There are several up and coming social platforms worth monitoring including TikTok for its rapidly growing user base and creative content, Clubhouse for its unique audio-based networking, and Caffeine for live broadcasting. Platforms like Discord and Twitch, though originally gaming-focused, are expanding into wider community and content sharing spaces, offering new opportunities for engagement and marketing.
Smart marketers have been relying on the major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote their products and services, share content, and ultimately grow their businesses. However, rival platforms are being developed all the time and while many of them don’t achieve the same levels of success, (remember Ello? It’s still around but has pivoted), a handful of them could give the major players a run for their money. If you are an early adopter of these up and coming social platforms, your company could get the most benefit.
If you want to remain ahead of the curve, these are six social media platforms to watch.
I recently wrote a piece about why you need to pay attention to this one – it’s already proving beneficial for many companies who have taken the chance on using it. TikTok is a huge social media platform with a younger demographic. Research shows TikTok was the fourth most downloaded app in 2018. It’s all about creating short form videos that loop similar to the now dead platform Vine. Users can create and share video content but the competitive edge comes in because it is incredibly simple to add music overlays, AR filters, and other fun effects.
Though the platform has gotten a bit of a bad reputation as being nothing more than a silly lip-syncing platform for children, if your target audience is anywhere between the ages of 16 and 24, it’s a wonderful place to promote your business. It is particularly effective for e-commerce and fashion brands who are looking to work with influencers.
Related: How to Use Tiktok for Your Business
If you’re struggling to gain ground on Instagram, Vero is an alternative that prides itself on the lack of algorithms, data mining, and ads. Vero users can share content such as TV shows, music, photos, links, books, movies and more. Users can decide who can see each post by choosing between four categories including close friends, friends, acquaintances, or followers.
Despite the fact that there are no ads on Vero, your brand can still work with influencers on the platform and pay to add a “Buy Now” button to posts.
Because it doesn’t use algorithms or ads, Vero is promoted as a more authentic social media platform. It’s a great option for companies that want to build more meaningful and stronger relationships with their audience. Plus, because users are able to share such a wide variety of content, it helps you learn more about your target audience.
Steemit is a blockchain-based blogging and social media website that rewards users with the STEEM, cryptocurrency for curating and creating content. When users create content that gets upvoted, they’re paid. When users vote for the content of others, they get paid too. Users can then take their digital STEEM tokens and exchange them for real money.
Though it may seem like this Reddit alternative is all about technology and cryptocurrency topics, it’s not. Users are able to create content on a variety of subjects such as sports, photography, music, and travel.
Though the user base is relatively small right now, marketers can use the platform as an additional channel to share their content and grow their audience while getting paid for it at the same time.
Narrative is a direct competitor of Steemit. It too is a blockchain-based blogging platform and social media website that rewards users with NRVE (nerve), cryptocurrency for creating and curating content. Users can suggest niches and bid on them. Niche owners get a certain amount of currency every time someone publishes content to their channel. You also earn cryptocurrency for your social activities such as upvoting content and commenting on it.
Like Steemit, though the platform is relatively small and still in its beta phase, you can use it to expand your reach and earn money in the process. You can publish content that has been previously published on other platforms, as long as you link to the original post to indicate that it was also published elsewhere. In a recent policy change, canonical linked posts don’t qualify for Content Creator rewards – in an effort to reward original content while helping to increase exposure of previously published work.
Caffeine is a social broadcasting platform similar to Twitch. A team of ex-Apple designers created the platform. However, while Twitch focuses mainly on gaming, Caffeine also focuses on the creative arts and entertainment. Users create live broadcasts for friends and followers and viewers are able to interact with people in real-time with emoji reactions and comments.
Research shows 80% of customers would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog (thanks for reading this one!), so live broadcasting on a platform like this one could create a lot of attention interaction for you. And, it’s not just limited to gamers. You could host a live Q&A, give a behind-the-scenes tour of your company, livestream product demonstrations and more.
Lasso is essentially Facebook’s version of Tik Tok. There wasn’t a lot of fuss about it and it was released in late 2018. Users can create and share short videos with effects and fun filters. They can log in with their Facebook or Instagram accounts to cross-post the videos to their Facebook Stories. The ability to add Lasso videos to Instagram stories is said to be coming soon.
Though Lasso isn’t as popular as TikTok right now, it could become a rival to the top competitors soon. If your target audience is already using TikTok, Lasso is definitely a platform you’ll want to watch.
Though jumping right into all of these platforms at once probably isn’t a good idea, especially if you’re crunched for time or have a limited budget, it is worth taking some time to look at each one of these platforms a little closer. This allows you to determine which ones are best for your business and get in on them while it’s still early. Doing so can give you an edge against the competition.