The nature of social media is constantly changing, and so are its platforms. Here are 3 tools for the brand, musician, and retailer to engage their bases once they’ve mastered the fundamentals.
For the brand
Instagram is a free photo-sharing app for mobile devices that allows users to quickly snap a photo and apply 16 different filters and blurs. It easily lets a user turn a regular photo into something special.
Popularity: 30 million registered users with more than 150 million uploaded photos. Facebook recently proposed to acquire it for $1B.
So how does this help your brand? Instagram users use #hashtags and @mentions. Encourage your Twitter followers to tag your company name in photos with hashtags and mentions.
The next step: Now that your community is tagging you in Instagram photos, it’s time to interact. Search by #hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to find the photos. If they use @mentions to tag you, it should pop up in your feed.
- Go through “liking” appropriate photos by double-tapping on it. The user went out of their way to take a brand relatable photo and tag you in it; the least you can do is acknowledge it. Feel free to comment on photos too. The more interaction the better.
- Retweet and share exceptional photos.
- Follow Instagram users.
The benefit: When customers post photos of your brand’s product(s), it gives third-party affirmation. In this advertisement-saturated world, customers are your best spokespeople.
- According to a Nielsen study, 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Think of it as digital word-of-mouth.
*Added tip: Want to jump-start your Instagram program? Offer a prize for the best photo submission.
For the musician
SoundCloud is an audio distribution platform. It’s not your average upload site, though. When an artist uploads a track it visually displays the song in a sound wave. Users can comment at exact moments in a song, giving feedback to the artist. Making comments visible to the public lets them see what’s being said about the song and encourages participation.
Popularity: 10 million registered users.
My favorite part about SoundCloud is its accessibility across platforms. I’ve came across far too many songs that won’t play on mobile and it disrupts the experience.
- SoundCloud’s streaming works flawlessly on iPhone and Android platforms.
The benefit: Increased visibility online for your music and quick feedback from your audience. Also, guaranteed accessibility and song statistics let you see what songs are performing best. Whether you’re a starving artist or rock star, SoundCloud is for you.
*Added tip: Prefer to share your song privately? Use “secret links” to share it with only the people you choose.
For the retailer
Pinterest, a virtual pinboard social network, is the fastest-growing site in 2012. Registered users post a variety of content, the most popular being how-to’s, food recipes, crafts and products.
Popularity: 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break the 10 million monthly visitors mark.
- Selling clothes? Get a model and put together a unique outfit. Take your product and show what the customer can do with it.
The benefit: Pinterest lets you seamlessly link your photo back to your own site. This means that it’s a great lead-generation tool. For more on how it can benefit your business, check out my colleague Brandon Bornancin’s ways to use Pinterest for social engagement and brand recognition.