Gone are the days when every social media app serves an individual, unique purpose.
In its early days, Facebook was the designated platform for connecting with classmates, friends and family. Instagram should share photos. LinkedIn’s sole purpose was professional networking.
All of a sudden, Instagram had stories that were previously exclusive to Snapchat. Then TikTok came along and changed the game as the premier platform for short videos.
With the development of Silicon Valley, features that were once considered modern became ubiquitous in a sea of copycat platforms. Instagram Reels – a near-replica of TikTok – even went so far as to introduce a remix option.
TikTok isn’t the only victim of the imitation technique, however. Clubhouse, an audio-based app, is used by everyone from ordinary people to business executives, celebrities, and athletes. Audio-based apps are one of the hottest trends in the social media market. Since Clubhouse’s popularity, Twitter has introduced Spaces, Facebook is testing the hotline, and Instagram and LinkedIn are in discussions to integrate similar functions.
Such changes may mean marketers are inclined to invest in new channels, but they also raise a big question: which apps or features should brands use and which ones should they expose to?
Here are a few tips to help cope with the influx of emerging social media apps.
Learn to follow etiquette on new social media platforms – then differentiate yourself
Taking the time to familiarize yourself with a platform before investing too much time or money is a good place to start. By understanding the purpose of the platform and its user etiquette, you will also be able to judge whether it is right for you and your business.
For example, get to know the groups in the clubhouse and listen to conversations. By taking the time to understand what others are talking about in your industry, you will gain insight into what is working for your competitors and customers.
Understanding the differences between emerging social media platforms is crucial. Reach out to your team and the influencers you work with to see what works for them. What tools are they using that you may not have considered? What trends do you see in one app compared to another?
Understanding the etiquette of a social media platform can help you explore new ways to creatively and effectively reach your target audience and build your brand with thought leaders and content.
In the area of audio-based apps in particular – where there are no faces and the identification of a brand is a name, a logo and a voice – it is worthwhile to find ways to stand out from others and to offer added value to communities that have already been formed.
Just because a platform is popular doesn’t mean it’s useful for your business
FOMO is real in the world of emerging social media. Before you jump straight into a new platform, however, you should take the time to see if the app is right for your business. Identify the different features and understand the tools you can use.
Many social media platforms are exploring new ways to outperform their competitors – and even combine the concepts of audio, video, and text in creative ways. This trend is likely to continue.
When exploring new social media options, keep your company’s goals in mind. If your business is small and your goal is to grow, it may be a good idea to use audio apps like Clubhouse or Spaces to network. However, if your goal is to get people to see your products and services firsthand, visual apps like TikTok or Instagram might be the better way to go.
To keep your feet on the ground in an ever-changing social media landscape, know who your target audience is for a campaign and understand how they are consuming social media. Consulting with influencers and agencies can help keep your social media efforts streamlined, focused, and up-to-date.
Experience the hype, but without putting all your eggs in one basket
It’s easy to get overzealous and immerse yourself immediately when everyone is talking about a new app. But exhilarating apps still require proper planning – maybe even more so than others.
Making sure you have a content calendar can help you streamline and strategize your content. Planning around topics, focal points and goals – as well as working with influencers to align with content calendars – prevents you from spreading your efforts too small and ensures that you do not neglect certain apps and platforms or only focus on them, because they are attracting mainstream attention.
Regardless of which apps you plan to use, it is important to post regularly on these platforms to maximize the number of people viewing your content. This way, you show customers and prospects that you are present and active, and provide new content for those who may not be following your brand on all channels. You don’t always need unique content for each platform, however; Sometimes cross-posting can make sense – and it can save you time and money.
Getting involved with a platform with proven worth in your industry deserves a strategy of its own – because it will likely increase ROI. Again, consulting with a marketing agency and influencers familiar with the platform you choose is a great way to better understand and more effectively reach your audience in the often confusing world of emerging social media.
More resources on emerging social media platforms
What Marketers Need To Know About Clubhouse [Infographic]
How to establish thought leadership on emerging social platforms
Why Marketers Should Invest in Stories Format and Stories Ads, and How To Do It