Two weeks ago, we shared a blog post called Social Media Marketing Tips where we went through different strategies to start a successful social media journey for your business. Most companies today have mastered their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, but have yet to venture into the lesser-known social platforms that are emerging.

The following four social media channels are gaining popularity with both professional and personal users, making them valuable options for your next steps into the online marketing world.

SlideShare has been around for almost a decade, but is quickly picking up traction now that online users are becoming more attracted to videos and visual learning (and since LinkedIn acquired the service in 2012). SlideShare is exactly what it sounds like – users share slideshow presentations they have previously created on PowerPoint, Keynote or other presentation-making software. Presentations can be shared on SlideShare directly, or embedded onto other social media platforms for more views.

How to use SlideShare for your business: Capture your audience’s attention by creating a visually-appealing slideshow update instead of a written post on your LinkedIn page.

Hyper has been described as a hybrid between photo-sharing giant Instagram and voting forum Reddit. Users post photos and short videos to a specific category like #photography or #music, and everyone who follows that category sees the update on their feed. Like with Reddit, users also vote whether they like or dislike a specific post, and can comment. Because users follow tags instead of specific accounts, the focus is on sharing the best content for the broader audience, which may act as a good creative challenge for some.

How to use Hyper for your business: Find out which tags your target audience follows and come up with a string of quality content for those communities.

This social network is less for the personal user and more for the professional, though anyone is able to create an account and post. BizSugar was created in 2007 but is gaining popularity as companies start posting more blog content through their own websites. Marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners repost their blogs or other content onto BizSugar, using the site as a way to network and share their ideas directly with like-minded professionals. Similar to Hyper, users can vote and comment on the posts they enjoy, starting thoughtful conversations.

How to use BizSugar for your business: Any time you post original content on your website or other social media channels, repost it onto BizSugar, making sure to tag the related category. Comment and vote on many other posts to start networking with other users.

Venmo is a new hybrid app that marries social networking with an online payment system. The app was originally created for friends to repay each other easily online, but is also great for businesses selling a product or service. Once a user pays you via Venmo, the payment shows up in a newsfeed allowing friends to see the company name, product sold and any comments about the shopper’s experience.

How to use Venmo for your business: Because Venmo is still new, it’s currently only available to select merchants in the United States. For those companies, and others once it opens up, make sure you advertise the app as a payment method you accept and encourage your customers to post reviews about your products after they’ve been purchased.

Have you used SlideShare, Hyper, BizSugar, Venmo, or a different emerging social channel? We’d love to hear which is your favourite and why; drop us a comment below!