Most marketers explore new social media platforms on a weekly or monthly basis. So which platforms will be the game-changers this year?
There are hundreds of apps to pick from when searching “social media” in the App Store or Google Play Store. The year 2020 altered nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we socialize. Distancing ourselves has become common, leaving a void for personal communication that used to happen in person.
Nonetheless, humans are flexible. In the last year, many new social media platforms have sprung up to replace the social groups we’ve left behind.
Trends in New Social Media Platforms
Audio-based social networking and live streaming have been the most popular social media phenomena so far. Behind short-form video content, live streaming video was the second-highest trend that social media advertisers were investing in this year.
As a marketer, keeping an eye on emerging social channels might help you ascertain which ones are worth joining. Furthermore, getting in on a hot new social media platform early gives you time to discover the best promotional content. This will put you ahead of the competition, who may struggle with innovative post ideas if they created accounts later.
Here are six new social networks to keep an eye on this year. All of these platforms have a big user base, financial interest, or media attention.
1. Twitch – Streaming Platform
Twitch is a live streaming platform that allows creators to communicate with their audience in real-time. Video game fans are the site’s primary source of traffic.
While the audience observes and engages, players can record themselves playing some of the most popular games. Some creators may provide exclusive content to subscribers who pay for a membership.
In addition to gaming, you’ll find movies and live streams on cuisine, music, and almost everything on this social network. Twitch also provides interactive live entertainment to its 30 million daily viewers. These events range from esports events to festivals.
Twitch has a young following, with 70% of its viewers between the ages of 16 and 34. This makes it a terrific community-building platform for brands, allowing them to engage with their target audience on a personal level.
Streamers can make money on Twitch through subscriptions, adverts, and contributions, just like influencers on other social networks. Advertisers can choose from several ad locations, including the site carousel and connections with live broadcasts. They can also sponsor certain streamers with a large following.
2. Discord – A Comprehensive Communication App
This platform is powered by servers, which are community groups that facilitate video, audio, and text chat. Every user has the option of creating their own server or joining one that has already been created.
Initially, Discord was a hit with gamers looking to stream games and communicate with others in the gaming community. The brand was redesigned and its language was reframed to make it a platform for everyone. Discord does not yet run advertisements on the platform, so brands must rely on organic growth.
Discord provides a wonderful chance for businesses to increase brand loyalty and trust. Brands must invest in their audience and be willing to play the long game to succeed on this platform.
3. TikTok – Video Communication
TikTok is a cross between Vine and Musical.ly for those who remember them. It is presently more popular than other well-known social networking networks, with 1.5 billion users predicted by 2022.
After creating a video, the software helps you optimize it by adding hashtags to make it more searchable. TikTok’s “Discover” button allows you to scan through trending hashtags and join in the excitement. Additionally, you can reply to a challenge including the new hashtag in your video so everyone following will see it.
At the moment, TikTok is being used by fashion, publishing, and entertainment organizations. As the platform matures, we might see it expand to other industries that can get creative with their marketing methods.
TikTok ranks third, after YouTube and Instagram, in terms of ROI. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 93 percent of marketers using TikTok aim to grow or maintain their investment in the future.
5. Clubhouse – Audio Only Social Connectivity
Clubhouse uses synchronous, audio-only connectivity between the audience and the speakers. This is unlike standard social media sites, which provide an asynchronous platform for chatting and sharing material.
While not quite a podcast, the platform provides an intimate manner of sharing information with an audience interacting in real-time. Topics such as how to start a business from top venture capitalists and celebrity-sponsored relationship conversations are popular here. Even comedy clubs hosted by up-and-coming comedians make their way in front of live audiences on Clubhouse.
That it contradicts every other social platform accessible today contributes to the sudden controversy regarding this new social media network. Its “by invitation only” criteria is the polar opposite of how we’ve grown to interpret and use social media.
The app’s creators claim they want to make sure Clubhouse is perfect before exposing it to the public. Yet members of the in-group act as gatekeepers to hundreds of daily chats.
What are the benefits of Clubhouse for marketers and brands? That has yet to be determined, but experts are already testing. Therefore, content providers are expanding their audiences quickly in the hopes of getting income options when they become available.
Not sure how to make the most of it? Consider holding an informal focus group, beginning a discussion around a popular blog your company has written. Further, you might try participating in a discussion with an industry thought leader as moderator.
6. Caffeine – Platform for Live Broadcasting
Caffeine.tv allows you to broadcast live to your friends and followers. The broadcasts appear in a feed, where you can reply with an emoji or leave a comment. In addition, you may also stream your computer or TV screens while playing video games.
Caffeine could be a competitor to Twitch.tv, a slightly older game-streaming site. Caffeine has a monetization model that encourages engaging broadcasters, similar to Twitch, which pays you for high views or subscriptions.
Caffeine’s success indicates how younger audiences, particularly those in the Gen-Z age bracket, are quickly adopting live video platforms. If the app’s popularity grows, marketers can leverage it to showcase their brand with behind-the-scenes, Q&As, or other live videos.
Image Credit: Los Muertos Crew; Pexels; Thank you!