Everyone wants a piece of social media, but no one quite knows where to find her. As a result, everyone goes to the same predictable places — Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — in search for publicity.
But social media is more than those three platforms. Every month, new social media platforms are introduced that promise to help consumers interact with others in smarter and more intuitive ways.
Early next year, a new competitor to Foursquare — InUGo — will hit the app market and it promises to intersect Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, and even YouTube in a way that could alter the way consumers interact in the virtual and physical worlds.
But enough of the future; let’s discuss today and some of the larger social media platforms that are already available to consumers. These platforms can help you promote your product, service, or content directly to consumers for a fraction of the cost of advertising. It is also more targeted, which is great news for restaurants or retailers trying to reach their niche clients.
SocialPointer.com: This site allows marketers, business owners, and individuals to track, monitor, and respond to user conversations. It can help you keep track of poor customer feedback on Yelp or Citysearch and respond in real-time. It can also help you find and engage new potential clients.
Digg.com: This social media platform is geared more towards businesses that create content. If you have already posted a video on YouTube, Digg will take it to the next level. The more people who “Digg” your page, the higher rank it gets and the more eye balls that get to see it. Digg can also help you promote your blog or website content. If you wrote an article or want to promote a newspaper article that features your business, you can post the content on Digg for increased exposure.
Klout.com: Klout doesn’t exactly help you promote your content, but it helps you find the people who can best spread your content. Klout measures a person’s influence based on their social rank with the various social platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is valuable when it comes to deciding who to target with your message. If you believe the theory behind The Tipping Point, you will know that messages are spread by certain people, just like the flu. One person who is contagious has a better chance of spreading your message. If you’re trying to promote your business on the Web, it is important that you reach the right audience. Klout can help you find those people who can spread your message.
StumbleUpon.com: This social media site is geared towards people who are creating content, like writers, bloggers, and producers. StumbleUpon allows users to discover and share new content with their friends. If a story is popular, it can easily spread on the Web with this platform.
Shoutlet.com: By now, you’re probably asking yourself: How in the world do I keep track of all these social media platforms? You can do that through Shoutlet.com. This website is a social media manager that allows you to moderate, manage, build, and launch all of your social media in one spot. It can also help you promote your business with contests, coupons, and ads.
The primary business model of my company — 3M Media Group — focuses around publicity. Our job is to get clients in the newspapers and on TV, but every month more clients ask me how they can promote their product or business with social media. I think that is a smart strategy since a digital footprint will last longer than an ad on TV.
Personalities and products are not treated the same on social media. It’s easier to showcase a personality with video while promoting a product may be better served with a successful product review. That’s something to think about as you begin to embark on your own social media campaign that extends beyond Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Mark Macias is the co-founder of BigBirdFans.com. He produces social media videos for all kinds of clients and consults on publicity campaigns. You can read more at www.MaciasPR.com.