The Web is full of social destinations where people come together to answer questions, discuss news and share interesting information with each other.
In fact, aside from the 'Net's most popular social sites, like , , , and , there are myriad smaller, alternative networks where people participate in conversations every day. Most businesses are missing these conversations (a.k.a. engagement opportunities), because they focus their resources on the larger, aforementioned social networks. And while it is important to maintain an active presence on popular sites like Facebook and Twitter, reaching out to audiences on smaller social networks can help a brand foster new relationships, generate traffic, and build authority and recognition within its niche.
However, in order to participate with smaller social networks, you must first find them, which is why Website Magazine has compiled a list of 10 social sites that you probably aren't using but should be. Check them out below:
This question-and-answer platform recently released a video on its blog that reveals that in just a year, Quora has grown by more than three times across all metrics. Brands can take advantage of this growth by participating with the Quora service, via answering questions, asking questions and creating blogs on this platform.
Many people use StumbleUpon to kill time and discover new and interesting things, however, businesses can also leverage this platform to reach new prospects. The social network offers a Paid Discovery option, which allows businesses to deliver content to relevant traffic. Companies simply need to submit a URL and select targeting preferences in order to get their content put in front of a new audience that is actively seeking interesting content.
This video-based social network allows users to create, share and watch short video updates. The site has grown its audience with the help of celebrity users like the Kardashians. And even though there isn't currently a specific place for business users yet, individuals can sign up for the service and create brand-related videos, which can also be shared via email, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Businesses can find success on this photo-sharing site by posting share-worthy images and videos, as these will be more captivating than standard product images. For example, brands can show off behind-the-scenes images of their staffs or products being made as a way to better relate with customers.
This platform describes itself as "the subject-based social network." It connects users with the top social sources on subjects they care about. Brands can contact the company to request to have their content featured on Sulia or to advertise within specific channels.
You may be using Klout already, however, it is important to know that this platform can be used for more than to just monitor your social influence. In fact, Klout recently launched Klout Experts, which is Q&A feature that allows users who are influential in a specific area to answer a frequently asked topic-related question. Then, when someone searches that question on Bing, the Klout Expert insights are displayed, which helps boost the expert's visibility and authority.
Tribe is a social network that connects people with like-interests. While this platform shouldn't be used to spam other users or push your brand/product, individuals can participate in conversations with this online community, as well as post information listings and events.
HARO, which stands for help a reporter out, is a service that helps reporters connect with sources. This social service is particularly useful for B2B businesses, who can sign up to be a source and answer relevant questions in the hopes of making it into a popular blogger's next article.
Many marketers target moms, as this customer segment is typically a household's decision-maker. Luckily, there are many digital destinations to find moms chatting on the Web, including CafeMom. This momma-based social network is full of ladies discussing everyday events. So even if you don't feel like participating in these mommy discussions (because you don't want to come off as a spammer), this site is an inspiring place to come up with content ideas for blog posts and email newsletters based on the subjects moms care about.
Although Foursquare has been around for a while, many businesses have neglected this location-based social network for more popular platforms, like Facebook and Yelp. However, this social network's business tools make it a valuable way to connect with customers and entice them into brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, Foursquare recently launched a business-specific mobile application that allows brand managers to post updates and monitor activity on the social network.