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Pinterest. Instagram. Snapchat. What do these social networks do, and how can they benefit your busi


We all are familiar with major social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but what about the social networks like Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram? Could these social networks be used to support your small business? YES. Below we have highlighted how these three social networks have proven to be effective to support a small business.

Pinterest. Pinterest, an online pin board launched in 2010, can be beneficial for businesses when used right. For businesses, it provides a way to express branding concepts and promote products and services. Pinterest appeals to mostly female users.

Businesses can also add a “Pin it” button to their websites. For example, a retail business with an online store could add a “Pin it” button so users would be able to pin merchandise directly from its website.

How can you use Pinterest to promote your small business?

  • Use hashtags to make your pins easy to find.

  • Post a link to your Pinterest page on your Facebook or Twitter feed.

  • Consider your audience. What will interest people? What will attract people? What will promote people to follow your Pinterest account?

Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing app that allows users to apply a variety of filters to their photos, which can be directly shared on Facebook and Twitter. Photos must be uploaded from users’ mobile phones. Instagram is similar to Facebook’s photo feature, but there are no albums, and users can only like and comment on photos. The app was released for iPhone in 2010 and gained popularity quickly.

How can you use Instagram to promote your small business?

  • Use hashtags to make your photos easy to find.

  • Share your Instagram photos on Twitter and Facebook, but be careful not to double up on your posts. If you post a photo to Facebook and Instagram separately, there is no need to share it on Facebook again.

  • Follow accounts similar to yours.

  • Think of Instagram like Twitter: To avoid the “shotgun effect,” do not post more than one photo at a time. If you have more than one photo you would like to post, space them out throughout the day.

At the end of the day, no matter which social networks you use, you should follow certain practices to market effectively. Using hashtags, posting links and connecting social network feeds to each other will increase your business’ exposure. As with any marketing initiative, considering your audience members and what they want to see is a top priority. In the meantime, look out for emerging social networks—you never know what will develop next!

Snapchat. Snapchat is a photo-sharing app that originally only allowed to privately share photos, person to person, when it was released in 2010. In October of 2013, Snapchat added the "My Story" feature which allowed users to create and share their daily snaps in one chronological story with all of their friends and followers. Since 2013, Snapchat added more features like Discover, Geotags, Official Stories, Memories, Filters, and more. The Discover feature shares ad-focused stories from major publishers and businesses with everyone. Geotags are city, state or country specific stickers that the users can collect and attach to their stories to share their location. Official stories are visible to everyone and are shared by public figures and celebrities. Memories is a designated section, where users are allowed to save their snaps and stories in one place. Filters allow users to edit their photographs before sharing it with their followers.

How can you use Snapchat to promote your business?

  • Use promo codes to promote your products and specific store locations (if your business has a chain of stores)

  • Give incentives to followers to share pictures with your product in order to receive a discount on their next purchase

  • Use Snapchat to demo your product and its purpose to your followers

  • Create a campaign and partner with influencers to reach a new market segment and gain more followers

Lastly, specifically use Snapchat to promote time sensitive events and campaigns due to the fact that snaps are momentary and have a short-lived existence online.

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