4 Alternative Social Networks for Marketing Your Business

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

4 Alternative Social Networks for Marketing Your Business

By now, you probably have a Facebook Page, a LinkedIn account or Page or both, and maybe an Instagram or Twitter account to market your company. You might even have a Snapchat account depending on the audience you’re trying to reach or even Pinterest. But there are many other social networks and social media-powered websites and apps that could supplement your digital marketing efforts.

Some things to consider before signing up for yet another social media account are:

  1. Is the new social network specific to a topic or audience that is compatible with the people you’re trying to reach? Don’t join any social network without first understanding the focus, the reach, and the features.
  2. Do you have the bandwidth to manage another account once you set it up? If you’re having trouble keeping up with the social networks you currently have, adding another may be more of a burden than benefit.
  3. Does the alternative social network integrate well with any of your other social networks? Can you choose to post from it to your main social media accounts or vice versa? When one social network integrates with another or several, you can reach more people more efficiently.

Here are four social media-powered sites that can be used in conjunction with the popular social networks you already use.


If you’re using LinkedIn, you might already be familiar with SlideShare, a social network focused on slide presentations that was purchased by LinkedIn. If you have PowerPoint presentations, PDFs or other visual documents, you can upload them to SlideShare then share them on popular social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You can also copy some code and paste it into your website or blog to embed a slide player with your presentation. Use SlideShare as a repository of your presentations to showcase your expertise.


You may not remember Tumblr, but it is still around with a loyal user base of over 500 million. The site is part multimedia posting – photos, video, audio, text, quotes, and links - and part blogging. If you’re using Instagram, you can opt to also publish your posts to your Tumblr feed as a more linear archive of your images and videos. Tumblr is an easy-to-use platform that tends to be more image heavy include animated gifs and memes. Brand exposure comes with more likes and shares or “reblogs.” While Tumblr tends to skew younger, you can still leverage it as a multimedia destination to showcase your content whether or not you’re tapping into the Tumblr audience directly.


If you’re a business with a physical location, then Yelp may be a great place to list your company. Yelp is a locally focused, searchable directory of restaurants, hotels, health care providers, and other service providers that added social networking features a few years ago. Members of the network can review your business, “check in” to it, upload photos they take at your business location, and share content about your business on other social networks. As a small business owner, you can create or access a business listing for your company. Once you do, Yelp lets you manage the details, images and conversations that take place on your Yelp page as people search for, find, and interact with your company.

Claiming your listing on Yelp isn’t the only thing you need to do to leverage the directory and network. Upload images and even video if you pay an advertising rate. Provide a Check-in Offer that shows up on someone’s phone if they check in to your business using the Yelp app. You can also offer Yelp Deals and Gift Certificates through your account. Yelp Deals are discounted vouchers that customers can purchase for your business. Yelp Gift Certificates are non-discounted vouchers that customers can purchase for variable amounts.


Reddit is an eclectic online network with an avid, engaged user base where people post content to categories or “communities” also known as subreddits. That content can be “upvoted” by other users and based on those votes, the best posts rise to the top of each subreddit page. As a company, you can set up an account, and as long as you post quality, relevant content that gets upvotes, you can attract an audience and attention for your brand. To showcase your expertise, you could set up an “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything” session. AMA is a Q&A format on Reddit where open exchanges take place between the site’s users or “redditors” and individuals with something interesting to share. Look for a community on Reddit where your topic is a good fit and check with the moderator before proceeding. Reddit is very different from other social networks you might be used to, so learn the rules and lingo before diving in or risk offending redditors and experiencing a backlash. If you’re looking to be more commercial about your messaging, Reddit also offers advertising options.

Before actively using another social network, make sure you do your homework on how it works. Each social network has its own set of rules, some written and some not. Proceed thoughtfully and respectfully, and when in doubt, ask questions.