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How to Thrive in Social Media Marketing

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By Brandon Whalen

(eM+C)—Does your company take the lead on new social networks? For a lot of companies, new networks like Pinterest and Instagram seem unproven and risky. But companies who are able to get a jump on the biggest growing trends can outpace their competitors when it comes to reaching new customers through social media.

The reward can be huge on new networks as the “traditional” social media channels become cluttered and less interesting to the most influential users. With the launch of its IPO this year, Facebook has introduced Promoted Posts, Reach Generator and several other paid content options to help brands get in front of engaged users. All of the added noise has some users looking to other networks to engage with friends and brands.

After seeing Pinterest’s rise to fame over the past year, Whole Foods was convinced it could use Pinterest to reach the site’s highly engaged recipe-pinning users. Thanks to a perfect target on Pinterest and the popularity of highly relevant content, Whole Foods’ Pinterest following has grown by 274 percent since February. The brand has been very active, having posted nearly 1,000 pins on its 44 boards. Whole Foods has a great understanding of the platform shown by its very visual pins and clever content topics.

Red Bull is another brand which relies on very visual marketing. Red Bull has found a perfect platform in Instagram to showcase its army of sponsored snowboarders, stunt pilots and rally car drivers. Red Bull’s high-energy approach to the platform has garnered a strong following of nearly 350,000 Instagram fans. Even more impressive, Red Bull’s fans have posted more than 200,000 of their own photos with the #redbull hashtag.

Today, and in the future, social media will be a constant driver of consumer Internet usage. What will change, however, are the preferred platforms and sites for Internet users. In order to continue the all-important goal of engaging social media users, marketers need to keep an ear to the ground for opportunities on new platforms.

Brandon Whalen is a social media strategist at Room 214.

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