Think back to five or six years ago. Who were the networking giants online? People hadn't heard of Instagram (growing in popularity with young people today) and many didn't know how to tweet. Now, “hashtag” is a part of people's everyday vocabulary.
You can be sure that there will be new social media sites launched this year and that some of the older players may fall out of a favor (think MySpace) and newer players will take over in popularity.
Lesser Known Social Media Sites to Add to Your Marketing
There are the current most popular sites for networking online. A smart self-promoter will start with these big five. In fact, if you only have enough time to promote on these, stick with the current big players.
However, as you have more time for promotions or more helpers for social media marketing, there are a few additional sites you'll want to add to the list.
Alexa ranks Tagged.com as number fifteen out of the social media networks available and describes it as one of the top social networking sites in the world.
It has a global rank of 550 and a bounce rate of only 10.3 percent. The average visitor spends an average of 20:48 minutes on the site. This is impressive, since most visitors bounce from a site in less than a minute.
Tagged was founded in 2004. Some of the features will be readily recognizable and are similar to sites like Facebook. You can browse profiles of other users, share “tags” and play games. Tagged can be linked to your Facebook or Google+ accounts.
To start using Tagged, sign up for a free account. Once you sign up for the account and log in, you can create a custom profile page. Post a biography, share your interests, upload photos and post updates for those you are linked up to.
Quantcast estimates that Tagged has about 18.6 million members globally, so the potential to reach a wide new audience is there.
This site offers a unique approach to interacting socially with others and could be an excellent opportunity to share your expertise on a topic with others. The platform is quite simply a profile and an invitation for others to ask you questions, which you then answer.
When someone asks a pertinent question, you can quickly establish yourself as an expert with well thought out answers. Just be aware that there are a high number of young people on the site and some may choose to hound you a bit. Be prepared to ignore their nasty comments.
The site was founded in Latvia in 2010, so this is a fairly new site. It was formed to compete with Formspring. The site has had some hiccups as young people used it to anonymously cyber bully and this is through to have resulted in suicides by several young people.
However, it is a site that has taken over Formspring as far as traffic. The potential is there to reach a new audience in a way that other business owners may not be doing. Is your competition on Ask.fm? There are about 60 million users worldwide on the site, so it could be worth your time to test it out and see if you get any traffic from there.
Do you have a presence on Yelp? Yelp is a review site. People go online and review products and services they've had a chance to try out.
The site gets about 139 million unique visitors each month. The company was founded in 2004.
So, if the site is one where others go on there and review your business, how can you use the networking aspect to promote your own website?
There are several things you can do that will help you have a more professional presence on Yelp. First, set up your business profile by going to biz.yelp.com.
Fill in your profile completely with as many details as possible. Add photos of your business and a complete description. If there is already a profile for your business on Yelp, you can “claim” it.
Yelp allows business owners to respond to reviews. This is a goldmine for you to connect with those who have come to your business and to handle any issues that have occurred.
Did you get a negative review? Respond with concern and respect. Not only will you have the opportunity to win that customer back and give you another chance, other potential customers will see how you handled a difficult situation and may be willing to give you a try.
One of the advantages to using Hi5 is that you'll reach users from more than 200 different countries.
The site is not as popular as a social networking medium in the United States, but there are plenty of other social networking sites already meeting that need in the US.
If you want to reach potential site visitors from other countries, Hi5 is worth a look. It was founded in 2003. The site has more than 80 million registered users.
Hi5 is similar to other social networking sites as far as the ability to post updates, connect with others and network. However, there is a big focus on entertainment on Hi5. You'll find a wide variety of games.
Once you've established a presence on Hi5, you may want to consider offering a game that relates to your website to draw even more attention, since that is a popular way to spend time on this social media site.
Buzznet is a bit different than some of the other social media networks out there, but is well suited to promoting a website.
The focus on this platform is sharing ideas, events and interests. What an opportunity to get the word out about what you do by sharing news stories and events you come across. Much of the focus is on celebrities and events surrounding them, so if you can tie your topic into celebrities in some way, you can really reach some people on this site.
The site was started in 2005. There are about 10 million registered users on the site.
There are dozens of additions social media sites you could choose from. These are five to get you started.
Remember to use landing pages to help test the effectiveness of any promotions you do, learn each of the social media sites before promoting on there and always add value over blatant self-promotional posts to avoid sounding spammy.
About Lori Soard
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.