pinterest due to its custom board creation feature in which users interests and pulled from other uers’ material. If Pinterest is so great, then why the change? Unlike with Pinterest, content aggregation is key on this channel. It aggregates content from several different sources and that content is available:
- For use in your content.
- For sharing content on other social channels such as Twitter and Linkedin that you are linked to.
If you’re a blogger who manages social media, you’ll especially want to explore this channel, as it can help streamline the content creation process.
Scoop.it is an underused social platform that fills a growing need for people who create and share content. Scoop.it allows users to create boards based on their interests and chosen topics; in return they can see more of what they want and less of what they don’t. The channel is more of a content marketing tool but has a few solid social media aspects to it including:
- The ability to distribute content across various social media channels.
- “Scoop” and share content you discover on the web.
React to content posted by other uses, as shown on the screen cap below.
Scoop.it is particularly beneficial for content creators because it narrows in on particular interests and then allows others to comment and share content about those same topics. Other Scoop.it features include:
- Build social communities.
- Find relevant content and publish it.
- Show you expertise and generate online visibility.
- Generate leads through the content you publish.
Like its name suggests, List.ly is all about lists. It allows users to create and nurture lists of their choosing: lists on tips, websites, etc. After a list is created, Listly ranks each list. In determining how lists are ranked, the site puts each list through quality checks. The Listly community notes the quality threshold as:
- Included in Google indexing. (Lists with low ranks will be blocked from being indexed.)
- Shared on Listly site on trending pages and related lists.
- Shared via Listly Newsletter to more than a 250,000 subscribers.
- Shared via Listly social channels on Facebook and Twitter.
Listly can be carried over onto a blog post by embedding a list. Once your list is embedded, it appears directly on your blog post and can help motivate your blog readers to engage.
If you could benefit from a channel that connects you to just about everything and anything you could want to know about, Quora should be your go-to. It operates as a question and answer forum. Ask a question – get an answer (much like Google, but by people). When you need some ideas for what to use in your social media content, check out Quora for inspiration. I’ve found one of the ways to get the most out of it is to research the types of questions and answers your target audience might seek out.
For example, let’s say you own a hotel. You’re in the process of creating social media posts for Facebook. Start by visiting the Quora search bar, located at the top of the homepage. Enter a keyword such as hotel. Here’s what your search results might look like:
Now, if you want to dig even deeper, ask a question:
The channel makes collaboration and learning easy. It has been more popular in the United States and is slowly making its way to Canada and Europe.
Unlike any other social media channel I’ve ever used, Ning allows users to create their own social network for their brand’s community. From there, they can participate in conversations with the communities they want to engage. This channel not only opens up the conversation between a company and customer, but between customer and customer.
Additional benefits of using Ning include:
- Add value to your brand by encouraging customers to talk about your products and services through community creation.
- Get assistance in content creation across other channels – conduct market research.
- Get integration on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social media channels.
Fun fact: Large corporations such as Hershey, Saturn, and Martha Stewart are embracing Ning by creating a platform where customers not only share their opinions; they share their passion by showing how they use the products.
Having had been a former DJ, I was naturally attracted to Blip.fm – it’s the social media channel for music lovers. While it’s not a typical channel to use in the majority of industries, it’s worth checking out if you work in the entertainment space or need to feel inspired.
Become a disc jockey and create your own music station. In addition, create a blip. Blip’s blog describes a blip as: a combination of 1) a song and 2) a short message that accompanies it. Users can create a blip by using the search box to locate an artist or song they’d like to hear.
If you’re business is in the entertainment space, you’ll want to take advantage of the Blip feature that lets you get social by meeting other users with the same music interests and find new music. You’ll make connections on a more personable that could turn into leads.
What other less common social media channels have you heard of? Leave a comment below.