You’ve got the Facebook and Twitter thing down with healthy feeds, lots of followers, and tons of “likes” – now what? Learning more about some of the lesser known social media sites can help you expose your brand to new audiences and increase awareness. The big brands are already there, but sites like Reddit and Instagram are often overlooked by small and mid-sized enterprises. Whether you want to target prospects in your local area with a Snapchat Geofilter, reach out to brand influencers on Instagram, or harness the power of video on Periscope, one of these social media sites might be your next big thing.


With more than 100 million daily active users, Snapchat is simply too big to ignore, particularly if you are a local business or one that appeals to the under 25 crowd. Sharing pictures without commitment (snaps disappear in 24 hours) and creating unique stories appeals to the site’s teen heavy demographic.

Snapchat’s fun and compelling format is ideal for rapid-fire marketing campaigns. Earlier this year, the World Wildlife Federation launched its first Snapchat campaign, featuring “selfies” of animals. The snaps resonated with Millennials and the WWF met its monthly fundraising goal in just three days on Snapchat.

Local businesses and event promoters can also benefit from this image driven powerhouse. Geofilters make it easy to reach users in a designated area; they also allow you to put your specially created brand or filter right on shared snaps. A Geofilter can be designed to suit your specific event or campaign and expand your reach; anyone entering your designated area can use and share your filter. If engagement and brand awareness is a key goal, then Snapchat might be your new best social network.


If beauty is your biz, or you serve up regular helpings of lifestyle content, then Instagram may just be your perfect match. This visually driven platform has become a major player in the world of social media marketing. With over 400 million users and 30 billion + photos shared, the site has one of the top engagement rates. According to Hootsuite, Instagram has an engagement rate that is 58 percent higher than Facebook’s.

Using Instagram to promote your business is about more than sharing pretty pictures of sunsets, your latest latte or a makeup tutorial; as with other social sites, consistent posting of quality content is the key to success. About 85 percent of big brands now actively advertise on Instagram and the site’s ad revenues are expected to more than triple by 2017. Investing in targeted marketing could help a smaller business compete on the same level as companies like Nike and Starbucks.


Want a chance to snag some of the most coveted demographic? According to site vice president Zubair Zandali, the overwhelming majority of the sites 200 million monthly visitors are Millennials. Reddit can be a scary and somewhat confusing place to the uninitiated, but join the conversation, share valuable information and engage with other users and you’ll be rewarded with a nice boost in traffic. Active engagement is the key to marketing on Reddit, drive by marketing or link sharing just won’t work, and most users will openly mock and abuse those attempting to engage in covert product placement or promotion. Not sure of the site’s usability or visibility? Even politicians include the site in marketing campaigns. President Obama held a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) event while campaigning in 2012, boosting his visibility with a youthful demographic.

Strike the right balance of authenticity and cool and you’ll have a steady stream of Redditors visiting your site and enjoy a hefty brand awareness boost, particularly with tech savvy adult males (who make up about 70% of the site’s users, according to PEW Research). Understanding how the site works and spending some time getting the lingo and jargon down is a must; you’ll get a better idea of how things work and if the site is suitable for your business if you join a few subreddits and get a feel for how things work.


Three words: Live. Streaming. Video.

If you’re already using YouTube, then you know the power of video for marketing. Periscope, launched in 2015 by Twitter, is a small but mighty version of YouTube with a twist – the videos feature live streaming, not produced materials.

Video has long been considered the king of content marketing. According to Hubspot, social videos receive 1200 percent more engagement than any other type of posts. Periscope makes it easy for any brand to broadcast live feeds and allows users to watch, like, and comment. With over 10 million users, the rapidly growing site makes it easy to provide interesting feeds for your followers and to share everything from new product launches to Q&A sessions and training guides.

While Periscope is accessible for brands of all sizes, industry leaders like Red Bull, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Doritos have all launched successful Periscope campaigns in the last year. Pet toy subscription brand BarkBox gained close to 800 followers in one day simply by livestreaming a bunch of cute puppies playing. You may not have a box of puppies to share, but if you have compelling content, some unique insight, or an interesting event to livestream, Periscope makes it easy.

Exploring all your available options allows you to properly target your next marketing campaign and ensures the best possible return on your investment. One of these often-overlooked sites might be just what your organization needs to reach out to your target demographic on a whole new level and to get noticed by a fresh group of followers.


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