Beyond Facebook and Instagram: Social media’s other top contenders

by: Amy Blasco

Last month, Verdin delved into the marketing differences between social media giant Facebook and its younger sibling, Instagram. This month we’ll break down the dos and don’ts of some of the world’s other most popular platforms, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Make YouTube work for you

After Facebook, the social media site with the most users is video-sharing platform YouTube. According to the official YouTube blog, the world watches more than 1 billion hours of YouTube video each day. The site skews young overall, but it’s becoming more popular among older audiences, too.

YouTube is incredibly versatile, serving as an all-in-one search engine, social platform and television. A 2018 survey from the Pew Research Center found that adults use YouTube to:

  • Figure out how to do things they haven’t done before (51 percent)
  • Pass time (28 percent)
  • Decide whether to buy a particular product (19 percent)
  • Understand things happening in the world (19 percent)

These stats mean YouTube, which is owned by Google, is definitely more than a place to watch funny cat videos—it’s also a powerful marketing tool. Before we get into the how of YouTube marketing, let’s talk about the why.

YouTube succeeds at connecting with people because it offers a wide variety of content to a wide range of audiences (it has videos in more than 80 languages) and it’s personal. The latter is especially important when it comes to marketing. Video, specifically if it’s recorded live, helps brands establish trust with their audiences because it’s perceived as more transparent and authentic. The real-time movement of video also makes it feel like a face-to-face conversation.

Now for the how part:

3 tips for effectively marketing your brand on YouTube

  1. Determine your YouTube style and tone. Before you create a channel, ask yourself some important questions: Who am I trying to reach? What kinds of videos am I going to make? What is my Call to Action? Who will be making my video content?
  1. Offer a variety of high-quality content. YouTube is all about creativity and innovation. Your goal should be creating videos that are relevant to your audience, not just “going viral.” Some different formats to try include interviews with leaders and experts, testimonials from customers, behind-the-scenes tours and highlight videos. The opportunities are endless!
  1. Use keywords. Tagging your videos with keywords when uploading will help viewers find your content when they’re searching.

One last thing to remember: YouTube is the gift that keeps on giving! Uploading videos on YouTube will give you a digital library of content to use on other social media platforms and to embed on your website.

Be in the know about LinkedIn

You might be thinking, why would I promote my business on a job-posting website unless I’m hiring? LinkedIn started as a digital job board back in 2003, but has steadily expanded over the years to become one of the world’s fast-growing social media platforms. Since going public in 2011, LinkedIn’s total number of users has grown from 140 million to more than 630 million.

There are numerous reasons for this boom, the biggest of which include transitioning to a content-first platform in 2015 with the integration of Pulse (a social publishing app) and Microsoft buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. According to Geekwire, the acquisition increased audience reach for the business-networking site by giving it access to Microsoft’s roughly 1 billion customers.

Now that you know about LinkedIn’s “slow burn” growth, let’s explore the best ways to use it as a marketing tool:

3 tips for effectively marketing your brand on LinkedIn

  1. Give value, get engagement. People are more likely to engage with your content and, by extension, your brand if you add value to their lives with your posts. This requires doing your homework about what matters most to your audience and staying consistent with your tone and messaging.
  1. Grab their attention. Rather than just posting text, infuse your content with rich media, including video, motion graphics and photos. To create high-quality content, invest in the right equipment or partner with a professional.
  1. Make it a conversation. Engage with your community of followers by asking questions and responding to comments—but make sure to create social media guidelines to keep things professional and on brand.

Now that you know more about two of social media’s top contenders, get out there and start creating! And check back in with team Verdin for more up-to-date industry news and tips.

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