Facebook is fast becoming the new search engine; for many, a portal to news, editorial content and Ladbible videos. Just like the search engines, it’s tough for marketers to navigate Facebook’s complicated algorithms. Twitter’s linear traffic-jam style means tweets disappear like smoke in the air within seconds.

Advertisers are looking to more niche social networks like Instagram and Vine to get across their uniqueness. And so they should.

While established for users, networks like Instagram and Vine are emerging as the new destinations for advertisers; their users are young, cool and affluent, just what some brands are after.

These networks succeeded despite Facebook’s leering presence for one reason: they’re very, very different. It’s why Ello is starting to sink: taking ads off an existing network isn’t enough to get people to switch. There needs to be a fundamental uniqueness. The same goes with your marketing on these networks.

Instagram

Instagram has its own aesthetic. It’s basically an adjective, bringing to mind cups of tea, cupcakes and pretty sunsets. It’s a vertical stream of life lived as art, from the smartphones of your potential customers. So you can’t just join in – you need to fit in.

Treat Instagram like a game show: the platform is the star, not you. Don’t be that guy on Pointless, hamming it up in the elimination rounds when in reality everyone’s just waiting for the head-to-heads. Basically; play the game and stay out of people’s way.

Treat Instagram like a game show: the platform is the star, not you. - Highlight to share -

Since sponsored posts were rolled out in September 2014, a few brands have managed to walk that fine line between being ‘an ad’ and just being ‘a post’. Here’s a few we like.

Happy Halloween!

A photo posted by American Express (@americanexpress) on

Sponsored posts on Instagram are still exclusive to selected brands. We’re looking forward to seeing how advertisers begin to innovate on the platform – especially those with developed organic followings.

Vine

Vine has become the portal for adventurous brands to show their creativity. When compared to Twitter or Facebook, there’s not as much ‘serious work’ to do, like respond to complaints or provide information. However, using these platforms together can create a really engaging customer service experience. Here’s an example from NatWest:

Another solid strategy is to team up with existing creators. Vine has its own set of celebrities, the most famous of which is Zach King. He’s worked with a few companies who want to align with his style.

Looking past the big networks like Facebook and Twitter might seem like a leap; but remember, the kids were all on MySpace once upon a time.

If you don’t have the time or budget, it’s probably best to stick to Facebook and Twitter. - Highlight to share -

With more niche social networks like Vine and Instagram, the key is to adapt to the format, which means thinking about them as a standalone strategy. If you don’t have the time or budget, it’s probably best to stick to Facebook and Twitter.

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