7 New Social Media Channels You Haven’t Heard of for Businesses

Looking to expand your brand awareness without relying on Facebook, LinkedIn or other saturated social media channels? While popular social media platforms can elevate your visibility, they aren’t the only players in this expanding game. The following 7 social media channels may not be a household name, but their value for B2C-B2B outreach is definitely worth investigating.

#1 – Mastodon – The Non-Traditional Approach to Consumer Connections

Looking to connect with an audience that craves non-traditional marketing and branding speak? Mastodon is a rapidly expanding social media network founded upon the principles of open-source protocols. As a decentralized platform, its design and infrastructure was modeled on the ethical and programming failures of other networks. Its robust API allows access on any desktop, laptop or mobile device. Communication is limited to 500 character posts and users are flocking to its non-commercialized, non-advertising and no data mining policies.

#2 – Periscope – Making Real Connections With Streamlined Video Chats

Video is overtaking the realm of digital marketing. As internet connectivity and network strength continues to grow, consumers are moving away from traditional text-only communication and diving into the intimate realm of videos. Periscope is a live broadcasting social media platform that connects broadcasters with audiences. This is an excellent opportunity to communicate directly with customers in a casual atmosphere. Optimize its impact by advertising regular broadcasts in topics your demographic finds interesting.

#3 – NING – Crafting Your Own Social Media Community

Aren’t satisfied with the look, navigation or limitations of traditional social media channels? Maybe it’s time to ditch the “tried-and-true” platforms and branch out on your own. NING is a unique network as it combines the customization of a CMS with the connectivity power of social media platforms. NING is optimized for SEO best practices and offers commenting integration from Discus, Facebook or from its native commenting feature.

You can customize the domain name, appearance and content, but the coolest part is its internal monetization feature. Members can register with their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google accounts, and you have complete control over their social media experience. NING is a powerful tool to leverage an already successful social media profile. Use this channel to deepen audience outreach and strengthen your online presence.

#4 – XING – Business Networking Channel for B2B Connections

Looking to make stronger B2B connections without relying on traditional networks? If so, XING may be your ideal option. Specifically designed to connect businesses with other like-minded professionals, XING offers a business-oriented platform to engage with fellow brands and stay current with industry trends. While all businesses benefit from this platform, it’s especially powerful for B2B-oriented companies.

#5 – Path – Create Intimate Connections With Customers

Internet users have moved away from standard marketing advances. The 21st Century is being created around personalization, unique value and intimate connections between consumers and brands. Path supports this evolution by offering a platform designed specifically for more informal and real communication. While not ideal as a primary social media channel, it’s an excellent tool to share relevant information with your audience without the overarching “formality” of larger platforms.

#6 – Reddit – Dive Into the Deep End of User Communication

While not a new, a surprisingly small number of businesses actively leverage the power of Reddit. Although it’s not your traditional social media platform, this forum-based channel supports real, factual and candid communication between businesses and customers. While it’s possible to respond to appropriate subreddits with a marketing slant, be prepared for kickback. Instead, use Reddit as a way to demonstrate your expertise, humor and as an informal customer support space.

#7 – Lefora – Discussion Forums for Refined Information Sharing

Much like Reddit, Lefora is a discussion forum platform, but that’s where the similarities end. Along with offering a myriad of topic-specific forums, which act as the perfect place to answer industry-related questions and provide in-depth feedback, Lefora also offers custom forum creation. This means your business can participate in active forums and continue conversations in your own dedicated forum space. While its exposure is relatively limited, it serves as a potent tool for grassroots brand awareness.

Solely relying on popular social media channels may mean reaching a large audience, but without genuine interest in your message, audience size means nothing. While these are only a handful of underrepresented social media networks, each offers something larger platforms cannot: genuine, intimate and real connections.