With engaged user bases and proprietary first-party data, social networks can be great traffic sources for marketers. Around 88% users use Facebook to advertise and around 30% in Twitter. But there are other social network platforms. Platforms such as Quora, Pinterest, Snapchat are used by fewer than 10% of marketers despite being popular with users. In fact, Reddit is the sixth most-visited global website, doesn’t break the top eight.
Advertisers don’t want to test other platforms when Facebook & Twitter deliver enough scale. But testing ads on multiple platforms is important to an efficient social media marketing strategy. Smaller, less competitive social platforms might offer lower advertising costs, and depending on your industry, more specialized platforms might allow you to target particular audiences in the right mindset to engage with your ads. By trying new platforms, you can find new audiences, explore new ad mediums, and maybe even find some success.
Here are five additional social networks that you should try advertising on, with advice on how to tackle them.
Pinterest is ideal for B2C brands with lifestyle products that can be clearly expressed in a picture. You can sell the products using imagery. Last year, Pinterest reported 250 million users and more than 175 billion pins. The platform also shared that Pinterest users find Pinterest ads 1.4 times more relevant than ads they see on other social media networks—which is reason enough to start advertising on the platform.
Pinterest offers Promoted Pins, which are standard pins advertisers can promote in a user’s feed (the ads are simple, with an image, short text, and an off-site link). These ads blend in well and are not obtrusive to the Pinterest experience. When creating a Pinterest ad, use a vertical image at least 600 pixels wide, and remember that people use Pinterest to discover new ideas and projects. If you can create a visually-appealing ad that provides a promise of improvement to the user’s life, you’ll do well on Pinterest.
Snapchat is also a B2C platform for brands. If your B2C business has a younger demographic, you need to consider testing out Snapchat ads. Snapchat provides a great opportunity to connect with a younger audience (among those 18 to 24, 78% use Snapchat).
Snapchat has multiple ad types, including their Sponsored Filters, which are branded filters people can overlay on their photos. Snapchat’s Story Ads live in the Discover tab amongst organic stories from celebrities and media sites. Here, you have just an image and 34 characters to entice people to click, which prompts them to watch at least three video Snaps you upload. Snapchat also offers Snap Ads, which are slightly-obtrusive ads that appear in between Snaps in someone’s Snap Story (these can be static or video).
Advertising in LinkedIn is mostly of B2B. If B2B is your audience then you should definitely be testing ads there. But B2C advertisers can still get success at LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an extensive platform to target people with their professional credentials.
LinkedIn has three main ad units, all native: Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Sponsored Job Results. The latter two will appeal mainly to sales and hiring teams, respectively, while Sponsored Content is used by marketers to reach people as they browse their LinkedIn feeds. LinkedIn ads look exactly like organic posts, even showing who of your contacts follows the sponsoring companies.
The ads themselves tend to promote content like an eBook or blog article, although on desktop you’ll also see commercial-quality auto-playing videos. Does this mean you shouldn’t try sending users to a product page? Not at all, but keep in mind users are likely to be in an analytical work mindset, versus a buying one, making LinkedIn more of a top-of-funnel traffic source versus direct response.
Advertising on Qoura might seem like a waste of time. But this Q&A platform has over 300 million unique visitors each month. With its wide variety of topics, Quora applicable to pretty much every marketer—all you have to do is find your audience and set up your ads.
Quora’s self-serve portal has two major ad units: 1. Promoted Answers, where a specific answer gets promoted in a user’s home feed (but not within the question itself), and 2. Image/text ads that appear within answer results. With Quora you can hyper-target your audience. Beyond the pre-defined Topic and Interest Targeting options (there are literally thousands), as well as their recently-released keyword targeting, you can target specific questions. The interface even shows you the expected weekly views of each question. A successful Quora campaign will involve upfront research around relevant questions. Consider this missed opportunity: For the question of “What are the best running shoes?” there’s not a single footwear advertiser. It would not cost much for a brand like Adidas or New Balance to pay to appear in the first result.