Everyone knows that to promote an online business you need to make use of social networks like Facebook. But second tier networks, as they are called, can play an important role in marketing to a niche. Unless your website has wide-ranging global appeal across all demographics, you’re going to want to look at more specialized networks to promote your brand and your ideas.
What makes a network “second tier”?
Second-tier can mean a number of things, but generally it means “less popular” than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even Google+ counts as second tier, as it’s generally more interest-specific. Second tier social media networks are places where you can access an audience that is more specialized, and more interested in what you have to say – if you do it right.
What are the advantages of using second tier networks?
The advantages are fairly obvious, but they can be summarized in 3 points, which could be broken down into sub-ideas if you wanted.
• Greater engagement with a targeted audience
• SEO benefits from optimized presence on second-tier networks
• Ability to make a bigger impact with a smaller budget
So what are these networks?
Social networks come and go all the time. Remember Friendster? Most people don’t. One thing you don’t want to do is back a 3-legged horse, and spend all of your time promoting yourself on a social network that goes belly-up a few months later.
If you look at any article about social media marketing that was published before 2010, they’ll all mention Digg in the first paragraph. Digg is more or less dead now, so you want to make sure you don’t pile your resources into something like that.
Here’s a quick list of some of these networks:
Reddit is not a “small, fringe site”. It gets more traffic than Digg now, and has an extremely high percentage of active users. What you have to understand about Reddit is that it is not, I repeat NOT a place where you can just post your links and forget about it. It is a tight-knit community that hates link spammers with a violent passion. It is massively diverse, but it has a strong community culture. It is largely very left-wing, very liberal, very creative, quite nerdy, and very anti-religion (as a generalization).
You can get a lot of traffic out of Reddit but the time investment required is huge. You have to learn the in-jokes, the memes, and the “reddiquette” of posting links. If you don’t, your links will be “down voted to oblivion”. As an active Redditor myself, I can spot a link spammer a million miles away and will always down vote their posts – we Redditors want to keep Reddit for good content. Know your territory.
Vimeo is YouTube’s upstart competitor, but it is actually a much more uploader-friendly site than YouTube. It has a smaller audience, and doesn’t engage its visitors as well, but it has a small and loyal following of fans who click just about anything on it.
While massively popular, Flickr is a great place for anyone who uses images to market their products. Whether these are funny virals or art photography, if you get a following on Flickr you can say hello to piles of traffic. Once again, learn the rules and the etiquette before you start spamming your links.
If the internet was the Human Centipede, 4Chan would be the first guy, Reddit would be the middle one, and Tumblr would be the guy at the end (with Facebook being the bucket on the floor behind him). Tumblr is far friendlier to marketers than Reddit, and if you can make something remotely funny, it will probably get you some traffic. It’s not a place for generic SEO articles, but if you have something interesting to contribute, Tumblr is a good place to put it.