Specialized Social Platforms for Your Social CRM - dummies

Specialized Social Platforms for Your Social CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

Consider adding specialized social platforms for your Social CRM. There are major platforms that most companies who use social media choose first, but other specialized sites might be just right for your business. If you have a niche that’s clearly defined, you might find another network that’s perfect for your business.

Consider social network alternatives

If you think that being on the major sites assures that your customer will find you, think again. Is there something unique about your product or service that lends itself to one of the less traveled social networks? They include the following:

  • Google+: The success of Google+ is still an open question. Because of its late entry into the social network scene, users have been reluctant to add another social network to their to-do list. At the end of 2011, Google+ was reported to have 62 million users, whereas Facebook had a reported 900 million active users. The number of people on Google+ makes it seem like a start-up.

    But don’t ignore Google+ as a potential social network for your business. One of the important things to remember about Google+ is that it’s tied to the Google ecosystem. It takes effort to get on another social network, so Google+ users are there because they want to be. It’s not a me-too proposition.

    Social media thought leader Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works, abandoned Facebook at one time to operate from Google+. He also wrote a book called Google+ for Business: How Google+ Changes Everything, so clearly he’s a fan.

    What does Brogan say about Google+? He’s quoted in a 2012 article at online news source InTheCapital saying, “Go on Google+ looking to establish a place where you can share information that might help with customer acquisition and community nurturing.” He recognizes the value.

    One of the unique features on Google+ is that you can segment followers into circles. After you’ve established a circle on a specific topic, you can read and post to that circle directly. The circles feature gives you the opportunity to send the right message to the right group.


  • LinkedIn: If you work for a B2B company, you may want to consider using LinkedIn as one of your social platforms. In March 2012, a HubSpot survey called the State of Inbound Marketing found that 62 percent of the respondents said they acquired a customer from LinkedIn.

    LinkedIn has over 100 million users who have uploaded all sorts of business information about themselves. In addition, LinkedIn has all sorts of special-interest groups that you can join to meet like-minded people. Everyone on LinkedIn is interested in networking with other business people, so LinkedIn is fertile ground for prospecting and developing customer relationships.

Visual platforms

Some popular social networking sites that emphasize visuals have been cropping up of late. The following two make sharing graphics and photos very easy:

  • Pinterest: Launched in 2009, in its short life, Pinterest has become the darling of social media. According to comScore, Pinterest hit 10 million users faster than any other site. It has also been demonstrated that Pinterest’s referral rate is higher than that of Facebook. Referral rate refers to the rate at which Pinterest users refer their pins to others.

    Pinterest is a visual site. The majority of users are female. When someone pins (shares) a photo of interest to their board, another interested pinner can pin it on their board. In this way, the photos can create traffic to the pin’s original site.

    Pinterest allows you to add prices to your pins and places them in the upper-left corner. (See the Gifts navigational tool at the top of the Pinterest home page for pins with pricing info.) If you have great-looking graphics or photos of your products or services and your demographic skews female, you may want to consider Pinterest.

  • Tumblr: Some consider the microblog Tumblr to be a more visual version of Twitter. Tumblr is very customizable and allows almost any content format: photos, quotes, links, music, and videos. According to Tumblr’s own site, as of February 2012, Tumblr has over 46.2 million blogs. Tumblr’s growth has been very rapid. Between 2010 and 2011, it increased 218 percent. This made the social media community take notice.


    On average, Tumblr users are young. comScore reports that half of the users are under age 25. If this is your demographic, consider creating a Tumblr blog.