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The Side Dishes of Social Media

Nobody will deny that a strong focus should be placed on Facebook and Twitter when designing the social media campaign for your business. While it’s important to make sure these powerhouse networks are well fed, it’s also fun to throw in some side dishes to maximize your audience’s social appetite.

Vine, Snapchat and Pinterest are three of the side dishes of social media you shouldn’t be ignoring.


The simplicity of a 6 second long looping video is the beauty behind Vine. It forces the creator to make their message bite-sized, while being fun and creative in the process. And even though it only has a mere 20 million users, Vine makes it easy to share your videos on Facebook and Twitter.

One of the best ways to make sure your Vines are getting seen is to make good use of hashtags. Like most social networking sites, hashtags are a great way to classify your content. However, you can take it one step further on Vine and add it to a specific category like Animals or Entertainment.

Especially if you are trying to reach young adults, Vine can be a powerful tool to promote a new product, feature a new dish, or showcase how to use one of your items. People are four times more likely to retweet a branded Vine.


Including Snapchat on this list feels a bit naughty, as it’s been at the center of debate since it debuted. However, I think there is some serious potential for businesses behind Snapchat and companies are just starting to realize it. Big organizations like Taco Bell have already started using Snapchat, but if you are a small business, now is your chance to be doing something different than your competition.

Over 400 million snaps are sent every day and it’s time to tap into that market. There are few different ways you can use Snapchat as a business. A direct snap can be sent to all of your followers and will immediately grab their attention. You can include a picture of a secret menu item for the night or a special code word for a new sale. However, air on the side of caution as direct snapping should be used sparingly so you don’t annoy your followers.

Next, you can add snaps to your “story” which will be available to your followers for 24 hours. As a business, you can promote the same kind of things as you would in your direct snaps and once your followers catch on, they will likely check it more often. You can also get creative and make a short story. On Valentine’s Day, with just 7 snaps strewn together, Taco Bell created a short love story ending with a guy proposing with a hot sauce packet.

Finally, you could create a contest where you ask your followers to send you snaps of them eating at your restaurant or with their favorite product of yours. After picking a winner, you can showcase them and reward them with a small prize. No matter which way you go, have fun on Snapchat and try not to take it too serious.


While Pinterest might be for the more refined palate, I think it’s still an important side dish that gets overlooked. Pinterest is an amazing tool for referral traffic and should be used by any business that has a visual element (like fashion, food, travel, etc.) If your pin is intriguing enough you have the potential to garner the traffic of the 12 million monthly unique visitors.

Because Pinterest’s users are mainly women, it’s important to keep in mind who you are marketing to. Pins that are most successful include beautiful pictures and well-written descriptions.

In a few months, there will most likely be a new appetizer to add to the menu, which is why it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest flavors. Twitter and Facebook are here to stay as the main course in your social media campaign—but it’s always a welcome idea to pepper these sites with supplements like Vine, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Always be on the lookout for new ways you can integrate alternative sites and apps into your marketing to keep your followers interested.

About The Author

Erica Rocco runs a social media blog with a focus on small and local businesses called Simply Erica R. She is currently a social media manager for a local restaurant and enjoys all things social media. When not on Twitter or Reddit, you can typically find her binge watching shows on Netflix or with her nose in a book. If you would like to follow tweets about social media or basically anything she finds interesting for the day, you can find her @SimplyEricaR.