marketing-ultimate-social-networks2

The Ultimate Social Networks for Business Marketing (+Ideal Niches And Strategies) – PART II

This is the PART II of the two-part series about The Ultimate Social Networks for Business Marketing, which has the goal to show you what niches each of the most famous social networks is for and what are the best marketing moves to make on them. So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

Here’s what I’ll be approaching this time:

Now, let’s begin.

logo-pocket
SOCIAL NETWORK — POCKET
Ideal Niches: Journalism/News, Politics, TV Celebrities, Comedians, Economics
Audience: Mostly between 29 to 55 years old. Adult people.

CONTEXT:
People are using Pocket to save valuable content they found online for when they have the free time to actually consume it. That’s the USP, obviously. But how are people actually using it? Well, in an Era where people’s attention is a luxury, Pocket is used mostly by business owners who need to consume content that is trivial for their success in the industry. Therefore, storing articles, videos and other forms of content do drive Pocket users who are in a hurry to save stuff worth reading for later. Point for Pocket here. It does work as planned.

But Pocket is in a certain way, a “selective social network” because most profiles are from high-level people, like the CEO of Spotify, NY Times writers, Directors from Etsy and more. The social circle is tight, you cannot make many friends if you aren’t friends already. Therefore the context here is that a person is recommending some interesting content to HIS FRIEND through a direct email when in Pocket. You read something awesome, and you recommend it to your friend by email. Hence, the reason for having relationships before you start sharing anything at all, otherwise you can easily get reported as SPAM.

So keep in mind that business friends who enjoy reading a lot join Pocket to share content between each other, mostly through one-on-one email (80% of CEO’s view this as a favorite option). But it’s not a rule. Because users also use Pocket’s feature for sharing recommended content through a twitter account (used by journalists a lot), or through a Facebook profile (normal avid readers). That’s what most people do. Therefore, as you can imagine, the power of Pocket lies in shooting curated content through your brand’s profile straight into the other person’s email inbox or other one-on-one channels where the likelihood of getting attention is high, like Whats App and SMS.

OK. One context is people gathering lots of curated content — while in a hurry — from Top Leaders to consume in a specific time window to consume on “reading hours”. That’s one behavior. But there’s a second context here. For instance, many professionals — like journalists — are using it to monitor their “targets” and their target’s respective personal taste for content, to craft the perfect pitch.

Didn’t understand? Imagine that you know the 5 last articles the CEO of Starbucks read in the last 3 days and imagine that you need to talk to him for an interview. If you read the same pieces of content, you can add a lot more context to your pitch and “get into his world” by mentioning parts of what he read and make additional comments OR questions about it, to make your pitch stand out. Makes sense? More information about someone’s personal life, better pitch. This is something journalists do a lot before pitching to the big guys. Homework.

So while C-level executives and other high-level employees are recommending content they personally approved, some, on the other hand, are using it the other way around, meaning, as an investigative tool. And since the majority of Pocket’s users are in business, know that it’s a great place to investigate how someone (especially someone big) in business thinks. Finally, yes, just like in Twitter, there are those who are using Pocket just to follow the news first-hand.

Therefore, POCKET users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use POCKET as a tool to investigate Top Leaders
  • users use POCKET to display/share personally curated content directly
  • users use POCKET to check the news about politics, economics and technology

Now the strategies.

  • DIRECT RECOMMENDATIONS — BRANDED OR 3rd PARTY CONTENT PROMOTION
    Like I said, Pocket is more like a “one-on-one” Social Network and for that reason personal recommendations are one of its biggest strengths because you can deliver more tailored recommendations that fit THAT specific person. If you know what John likes to read, then you’ll recommend something FOR JOHN. Get it? That way is easier to cut through the noisy universe. And since “John” is usually a CEO, there’s a lot of money involved in this interaction. But that’s not all. Doing direct recommendations also create the impression that you’re coming from a “friendly place”, by thinking in a friend/coworker/customer in a lot more detail which allows your content to be considered a lot more than if you had just spit it on your Facebook page.

    screenshot--pocket-share1
    PS: Part of the screenshot above is in Portuguese due to technical issues.
    PPS:You’ll obviously need to ask your leads for their business email to do this.

    From the image above you can notice that this is a direct message to Andrew, which sets the frame to a more friendly one, raising the probability of him trusting my recommendations and my brand overall. THIS works a lot for getting people’s attention. And yes, you can use more than one email and send a more general message, but the power lies in being extremely personal here. You can share your own content that you made specifically to a certain type of person with a defined need, like a CMO with ROI problems for instance.

    Besides, remember yourself to always mix your content along with someone else’s content. Do not “overpromote” your branded content here because the goal is to show your targets how the marketplace is behaving, assisting them by providing content that makes their big business decisions easier. Think wide here, so you can really give some help because there’s a lot of ground to cover like: laws, economy, marketing trends and more. If you’re dealing with high-level people like CMOs, CEOs, CTOs etc, they expect a broader view of the marketplace. Show them you’re on the same page.

  • RECOMMENDATION FEED — PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS
    This is something that equals that strategy Nike likes to use on Pinterest, but instead of publishing recommendations in your profile with the goal to reach a specific segment inside your target audience, you either publish stuff just for a specific persona OR for a single person or job position (like only CMOs for instance). Then you make your whole recommendation feed based on that.

    For example, if I’m aiming for a deal with a CTO, then good content to promote would be something like this:
    screenshot--pocket-share2

    screenshot--pocket-share3

    Creating a recommendation feed for THAT persona (or even that person!) will put you on their radar because it’s like they’re having a personal assistant who knows exactly what they want to read. That’s how you use Pocket effectively to your favor.

    PS: Lost about where you can find great articles that could boost your POCKET recommendation channel overnight? Easy. Just start here: Pocket’s Must Reads. You’re welcome.

Next social network.

logo-medium
SOCIAL NETWORK — MEDIUM
Ideal Niches: Technology, Photography, Writing, Painting, Startups, Politics.
Audience: Mostly college graduates but ranging between 18 to 50-year olds.

CONTEXT:
Medium users are there to put their own practice hours into writing, to promote their brands through guest blogging, to consume/read content, or to investigate what certain leaders are saying to the marketplace, especially because many businesses syndicate their content there. That’s basically it. That’s why people use Medium for.

And from what I can tell, since there’s a mix of business and “ordinary people”, there’s no optimal hours to reach the audience. Although there’s some trustworthy advice stating that publishing on Saturday mornings may put you on Medium Top 20 during weekends. Worth the shot.

Therefore, MEDIUM users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use MEDIUM as a way to practice their writing skills
  • users use MEDIUM as guest blogging platform, to promote their brands
  • users use MEDIUM to consume content from all over the world in one place

Now let’s head to the strategies.

  • BRANDED MEDIUM DOMAIN — PERSONALIZED URL
    In order to enhance the reader’s experience, creating a domain allows you to strengthen the idea that you’re taking blogging at Medium seriously as if you were publishing in your own company’s blog. A very good example of this is the following:

    screenshot--medium-branded-channel

    Even the Buffer guys are jumping into this:

    screenshot--medium-branded-channel2

    You can notice that you’re still inside Medium’s platform because you can see the logo on the top left, but even so, you get to create your own domain inside Medium. A great and simple move for brands that helps with brand awareness and marketing in general, because people tend to engage better with branded channels.

  • IN-LINE RESPONSES — BRANDED SUPPORT / SHAREABLE IDEAS
    One very smart move Medium made with its product is allowing you to highlight a few words or sentences and make a comment about it. Since part of Marketing your brand requires you to interact with others, you can bet that leaving insightful comments and several ones across the article, helps in getting people’s attention.

    You simply do something like this:
    screenshot--medium-responding

    And as you can see, here’s the note that I dropped:
    screenshot--medium-responded

    Depending on the profile that you’re commenting, you may look like you’re being a supportive brand not just to the audience of the owner of the content (which can be an influencer OR a company) but to the readers as well. You can use this to market your vision, your belief system, your company’s position regarding something like politics or etc. True marketing. The more you add to the content by bringing interesting stuff to the discussion while displaying who is behind the brand, the better.

    And the best part is that you can see the results of these actions using Medium Stats:
    screenshot--medium-response-stats

    The account I used above is brand new and through this simple move, you can put some eyeballs on your brand practically overnight, if you’re aware where you’re doing this. It’s just a matter of picking the right content, the right company/influencer and read something that you enjoy reading that also fits your brand/business/industry so you can then drop some helpful, clever comment about a specific line or idea in that piece. Simple.

    Through this single feature alone you show to those who you want to connect with, that you are there to ENGAGE. If your comments are relevant or full of humor or with other stuff that humans care about, then you’ll get additional exposure through this. Trust me.

    PS: Use this in your own articles as well, highlighting personal stuff like “My dog jumped on my laptop by the time I was writing this line!” or “there are several links that support this statement, such as THIS and THIS”.

  • POWER RECOMMENDATIONS — PROFESSIONALLY CURATED CONTENT
    This works a little like Pocket, meaning, what you like is what you have actually read and approved as great content. Therefore, no need to say that your recommendations in Medium better be great if you want to make the market realize how smart you really are, and ultimately your brand. Keep this in mind. Because in a world where we’re drowning in content, recommendations are what we need (thanks for the support Wired) and people are tired of consuming garbage online, wasting their hours on useless content.

    I personally read all these above, which reinforces its value to other readers. I came to know the ugly (but famous) blog Wait But Why thanks to an Elon Musk recommendation in which he shared a very in-depth piece about Artificial Intelligence. Once you read it, you can understand why Elon Musk shared that piece. Because indeed, it’s a very nice work from the guys of Wait But Why. The article is awesome.

    But what brought Wait But Why to my attention? Elon Musk personal curated shares. This is exactly what your brand should do on Medium. You can see for instance, that my recommendations always have something very powerful to say either in long or short format, and that’s EXACTLY the approach you should consider before hitting that little heart button. A heart is not a “like” here. A heart is a simple “I recommend you this content”.

    Therefore, also keep in mind this:

    YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NOT A “FACEBOOK LIKE” FEATURE.

    Negative. When you “heart something” you put that content in a subchannel that reveals to others what your brand believes in, what it supports, what are the main mindsets behind the brand and more. Which makes us realize that customers and prospects WILL investigate what you recommend to define your business as good or bad. Therefore:

    MAKE SURE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE LIKE
    A GALLERY OF AWESOME RECOMMENDATIONS!

    Get it? That’s it. Period. Hearts mean recommendations. So use it from this marketing perspective. One more thing: whenever possible, drop a few insightful comments on these very recommendations so people can see you once again while reading those articles. It’s a double marketing punch because it becomes easier to stay on a person’s mind if you’re being repetitive, which is accomplished by your additional in-line comments on other people’s articles. True story. Therefore, powerful recommendation + powerful in-line comment equals respected brand, especially if every recommendation of yours rock.

    PS: Lost about where you can find great articles that could boost your MEDIUM recommendation channel overnight? Easy. Just start here: The 60 Most Recommended Medium Stories of All Time. You’re welcome.

That’s there’s to say about Medium for now.
Next Social Network.

logo-plague
SOCIAL NETWORK — PLAGUE
Ideal Niches:Shoes, Jewelry, Clothing, Celebrities, Comedians, Games
Audience: Teens.

CONTEXT:
The idea behind Plague is a genius one: Users decide what content should keep going forward (spreading like a virus) to the whole world to see, while the rest gets stopped by users from being shared. At the beginning, when you’re a new user you only get a small crowd to share your stuff with. But as soon as your content keeps going forward to new audiences, you get to share it with more people.

That’s just so you can understand Plague’s power.
Now let’s talk context. Well, basically, people using Plague today are there mainly to have some fun, and most of the users are teens. Actually, there are lots of teens and youngsters there. Now regarding content, Plague’s content is basically made of funny gifs and funny imagery, exactly because of its teen audience. Nonetheless, users also post videos because it does support 10 MB videos as well, but that’s not something you see very much on Plague. Also, although the goal for most users is to have some fun fast, there are groups (called Areas) that address other subjects like “Art” or “Science” as well (just 2 examples, there’s more). On top of that, some users like to post 1-to-5 lines of written content, as if you were sending a simple SMS or tweet to the whole world.

Thanks to its virality potential and its easy-to-consume content, users get a lot back from just a few minutes of interaction. Since it’s usability works practically like Tinder, you take super fast actions and you consume content by the second which holds your attention on the App.

Therefore, for Marketing purposes, you have far less time to get the user’s attention and to make your marketing message spread because users’ fingers are in fast motion to swipe content since it’s the FEED that holds people’s attention, not the content. It’s the expectation of seeing something better next, get it? So assume you have only 2 seconds to make the user’s finger stop moving so he can actually see and pay attention to your content.

The good side here is that thanks to such levels of instant gratification, you’re not competing with anything else most of the times. Meaning, a person reading content on a Smartphone might be watching TV/Netflix at the same time, creating a massive dispute for his/her attention for you. Here, you don’t have much competition. And that’s exactly because the next image may make you laugh even harder or impress you a lot, which puts your attention on the app all the time. It is pretty addictive, and even I got “trapped” for a few minutes in its funny feed.

Now here comes something important: Therefore, users EXPECT the next image to be either impressive (like pictures of our Space/Solar system) or to be really funny. If you break this emotional chain for them, you’ll probably be cut off and loads of lonely haters will come in to engage. I tried this myself while testing things. Nonetheless, by understanding this basic context you can have a good idea of what users are expecting to see in Plague regarding content.

Just think of it as a 9GAG.com version, but with a focus on Social.

PS: A real Teenager went viral on Medium because he explained how teenagers view each Social Network, and he talked about Plague for a bit because many requested him to do it, because of its growth potential in the social media world. Just some additional info.

Therefore, PLAGUE users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use PLAGUE to consume funny, random content to have fun

Now let’s head to the strategies.

  • IMAGERY — CONTENT PROMOTION / FUNNY BRAND TRANSPARENCY
    There’s not much secret in content promotion here while using Plague, except that you MUST PROVIDE VALUE all the time or show a promotion so impressive that teenagers get crazy, like something for the audience who likes buying games. But next I’m showing you what I shared that got over 100 infections (infection = share) within MINUTES:

    peterson-entrepreneur-quote642

    And this one as well:
    peterson-entrepreneur-quote669

    Now this is more like promotional content, right?
    What about the funny part? Well, you can pick a great example from a Facebook Post that Grant Cardone did a while ago (pretty funny):

    screenshot--when-someone-comes-with-negativity1
    screenshot--when-someone-comes-with-negativity

    Posting stuff like this above fits GC’s brand, if you know what he talks about regarding Negativity. But you can explore other ways. For instance, here’s something that spreaded quickly that I posted myself on my brand’s profile:

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague2.1

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague2.0

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague1.1

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague1.0

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague3.1

    screenshot--petersonteixeira-gunny-gif-plague3.0
    PS: Hashtags don’t actually work there. I used for my all posts just so people can get the topic within 1 second. This was just for branding the message.

    Therefore, all you have to do is find what fits your voice/brand and put a playful tone to it, and drop it on Plague, then let it spread across the globe. Always have in mind that you’ll hit people better if you strike them indirectly because that’s how you’ll get far better results. Being too direct got me a few haters, but let’s not forget that we’re talking about teens here.

  • SHORT MESSAGES — FUNNY SHORT UPDATES / QUICK NEWS / RANDOM THOUGHTS
    This is something that proliferates a lot on Plague, with users engaging through comments especially whenever there’s a discussion going on. Just remember that teens care about social status, and most of Plague users AREteens. Therefore, the more you incite them to engage in some “heated discussion” the better. From my experience, it works just like Facebook. The more you engage with a certain user the more likely you’re to see his content in the future.

    But let’s get practical.
    Here’s some random stuff that spreads:
    screenshot--plague-randompost2

    screenshot--plague-randompost1

    screenshot--plague-randompost3

    Simple thoughts like these can promote your profile (and your links) across the world faster than you think. Explore this approach when making some brand publications. Quick but insightful posts like these, spread fast.

  • ARTICLES — CONTENT PROMOTION / NEWS PROMOTION
    I must say that this surprised me when I tried this approach. Being a social network more focused in funny images, one would not assume that content like articles would perform even better than most content in image format, especially in a place where people just want to laugh. But in a few tests it proved me wrong:

    screenshot--plague-posts-stats3
    PS: Yes, the App is in Portuguese because of where I’m currently located.

    Turns out that by posting my Facebook Notes (short articles), which is something like this, I was able to get even more infections than some of the Instagram images AND gifs. But this kind of content I create on Facebook is short only, for those who cannot read for too long or don’t have the time. And since Facebook Notes load really fast on smartphones, it also has the advantage of being more “mobile-ready”, delivering the content within 3 seconds. Perfect.

    The articles that work the best are:
    Storytelling and How-To.
    Embracing these two will do the job for you.

    And to finish this section properly, there’s also the benefit of using teens-targeted news. Something the guys from Elite Daily did with precision, as you can see below:
    screenshot--plague-newspost

  • QUESTIONNAIRES — CONTENT PROMOTION / USER TRANSPARENCY
    Another great marketing move you can make to find out important stuff about Plague’s audience is using questionnaires. Doesn’t always work, but once you get a lot more “spreading power” people start to respond because more people means more likelihood of getting 20, 30, 50 people to respond. It’s a numbers game. Plague has many different users with different tastes when it comes to products and content, which puts you — the marketer — in an even more tight spot to make the right moves. You’re really in the dark here, but at least with questionnaires, you can light a match. It’s not much, but it helps to reveal the audience that you’re reaching.

    Therefore, something as simple as this:
    screenshot--plague-questionnaire1

    Can give you some insights about users. For what reasons are they using Plague? What are they really thinking? Do they prefer News content, Funny content or Inspiring content? Where are they from? A few questions can lay the foundation for your next marketing messages.

    PS: If you want, there’s always the possibility to extend this approach to a Quiz on your own website if people engaged in a previous Plague quiz of the same subject. Promote something like this here if you see an opening.

That’s it for Plague, my friend.
Now let’s head for the next.

logo-reddit
SOCIAL NETWORK — REDDIT
Ideal Niches: News, Marketing, Technology, Art, Movies, Celebrities
Audience: Mostly 25 to 44 years old. Young adults and Adults.

CONTEXT:
The Social Network best known for “the front page of the internet” has several different contexts grouped. That’s because Reddit lets users post about News, Funny pictures, Tech, Marketing, Science, Blogging, Art and practically every subject known to man. The one place where lots and lots of users post content daily, regardless of the subject. There’s a lot of variety in using Reddit because of this, but we can narrow down to some specific behaviors.

Mainly, Reddit users are putting their personal time there too:

  • INVESTIGATE — to investigate Tech/Marketing industries and their power players
  • HAVE SOME FUN — to consume funny gifs, read funny comments and discussions
  • CONSUME CONTENT — to consume curated content by a whole community
  • DISCUSS RESEARCH — to discuss about Biology, Science, and more
  • ASK SOMETHING — to ask key questions to a person/celebrity/expert
  • LEARN SOMETHING — to learn fast key points about a topic via Reddit’s subreddits
  • CONSUME NEWS — to consume REAL News (news that the controlled media doesn’t show) about Politics/Technology/Business/Movies

These 5 points are the main “Whys” behind every Reddit user, with a small fraction using it for different reasons. With so much variety, Reddit’s traffic is about 100,000 unique visitors per hour (but remember this!) which puts its users on a very addictive state (due to gamification principles) and of course, brands as well, who are dying to grab a small piece of all that traffic.

EASY ANALOGY: JUST IMAGINE LOTS OF PEOPLE ENTERING TARGETED FACEBOOK GROUPS TO CONSUME LINKS. BUT TREAT THESE “FACEBOOK GROUPS” AS INDIVIDUAL FORUMS.

That’s Reddit. Now you have the whole context.
That’s all you need to know.

Therefore, REDDIT users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use REDDIT to share/consume REAL News about Movies/Politics/Tech/Business
  • users use REDDIT to investigate Tech/Marketing power players
  • users use REDDIT to “interview” smart and/or famous people
  • users use REDDIT to consume intelligent and community-curated content
  • users use REDDIT to distract themselves from the real world and have some fun
  • users use REDDIT as a way to learn fast about a subject and its main topics

Now let’s head to the strategies and marketing moves.

  • INFLUENCER — HOST THE AMA (Ask Me Anything) / ENGAGE IN OTHER’S AMAs
    There are a lot organizations, like US universities, the American Chemical Society and mega-journal PLOS One, that are making regular use of science AMAs as a way of boosting interest in their work. Since the audience is too big and every hour someone new (once again, technically) appears, using AMAs can bring you MASSIVE amounts of traffic to a brand.

    Do you think this is a shady strategy to self-promotion?
    Well, see the pictures for yourself:

    screenshot--celebrities-reddit-AMA

    If you have a powerful influencer at hand, then such move can put your brand on people’s radar really fast. You can set a quick AMA and make your product/service/content fit the influencer’s answers, by fitting your product with the influencer’s recommendations. Of course, you have to start with the RIGHT perspective and find the RIGHT influencer for you since day one. Do not try to fit your branded stuff in Miley Cyrus’ answers if she has no possible connection with your business.

    But look where the guys from the University of Sheffield ended up with just two experts — Dr Tood Hartman and Dr Rhys Hester — in a Science AMA:

    screenshot--science-reddit-AMA
    Image credit: Medium article.

    The front page of Reddit.
    The science subreddit has over 15 million people which is both a good thing AND a bad thing. Good because you have lots of eyeballs paying attention, but bad because you have extreme competition and you have to pull those eyeballs back to you. But their results, as shown on the original article, were remarkable to say the least:

    – 24 hours. The AMA was viewed by around 45,000 people.
    – 24 hours. There were 600 comments and questions.
    – 24 hours. The thread received thousands of upvotes and reached #6 on Reddit’s homepage

    One single day generated all these results. Impressive.
    It’s a matter of finding the right group (subreddit) and the right influencer, then jump straight to an AMA to promote your stuff. But keep in mind that you need to actually deliver something valuable to the community because remember, Reddit is just like a forum. Forums are a hybrid place of communication, entertainment, and education.

  • FORUM MODE — COMMENTS (Provide Help) / COMMENTS (Ask for Help/Feedback)
    The other way to promote your brand on Reddit is by actually using the website as a forum, using it as a form of indirect marketing. To do this, you need to spend some heavy time on answering questions, asking questions and engaging in every great conversation that is happening but that will result in some indirect marketing to you.

    A pretty obvious example is posting your blog post on threads like these:

    screenshot--reddit-blogging-thread1

    screenshot--reddit-blogging-thread2

    But of course, this is only ONE thing to explore. In forums there’s a world of valuable threads to interact in order to make yourself know to the whole community. A simple way to be viewed is doing complementary responses to other people’s comments, precisely like this:

    screenshot--reddit-music-thread1

    screenshot--reddit-music-thread2

    I linked to his needs by pasting the URLs that lead directly to the images he wants: Music. Besides, the final link I gave him is a MASSIVE gallery of free high-quality images that he will be able to use that is under the Creative Commons License. By being helpful like this you immediately stand out and people starts upvoting your comments, which puts you in a better position whenever you’re posting your own links afterwards.

    The marketing strategy here?
    Just CARE about other people’s needs.

  • FANPAGE — JUST LIKE A FACEBOOK PAGE (update: March 23rd 2017) I’m writing this section right after Reddit announced its new Fanpage feature. There’s not much to say about this strategy, other than “make it FEEL like it’s still Reddit, but use the strategies of a Facebook Page”.

    Here’s how it currently looks like:
    screenshot--reddit-first-fanpage
    Reddit page (one of the first created): Shitty Watercolor

    You must still make people comment, which is the main functionality that makes Reddit, well, Reddit. A fun place to spend some hours answering people and engaging other like-minded individuals. But view it as a Facebook page when it comes to posting. Optimize for hours when people tend to engage more to generate UGC (User-Generated Content) faster, increasing every post’s popularity as soon as it gets published.

    That’s it for now.

WARNING: Reddit is not always sunshine and rainbows. Here’s a key article posted by Jay Mcgregor that you MUST KNOW about: Reddit is Being Manipulated By Big Financial Services Companies (Forbes)

That’s all you need to know about Reddit.
Just pick the communities with more users and where people are actually spending their time to provide assistance, and do AMAs or get in the middle of them. That’s it.

PS: Secret HINT – here’s how Reddit’s algorithm works

logo-Kik
SOCIAL NETWORK — KIK
Ideal Niches: Entertainment (Movies, TV shows, Comedians etc), Clothing, Jewelry, Games
Audience: 13 to 24 years old. Teens and Young adults.

CONTEXT
Kik users do use Kik Messenger as a communication tool and to interact with celebrities on rest hours, but CURRENTLY the app has also been used a lot for sharing adult content, which is something Selena Larson from The Daily Dot tasted without asking, receiving adult content minutes after publishing a tweet asking for users to “Kik her”. Since it involves lots of young teenagers and even kids, online defenders have been fighting to protect Kik users by educating how much harm sexting can do to a person. And although this is a real side of Kik’s context, there’s also the good side in which users use Kik to interact with Celebrities, interesting brands, and to share/discuss content among friends through chat groups.

Since chat groups always scream a notification on your mobile, the likelihood of people answering is bigger than in any other social network that is not mobile-oriented.

But let’s talk about context.
Well, basically, for those who use Kik the right away, users spend time on Kik either to have some fun and talk about ideas or to consume instant content, which is delivered by brands through chatbots. There are about 20,000 bots to interact with on Kik (December 2016 stats) and many of them were made to deliver branded content on demand, to display e-commerce vitrines or to promote something based on the user’s commands (like in a mini-game).

Therefore, what you need to know is that users are basically having fun shopping with the help of bots or chatting with them to look at all possible outcomes the bot can give while talking to them. Or else, to join discussions about Forex, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship, among other subjects.

Therefore, KIK users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use KIK to talk to brands/celebrities and to consume/share their content
  • users use KIK as a way to do online shopping (conversational commerce)
  • users use KIK as a platform to interact with bots and have fun
  • users use KIK as a platform to communicate with their friends

Now the strategies.

  • CHATBOTS — E-COMMERCE PRODUCT PROMOTION / CONTENT PROMOTION
    Thanks to Chatbots Kik has become a powerful marketing channel because you can promote content or a product with precision, based on what the user is saying. So if you know how to build a Bot on Kikhere’s how to do it without programming(!) — then you get lots of leverage here, creating a 24/7 effective salesperson. This is exactly what H&M is doing inside Kik: a powerful salesperson.

    Here’s some demonstration of its effectiveness.
    The bot asked me to give it an item so he could deliver me a complete outfit:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot7

    I chose Polo Shirts which led me nowhere because there were no polo shirts available. Alright. Understandable. Then I changed my answer to “snickers”, and here’s the result:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot9

    Smart, right?
    The bot is already selling stuff for H&M indirectly just by displaying some clothing options. It’s like window shopping, but with the shopping. But he doesn’t stop there. Negative. He makes sure to keep you engaged:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot5

    Ok, that’s REAL Sales through bots. Nice.
    But let’s not stop there. Question: How can you use it with content as well? Meaning, to promote your own content without putting any human effort behind the content promotion and leaving it in the hands of the bot?

    Well, look how Funny or Die promotes its content:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot6

    See? Is that simple. Besides, the bot always asks you to rate the content as “Funny” or “Die” which is a move that fits their brand. As a result, depending on what answer you give the bot it pushes to you ANOTHER piece of content. It doesn’t let you go home. It wants you to stay:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot10

    But the reality is that it WORKS. Because the user gets “trapped” in a “content loop” if the content being shared is good enough. Therefore, you just have to replicate this same strategy, that’s it.

    But wait………..there’s more.
    Another way brands like to promote content is like this:


    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot1

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot2

    Simple, and powerful. You can use the “latest content” to link to several different pieces or if you’re using a Youtube video, you can link to a Playlist for instance. Are you feeling the sharing potential here? It’s just a matter of knowing what resources you have at hand and using it to dominate Kik’s communication platform.

  • PUBLIC GROUPS — CONTENT PROMOTION / BRAND TRANSPARENCY
    This is something that demands a dedicated person to do, but that works really well. The public groups functionality works just like a Facebook group, which means that you’re inside a group chat with some random people but gathered by a subject, like “Entrepreneurship” or “Marketing” for instance. Just like in a Facebook group.

    Well, now what do you do?
    The strategy is simple: Create relationships.
    Period. Here’s what I quickly did right after starting my account and here’s how people engaged to my messages:

    screenshot--kik-messenger-chatbot11

    No secrets here, friend.
    Just act like a NORMAL PERSON inside the group, adding real value but always talking from a business perspective whenever possible. Reinforce your profile to others, why you’re there, and who you are to them, but don’t be too serious. Be a bit casual. Imagine that you just met some business owners at the bar, while drinking and talking about mundane stuff. Then, you can start sharing content from your brand and from 3rd parties in the group. There’s no secret. You just have to engage in people’s conversations and create TRUE connections.

    A few people I connect with even started a conversation on private (1-on-1) by their own free will within minutes. This is what Kik allows you to do and thanks for its mobile-driven approach, you get far more attention and fast responses as well.

    Kik also pushes notifications on people’s smartphones which is something entirely different than pushing notifications on Desktop, since people always have their phones with them, 24/7. Hitting them on their smartphones works better for getting attention.

    Sure, they can turn off notifications from Kik OR from a person OR a group but from my experience, people use it just like Whats App. They get addicted to it. And that’s a very powerful place for brands to be because of that single fact.

    If you really pay honest attention to Kik users and engage with them, they’ll respond to you and the content you’re providing because it’s inside a CONTEXT (the conversation). That’s it.

That’s all you need to know about Kik for now, friend.
Time to get to the next one.

logo-wanelo
SOCIAL NETWORK — WANELO
Ideal Niches: Fashion, House/Office Furniture, House/Office Items, Board Games(!)
Audience: Mostly 13 to 24 years old. Teens and Young Adults.

CONTEXT:
This is a very powerful social network for businesses and you’re about to understand why. Wanelo is used by people to do online shopping WITH the help of massive, REAL reviews from normal, everyday people. It’s like a social shopping community. Users like to use it as a tool to discover NEW products that they don’t know they wanted to buy (this is called “discovery commerce”), to expose their saved wish list and to brag about their personal tastes (teens tend to do this a lot), or to consult product reviews of what they want to buy and ultimately, as a shopping platform.

But it gets better.
Wanelo has a functionality — which I’ll show you next — that is JUST LIKE TINDER, meaning, a new screen pops up in front of you on the mobile app and you swipe left to the products you don’t like, and you swipe right for the products you do like. Besides that, you can click directly on the image and it will open for you the checkout screen. Therefore, just through this functionality alone, users can do a lot of window shopping which leads them to REAL shopping inside the social network.

But there’s one more context: Bloggers also use Wanelo to build a high-quality fashion portfolio in order to get the attention of new brands, so they can make money with influencer marketing. And since many Wanelo influencers are also a bit like marketers, some of them recommend posting between 7 and 10pm for maximum engagement.

Therefore, WANELO users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use WANELO as a shopping platform
  • users use WANELO as a “discovery commerce” platform
  • users use WANELO as a platform to read reviews about certain products
  • users use WANELO to expose their wish list and personal taste to others
  • users use WANELO to expose their blogger status/credibility and to show their portfolio

Now let’s head to the important stuff: strategies.

  • INFLUENCERS — PRODUCT PROMOTION / PRODUCT GIVEAWAY
    This is an obvious marketing move (and very powerful here too) that you must use if you’re marketing your products on Wanelo. Since the social network involves interacting with other users to see their comments and their review-posts about a product, nothing could be more powerful than paying “Wanelo Models” to do a truly honest review about yours.

    Here’s where we start:

    screenshot--wanelo-choices1

    When you enter reviews, this is what you get as a Feed:


    screenshot--wanelo-reviews1

    screenshot--wanelo-reviews3

    See the power? Every ordinary user is posting reviews most of the times which to you as a brand, is a massive opportunity because they can cost you less. Hire many of these reviewers, and you can dominate people’s feeds for 1 week, for instance.

    Now PAY ATTENTION to the top right corner which indicates a Wanelo Model:


    screenshot--wanelo-reviews2

    That’s a true influencer right there. If you contact this kind of people they can promote your products with a fair deal to massive amounts of people. Certain brands will give them some products in exchange for X days of exposure with reviews, or something like that.

    And you don’t need TOP Models to get results by the way, because here’s what 3 average models can reach in Wanelo:


    screenshot--wanelo-influencer3


    screenshot--wanelo-influencer2


    screenshot--wanelo-influencer1

    Over 45.000 people combined. Now imagine this for 1 month straight. You hire them and make them publish honest reviews about 15 products (just an example) for you, and as a consequence, you end up increasing sales AND brand awareness in just 30 days. Legit marketing move, that gets results (here’s some basic stuff with some success stories).

    But if you don’t wanna pay that much money to models or give away your goods, then you can always make a deal with “normal users” stating that if they become a Wanelo Model within X months, you’ll pay Y to them. With the promise of a real reward, many users will see this as a job opportunity. They’ll do what they like and you’ll get some additional exposure as well. Just make sure you’re inside the law.

    But besides your offerings, don’t forget that Wanelo itself rewards users who become models which reinforces your proposal to them:

    A Wanelo Model is a featured member of the Wanelo community who likes to share their personal style with others by posting awesome photos in the Wanelo App. Wanelo Models are selected based on the photos they post in the Wanelo App. To apply, post a photo in the Wanelo App by leaving a photo review of a product on Wanelo.

    The Wanelo Team looks at all photo reviews posted in the app and we contact users who post fun photo content and ask them to join the Wanelo Model Team.

    Wanelo Models are gifted regular shipments of clothes and accessories to photograph and review for use in the Wanelo App. There is an entire section in the Wanelo App dedicated to featuring Wanelo Models. Models are also promoted across all Wanelo social media accounts, including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

    Source: Wanelo – How to Apply to Become a Wanelo Model

    If you get the right influencer, your brand can be cross-promoted, making a hit in all other social media accounts of Wanelo and giving you additional exposure with ONE move. Something undeniably very very interesting for brands.

    If you can partner up with a power user, your results will skyrocket because Wanelo truly rewards its own power users:
    REWARD #1: you get included in Wanelo’s weekly Top Stories newsletter that reaches its entire user base
    REWARD #2: you get included in their invite-only Wanelo Holiday page—a page curated just for this season that will feature stories and products from a select group of users, brands, and media properties on Wanelo. All the content will be viewable by Wanelo’s 10 million-plus users, regardless of whether or not they follow you.
    Source: StyleCaster

    Therefore, USE and ABUSE of product reviews with influencers. You cannot go wrong here.

  • CONTESTS — USER-GENERATED CONTENT / PRODUCT GIVEAWAY
    This is obviously something you want to try in Wanelo especially because users are drooling all over the place, expecting to get some sort of free gift in exchange for something else they can do for you in return. Therefore, Contests are a very good way to do that, and push users to engage and to generate brand awareness for you really fast.

    Here’s something simple but yet that works like a machine that Bikini Luxe (official) did to generate brand awareness and ultimately, more sales:


    screenshot--wanelo-contests4

    A simple post like this one above dragged all these people to interact together in the comments section, spreading the branded message without much effort:


    screenshot--wanelo-contests4.5

    Powerful.
    But this is not the only example, look what Obsessive Shoe Addict did as well:


    screenshot--wanelo-contests3

    You can even make Wanelo Models engage in broader contests for you and make them fight for people’s attention with something like this below:


    screenshot--wanelo-contests2

    Nice, right? And to give you one more simple idea, here’s another example from PerleMarket that used $10 Giveaways to draw people’s attention to their products, using the tag-your-friend UGC technique:


    screenshot--wanelo-contests1

    If you promote your products with your own brand + if you use the right influencers, you get MASSIVE exposure. Wanelo has way over 10 million users and over 300,000 stores, which means that you cannot go wrong here by massively promoting your contests. MASSIVE action puts you on the radar because your organic reach is not limited as it is on Facebook. So explore this option too (and don’t forget to use hashtags in Wanelo for maximum exposure).

  • DISPLAY CASE — CONTENT/PRODUCT PROMOTION
    Here’s the last strategy that is very effective in Wanelo: DOMINATE the Display Case of normal users. Confused? Well, let me quickly explain. Wanelo’s content is basically “branded” content, right? Everything that is posted by users is from a brand. Now, what happens if you do what Bikini Luxe did below?


    screenshot--wanelo-store-marketing-strategy

    THE ANSWER? THE USER’S PROFILE GETS DOMINATED BY PICTURES OF PRODUCTS FROM THE SAME BRAND!


    screenshot--wanelo-user-feed-dominated

    RESULT: You turn EVERY user that agrees to save 200 products into a display case that is basically selling your products to every visitor who sees his profile. That’s the power of using this particular strategy in Wanelo. Because since every piece of content is selling something, once you make the user show a lot of your content, you, in essence, make the user a salesperson.

    But you may be thinking: “But isn’t 200 products a lot to ask?!”. Well, if your brand can cover most of these categories below, achieving this is not so hard. But if you have few products, then you just have to reach out to many users and ask them for 10 saves in exchange for something. But if you do have lots of products, here are the categories you can dominate:


    screenshot--wanelo-categories3

    screenshot--wanelo-categories2

    screenshot--wanelo-categories1

    See? There’s A LOT of categories that you can cover as a brand. A lot. This is why asking to save 200 products, depending on what your brand sells, is no that much at all. But of course, you can always demand less from the user if you don’t have many products to promote.

    To give you an idea of how much this can influence shopping, just look at the Tinder-like functionality:


    screenshot--wanelo-product-discovery1

    If the user clicks on the image, he gets to see this:


    screenshot--wanelo-product-display1

    Now pay attention to how many people have saved this product:


    screenshot--wanelo-product-display2

    See the point? This adds social proof and at the same time may push users to buy because humans tend to want what others can’t have, which is a twisted psychological behavior but still a very real one. If you dominate lots of users’ profiles, making them hit “SAVE” for all your products, you can bet that the Tinder competition gets easier for you. No doubts. It’s simply a numbers game. More saved products, more attention in the social network because Wanelo wants to recommend good stuff while in “Tinder mode”.

That’s it, my friend.
Those are the recommended marketing strategies to use on Wanelo. Explore them wisely.
Alright? Good. Next social network then.

logo-musically
SOCIAL NETWORK — MUSICAL.LY
Ideal Niches: Entertainment(Comedians, Celebrities, Dancers etc), Music, Fitness, Fashion, Food/Beverages
Audience: Mostly 13 to 24 year olds. Kids, Teens and Young Adults.

CONTEXT:
Musical.ly, the social network that has a MASSIVE user base has been gaining ground among millennials thanks to its unique style, which mixes features of Vine, Snapchat, and DubSmash. But what you need to know is that most users are using Musical.ly mostly to have fun. That’s it. Even for brands and celebrities, it comes down to this. So singing like a silly person, impersonating celebrities, mocking others a bit, and doing random videos in our spare time is the whole game here.

But that’s not all. That’s surely the majority of it, but there is more.
Newbie singers are using the platform to test their singing abilities and to see how viral they can go with their work, due to its enormous potential to hit audiences around the globe. They’re using it as a “test your music” platform, and to get feedback.

Also, some indie bands are taking advantage of the opportunity Musical.ly is giving them with the now famous #NextWave program. The program is quite simple. Musical.ly publishes 15 new wavy songs every first week of the month, and make users decide what new music should be featured there. It’s a popularity contest, which is why a good amount of musicians are using the platform to see if they can fit their songs among these 15 to make Musical.ly users push their work to the general public.

Also, if you notice, most users use Musical.ly when in their bedrooms so depending on the age you’re aiming for, target your users when they’re not in school. Surely most users are online at night, but a good part of them are already up in the morning or in the afternoon. And as you can imagine, some are online all day long on Saturdays and Sundays singing silly stuff.

OK. That’s the basics, my friend.

Therefore, MUSICAL.LY users are usually behind these Contexts:

  • users use MUSICAL.LY as a place to have fun and do random/silly videos freely
  • users use MUSICAL.LY as a platform to test the impact of their music/band

Now let’s head to the strategies.

  • INFLUENCER — EVENT PROMOTION / BRAND VIRALITY
    I’m starting with this because the moment I created my account to test things out, on the following day I received the alert below on my notifications feed, which “scared” me a little bit:

    screenshot--musically-invite-to-duel-marketing-strategy5

    “Wait…WHAT?! Selene Gomez inviting ME for a duel on this!? What’s going on here?!?”
    Exactly. That’s freaking good marketing right there. If you notice below you can see the viral effect this move generated among the whole online world and Jason Derulo and Selena Gomez were responsible for it:

    screenshot--musically-invite-to-duel-marketing-strategy2

    screenshot--musically-invite-to-duel-marketing-strategy1

    screenshot--musically-invite-to-duel-marketing-strategy3

    Genius move. Seriously.
    The consequence on Youtube -> MASSIVE User-generated content:

    screenshot--musically-invite-to-duel-marketing-strategy4

    Obviously, that’s not all.
    This also generated a compilation of duets between Selena and its fans, which as you can imagine, made all these fans generate EVEN MORE content online, dominating search engines and social networks within days. Here’s a compilation video just so you can see how it worked out:

    HINT: don’t watch the whole video or you’ll want to smash your computer.

    I know right? I wanted to kill myself as well.
    But here’s the one from Jason Derulo, and this one is pretty funny. It gets better at the 00:39s mark:

    Such content goes viral REALLY FAST!
    Therefore, you can imagine how viral your brand can go overnight if you use the right influencer to do this. ONE DUET can generate all these pieces of content that point to one video that has your brand in it. You can make the influencer promote a song/motto from your brand, or your next event, or a product of yours on the scenario of the video…or other stuff. Whatever suits you best. Just use your creativity.

  • CHALLENGES & CONTESTS — CONTENT PROMOTION / BRAND AWARENESS
    Well, Musical.ly wouldn’t be so much fun without challenges. No good social network is good without them. Therefore, as a marketing strategy, you can create your own challenges and see if it goes viral (which is the best option) or join one yourself. For instance, here’s Burger King asking for content from users at the end of the video below to do some branded competition with it:

    Nice, right?
    So here’s what Burger King wants from its customers:

    Powerful. Works really well.
    But don’t worry. Because you’re not restrained to creating your own contests/challenges. There’s always the possibility to explore what is going on in the online world, and if you can jump on a Manequim Challenge, that’s even better:

    Or maybe you have someone on your team who can compete in Suicide Squad’s impersonation challenge for your business, to generate some massive attention like these girls below:

    Challenges/Contests work and go viral. FAST. So make sure to use them. And if you’re still in doubt of its marketing power then just hit the Youtube shortcut on the top bottom of each of these videos above, to see how many views those videos have on Youtube. HINT: monstrous numbers.

  • LIVE — Q&A / BRAND TRANSPARENCY / PRODUCT PROMOTION
    Finally, the last marketing strategy that allows you to build a powerful brand on Musical.ly is the ability to go live, just like in other social networks like Youtube and Facebook. While going Live, what you really need to do is show yourself and make fans understand that behind the awesome brand you promote shamelessly, there’s a human being.

    There’s a small advantage in Live videos here in comparison with a few other social networks because you can write a quick message to try to get people’s attention, persuade them or tell them something in advance:


    screenshot--musically-live1

    screenshot--musically-live5

    That’s the basics. Persuade them first. Then, once people enter your Live stream, you should always remind yourself of interacting with their massive comments as much as possible:


    screenshot--musically-live2

    Why? Because in Musical.ly there is a thing called GIFTS which are special icons that THE AUDIENCE gives to you whenever they want to reward you for your content or draw some attention to them, like killey_lovers_soccer just did below:


    screenshot--musically-live3

    This is why you should engage with fans more than in any other place here, because Musical.ly disponibilize virtual gifts to fans by selling it to them! These ARE NOT a free feature. If a fan is giving you gifts while you’re speaking to them, then this means he just gave YOU AND MUSICAL.LY REAL MONEY just to be able to please you. Here are the packages currently available for users to buy:


    screenshot--musically-live4

    Real money, my friend. Real money is being spent in exchange for engagement. Here’s what Variety highlighted about this feature, just so you can get an idea (Live.ly = Live of Musical.ly):

    Bart Baker, a YouTube star known for his music parodies, said he’s done about a dozen Live.ly broadcasts to date that have generated about $30,000. Apple’s iTunes takes a 30% cut of revenue (as it does for all sales and in-app purchases), while Musical.ly keeps 20% of the remainder. Baker says Musical.ly, where he has 3.3 million followers, outstrips the audience and earning potential of other services like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live.

    “You can make a living on this,” Baker said. “The kids on this platform really feel connected to you. When people see me drinking a Starbucks on Live.ly, they go to Starbucks and order the same drink.

    Source: Variety

    Smart founders I must say, capitalizing on teenagers’ needs for feeling special. The good part? You as a brand can create live conferences, expose your brand to real engagement and get money on the side.

Well, that’s what you need to know about Musical.ly, which is indeed a very powerful social network to getting tweens and teens attention. And since these little guys are the customers of tomorrow, you better learn beforehand how to deal with them properly. Otherwise, your “marketing will get old”, if you know what I mean.

CONCLUSION
Conclusion? Well, there’s not really much left to say here, except this: “pay attention to HOW people are REALLY using these social networks and for what purpose”. Once you understand the habits of users, and how they’re consuming content along with their personal preferences for your niche, marketing becomes something very very easy. And since you’ve read this far, you now know a little more about how the game works in all these social networks,

Not many secrets left here.
The rest is up to you, friend. Take massive action.

Take care.

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