While Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter tend to dominate the social media scene, other social networks beckon. Below are a few alternative social media networks

SlideShare
If you create a lot of presentations for prospective customers, Slideshare.net is the perfect destination. Take your existing PowerPoint presentations and videos and post them on SlideShare. In addition to exposing your existing slideshows and videos to a wider audience, SlideShare is also good for sharing webinars, infographics, documents, and PDFs. Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing or have a large collection of presentations deserving a second life, adding SlideShare to your social media mix could be an brilliant move. According to SlideShare, the site received an average of 60 million unique visitors a month in the third quarter of 2013.

Foursquare
Foursquare is ideal for local businesses where friends tend to gather such as pubs, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, wineries, farmers markets, and nightclubs. Chances are, you already have a Foursquare presence, even if you’ve never introduced it. That’s because users can list the businesses they frequent if the business hasn’t already done so. If so, they’re also talking about it, checking in, and  leaving tips for other customers. Don’t you want to be involved? If you have a local business, claim your Foursquare spot and start connecting with customers.

Yelp
Yelp is another social network that local businesses need to know about. It is an online review site where customers leave reviews about the businesses that they have visited. While restaurant reviews are among the most common on Yelp, Yelp users leave reviews on all kinds of local businesses including: stores, gyms, beauty shops, barber shops, martial arts schools, dance schools, wineries, auto repair shops, shopping centers, tour companies, healthcare providers, carpet companies, hotels, parks, dog trainers, preschools, real estate agents, lawyers, accountants, special events, churches, and even funeral homes. Like Foursquare, you may already have a presence on Yelp. Claim your listing or create one from scratch if you’re not already listed and join the conversation.

Manta
Manta is a social directory for businesses. Not only can you create a detailed profile of your business, it has some social elements. You can follow other businesses, create product pages, get business tips and advice, contribute in “shop talk” forums, and more.

Merchant Circle
Merchant Circle is another social business directory where you can create a business listing and interact with other business owners. Merchant Circle also includes a built-in blog, allowing you to share your expertise directly within the community. You can also create and offer coupons for your business with Merchant Circle.

Storify
Storify isn’t for all businesses, but for some, it could help position you as an authority in your niche. Storify allows you to create “stories” around the social media posts of others. For example, if you run a clothing boutique, you could create fashion stories around gala events such as the Grammy Awards or the latest fashion show. Simply enter your keywords, find relevant posts (complete with photos or videos) and build your story by dragging and dropping the social elements into place. From there, you can add your own text and then publish your “story.” If you operate a pet store, you could profile various dog breeds simply by searching for the breed in Storify and then dragging and dropping relevant YouTube videos and Instagram photos into your story. You can also use Storify to create stories in conjunction with your favorite hashtags. For example, if you ran a photo contest on another social network and used a specific hashtag to identify entries, you could build a Storify story around that hashtag and showcase all of the entries in a single story. As with other social networks, users can like, share, and embed their favorite stories.
These are but a few of the many alternative social networks out there. Which alternative social networks have captured your imagination? Share your favorites in the comments section below.

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