After the launch of Facebook in 2006 the marketing environment dramatically expanded. Following the trend, we have seen an abundance of various social platforms develop over the years, each with its own niche offering that adds up to over 4.33 billion social media users around the world at the start of 2021 according to DataReportal.com.
While it is obvious that Facebook is the dominant player in the social media field thanks to its acquisition of platforms Instagram and WhatsApp, outside of the “big four” (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) here are five alternative social platforms that could be a fit to further elevate your brand.
Available to beta testers beginning in March 2020 and now requiring an invite to sign up, this casual space for “drop-in” audio conversations allows users to go online any time to chat with people they follow or hop in as a listener to hear what others are talking about. Essentially, it is a network created for just voice content with different conversations that you can hop in and out of as you please.
Initially when you join a room, you join as an audience member with the ability to “raise your hand” to contribute to the conversation, giving the speakers the option to invite you up or not. If you’d rather start your own conversation, you can create a room and participate as one of the speakers. Clubhouse only temporarily records user conversations should it need to investigate user reports while the room is active and is deleted after the investigation is over. The community guidelines are straightforward and do not limit topic conversations.
As of May 26, 2021, Clubhouse announced the first users to participate in its new program called Creator First. The program was created to help emerging creators with the resources to support their growth on the platform as well as a monthly stipend. This is a great avenue to find new ambassadors to represent your brand in a more organic way. Additionally, like Facebook Groups, Clubhouse could be a great platform to launch a new product or service with an open and interactive conversation/presentation, elevate the positioning of a high-level executive, or encourage DIY-ers to converse with one of your brand experts to encourage use of your products.
With over 430 million users as of April 2021, according to the Digital 2021 April Global Statshot Report, Reddit is a forum-based platform with content curated by the community of users also known as the “front page of the internet.” With no specific recipe or structure to the content, conversations or threads are completely at random and ranked based on how many “upvotes” they get, which determines where a post lands on the Reddit feed. The more “upvotes” a thread gets, the longer it trends and the more visible it is to users, while a “downvote” will push it down and out of sight.
Not just anyone can publish content on Reddit, a user must build an amount of “Karma” which is a number that represents a user’s contributions to the platform and overall activity. To increase your Karma number, your comments or posts must get upvoted by other users – a great way to avoid spammers, bots and frankly, marketers.
So how do you use Reddit in your marketing plan? Understand that Reddit users are there to learn something new, find entertaining content or to chat with like-minded individuals. They are not there to be told how great a product or service is and why they should spend their money on it. Do not be that one friend in the room that is constantly injecting their sales tactics into a friendly conversation. Focus your conversations on getting to know the community while offering interesting content that fuels conversation or gives a laugh. Reddit has been known to be a great traffic driver to other social channels, so reshare content from other networks, but don’t push people to “like, follow or subscribe” to them.
Reddit also offers advertising or promoted posts. After building up your Karma, utilize ad content that follows a more engaging and educational kind of approach to avoid seeming overly salesy.
Referral traffic is the reason why we marketers allocate the amount of energy and effort into social media that we do. Recently ranked as the 14th largest social network in the world as of January 2021, with over 442 million global active users, in 2020 Pinterest saw the biggest increase in monthly active users the platform had ever experienced with a 37% rise year-over-year. More of a discovery search engine for ideation, Pinterest was founded in 2010 and is a free social media platform that focuses on images, sharing, and brainstorming that took the pin-in-a-corkboard concept into the digital space.
Why use Pinterest in your marketing strategy? Because the power of context is extremely effective in increasing a user’s average time on page on your website. If your product or service can contribute to a consumer completing an idea, then Pinterest is a place to convey that message. Each “pin” or image/video share on the Pinterest platform is clickable to back to its original web location, so let the top of your sales funnel be a visual representation of your brand’s contribution to a consumer’s end goal that leads them to the context in which that is possible.
Launched in 2018, Caffeine is the new worldwide social broadcasting platform for livestreaming entertainers, gamers, and athletes and is a direct competitor to Twitch. Creators can livestream to promote their brand, engage with fans, and monetize their content with no ads being shown to users, unlike Twitch.
Ads on social media platforms have long been a hot topic, specifically on privacy regulations and their affect on user experience. With the recent big move by Apple to no longer allow automatic opt-in to data acquisition by social media apps like Facebook, ad placement has become a more delicate matter. Caffeine being an ad-free space does not mean it cannot be a part of your marketing strategy – it means you can post content without having to worry about ads for a competitor being shown on top of your video.
Brand ambassadors who actively contribute honest feedback about your brand and products are another way to take advantage of Caffeine. Streamers who can directly interact with a user in real time with no post editing is as organic as digital marketing can get.
Google search rankings should always be top of mind for any modern marketer, which is why Quora is on this list. Founded in 2009 by two former Facebook employees, Quora now has over 300 million monthly active users according to Statista. It is a question-and-answer website that focuses on bringing people with different perspectives together. A perfect alignment with what Google aims to be, the resource to have the answer to what the user is looking for, Quora answers to search queries are consistently ranked on Google’s first page.
While Quora does not directly affect your own brand’s Google ranking, you can take advantage of Quora’s ranking in search queries to increase referral traffic to your website. This also helps brand positioning as an authority in a particular topic that users are researching. Additionally, it is a great space to monitor trends for new content ideas and gather insight into what people want to know in your target market.
When using Quora for your brand, it’s best to focus on questions that are directly related to your brand/products/services while answering them in a educational manner than in a salesy way. Users can also directly request a specific user to answer their question which can help add to the credibility of your brand’s customer service abilities while also further educating the public, all of which increases overall brand awareness and, ultimately, referral traffic.
The social media landscape is and will always be in a constant state of change and, as such, without clearly defined goals your efforts to maximize ROI from social media marketing will be an uphill battle. Before getting started, clearly outline your brand’s voice and target audience before laying out specific goals for each platform. While not all platforms are perfect for every brand, there’s always an angle that can be created to effectively support brand positioning.
Kahn Media offers Social Media Management services that directly correlate with your brand’s marketing strategy and is complemented by our complete suite of in-house services which include public relations, creative services, digital marketing and more. Get into touch with our team of experts and let us help you see real results from social media marketing.
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