Social Media Niche Marketing: Tips for the Major Social Networks
This article on niche social media marketing will cover a few tips for each of the following popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
Have an engaging cover photo for your business page.
A Facebook business page is a place where you can interact and engage with your fans. For a niche business, choosing a creative cover photo is important for making a strong first impression.
While there is more than one right way to do a cover photo, here are some niche brands that approached this marketing solution differently.
Guinness chooses a simple, yet effective approach. There is no call-to-action or complex message, just a calming image of their logo. Note the clever use of the profile photo in combination with the cover photo on the bottom left!
Porsche's cover photo features their new Panamera model. A cover photo is a good way for businesses in general to draw attention to a new product, especially if it's visually captivating.
Red Bull does not focus on their brand or their product specifically, but uses their cover photo to highlight a niche lifestyle. This fits in very well with their brand positioning and is likely to resonate well with their target market.
There are many different ways to present your cover photos. Choose a visually appealing style that fits your brand and your products.
Set up targeted Facebook ads.
Setting up targeted Facebook ads is very simple even for companies with no advertising experience. This can be very useful in spreading your brand to members of the community who do not subscribe to fan clubs or know anything about your business.
First, put a link back to your website or business page. If you have an existing promotion or landing page, use that instead to increase your conversion rate.
Next, complete the details for your advertisement. In this example, we used Facebook.com as the external link. Talk about your niche and your industry and highlight some benefits of joining your network.
Next, you'll have to manually choose your target for the ads. Thankfully, Facebook breaks down user preferences and tastes into a lot of detail. Pick and choose the categories that apply to your business.
Here are some examples of advertisements for niche markets:
Note: Remember to read over Facebook's advertising guidelines before making your ad!
Be witty and interesting.
Obviously, you should make an effort to be compelling on social media channels, but it is especially important on Twitter because of the level playing ground. Everyone is restricted to 140 character text post, so companies cannot rely on visuals or media to get attention. As such, creating quality twitter content is paramount.
As a result, avoid regurgitating old content from Facebook or other social media networks. If you want to spread information across your different channels, change the wording or the way the message is presented.
Use #hashtags to find your followers.
When using Twitter, hashtags are invaluable for finding users with common interests. After you identify high quality twitter users, follow them in hopes that they will follow you back.
Additionally, use relevant hashtags when tweeting content in order to increase the chances it will be picked up. This will ensure your tweets remain relevant. Hashtags are also a great way to interact with your niche target market. Others using a similar hashtag will likely be interested in your product.
By popularizing certain hashtags that describe your business, this can create a new community based around that hashtag.
Engage with your audience.
Building solid customer relationships is good practice for any business, but especially so for businesses in a niche market. Use Twitter to communicate and respond to other users, especially if they have any questions about your product.
For this reason, avoid auto-replies. Many people are turned off when they see a generic reply message. For that reason, keep your dealings with your followers genuine as possible.
If you have a follower with high brand loyalty or have a good relationship with another company, @mention them in your tweets! This will increase the authenticity of your brand, empower the person you are mentioning, and cross-pollinates both of your Twitter accounts.
Twitter is one of the fastest-moving social media platforms out there, so being timely with your responses is essential. If someone has @mentioned you, make sure to respond promptly.
Clearly Contacts does great job constantly communicating with its followers.
Using Google+ Circles
Google+ Circles is a great way for businesses to categorize and segment their audience. Circles allows users to place their friends and followers into distinct categories for future reference. People can be in multiple circles, and the people in question do not know which circles they are a part of.
For example, a studio that produces independent films could sort its followers into "Movie A fans" and "Movie B fans". They could also have separate circles for critics, opinion leaders, or employees.
In addition, businesses can use Circles to post different content to different groups. This can be useful for tailoring customized deals or promotional campaigns to different types of customers. To build on the previous example, the studio could provide a discount specifically for their customers and information on a company event specifically to employees.
This upgrades Google+ Circles from an internal organizational tool to a target marketing and promotions tool.
There are many communities available on Google+ covering a variety of different topics. These communities are similar to forums (but much more visual), where users discuss ideas related to a central theme.
Similar to fan pages, this provides a good opportunity for companies to identify trending topics related to your industry. Furthermore, a good combination for companies on Google+ is to use communities to identify influential members and adding them to your circles. This is a good way to expand the spread of your content.
Search Engine Optimization through Google+
For a niche business (or any business), showing up on the top of Google search is gold.
Content that is shared on Google+ tends to perform better on Google's search rankings compared to other sites. As such, all new content that you create should be spread on Google+ and other social media sites in order to ensure it is optimized as soon as possible.
If your business writes a blog, getting Google+ authorship for your Google business page will further increase the authenticity of your content. This works by linking your content directly back to your Google+ profile page, so that both Google and your viewers know that all your content is from a trustworthy source.
Create boards for your followers.
Pinterest can be a place to showcase your products, but it should be more than just this. Think about topics or themes that your target markets enjoy to try and get prospective customers to subscribe to you.
Lululemon specializes in selling yoga clothing and attire, and this is well-reflected on their Pinterest page. Their boards have a heavy focus on yoga and fitness in general, with much less emphasis on their own products. In this way, they can attract yoga fans and practitioners that may not necessarily be Lululemon customers in hopes of winning them over.
Be socially active!
Pinterest is more than just a place to dump images; it is still a social media vehicle and should be treated as such. Similar to our advice for Twitter, use #hashtags in the description when pinning content and use @mentions when you comment on other people's pins.
Think of your target market.
It's no big secret that Pinterest is aimed predominantly at a female market (source). For niche businesses that target males, Pinterest alternatives like Gentlemint are a great way to reach out to your audience. Although Pinterest is significantly more trafficked than Gentlemint, it may be worthwhile to give it a shot.
Gentlemint may be more effective than Pinterest for male products, but this does not mean you should abandon Pinterest. Unless your target market is completely dominated by one gender, your business can use both Gentlemint and Pinterest to highlight different aspects of your product.
Follow Cara Tarbaj on Twitter