Social media is a powerful tool for building relationships with customers and strengthening existing ones. Adapting to what’s trending now should be a big part of your social media strategy. Keeping up with social media trends will maintain keep your brand relevant. Every aspect of our lives changed in 2020, including the way we socialized. The social landscape has undergone upheaval. We as users may have abandoned several communities in recent years. This also means that several new social media platforms have emerged to better suit our needs as users.
Why Should Your Brand Venture Out of its “Social” Comfort Zone?
The next question is if these new platforms or those that have newly gained popularity are relevant to your business. Let’s have a look…
One of the big shifts was toward audio-based platforms. We all remember the emergence of Clubhouse along with Twitter Spaces, etc. Similarly, live posting has gained a lot of importance through platforms such as BeReal. Further, a time has come when platforms like Twitch and Discord have risen and become relevant beyond gaming. Keeping tabs on new social channels will help you make an informed decision on whether or not they fit your business needs.
Joining new social media platforms early on in their journey pays off. This is because you may have more time to understand what promotional content works best there. This will put you ahead of competitors that launch their accounts later, who might struggle to come up with posts that resonate with the channel.
To help you stay on the cutting edge of social media, we have compiled a list of 5 social media platforms that you need to put on your radar for this year. These platforms have all gained either a large user base, interest from investors, or generated a lot of buzz in recent months.
Interesting Social Media Platforms for you to consider in 2023
There have been several platforms that have risen in popularity. Some of them have been bubbles that burst just as quickly as they rose. Let’s take a look at some platforms that have stood the test of time. This means they have gathered a loyal user base and branched out into uses beyond their original conception.
Twitch: The streaming Social Media Platform
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a platform that streams live video. Imagine something like YouTube. However, most content is live. This includes music videos, cookery shows, Q&A sessions, and – the main topic of conversation being video games. There are various devices on which users can stream Twitch. To watch streams, you can either use the app: which is available on mobile, desktop, gaming consoles and even gadgets like Chromecast and Apple TV, or go to the official Twitch website.
How can a Brand Benefit From a Twitch Presence?
As statistics show, Twitch is growing rapidly. This social media platform has approximately 1.5 million users on average, and over 9 million monthly streamers. On Twitch, 65% of users are male and 41% of the users are between 16 and 24 years old.
What countries are Twitch’s biggest users? USA has the largest base, followed by Germany, Russia, and South Korea. China has, however, blocked it since 2018.
Based on this there is no doubt that Twitch helps with brand awareness. For industries such as gaming, electronics, food, travel, music, and other forms of media and entertainment; Twitch.tv can be a game changer.
Influencers are one of the key tools to help you gain visibility on Twitch. Getting Twitch influencers to spread the word about your brand is a great way to get your brand in front of a wide audience. This also prevents you from streaming all content yourself. An engaging sponsored stream can be a good way to promote your products. Additionally, Twitch has an integrated advertising platform for brands to run video ads. Similar to other video platforms, Twitch plays video ads before their streams as pre-roll.
Another way to promote your business is by creating a branded channel on Twitch so you can live stream content, engage with the community, and increase brand awareness. A few of the most prominent brands include Elgato, PepsiCo, G Fuel, and Kellogg.
What are Twitch’s Limitations?
Because a person typically only watches 1 live streamer at a time, you are typically competing for live viewers who need to choose your stream. This is unlike YouTube, where viewers can theoretically be shared between videos regardless of the level of competition. In contrast, they can watch posted videos whenever they wish. Twitch allows you to store previous live streams on your channel. However, these do not continue to gather audience interaction in the form of comments.
Roblox: The Gaming Social Media Platform
What is Roblox?
If you’re already intrigued by all the buzz around the metaverse, then Roblox is definitely an app you’ve come across. On it, users can create their own immersive experiences, whether it be through games, social hangouts, concerts, and fashion shows. Unlike other social media platforms, on Roblox users can define their own experiences in every sense of the word. In essence, it is a gaming, social media, and social commerce platform all in one.
How can a Brand Benefit From a Roblox Presence?
The app has over 58 million active users, half of whom are under the age of 13. That’s reason enough for so many brands to show interest in the platform. Brands like McDonald’s and Nickelodeon have been turning to Roblox to create immersive experiences for their Gen Z and Gen Alpha users. A smart move, given the fact that these customers would have their own purchasing power in the coming years.
Other high-end brands, the likes of Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger are turning to the platform to raise brand awareness among their young customers. Users on these branded spaces are encouraged to explore them, and of course, buy branded outfits for their Roblox avatars. Some brands even took this a step further, by creating physical collections inspired by their Roblox designs as is the case with Forever 21, and here is where serious conversions can take place.
What are Roblox’s Limitations?
Amid a rise in concern about age-appropriate content, the platform has recently decided to block ad campaigns and sponsored experiences amongst users under the age of 13. This could be a blow to brands turning to the platform to reach this age group. However, as immersive experiences continue to be the next wave in the social media universe, it may be worth it to keep an eye on this platform. Even though the audience base is niche, Roblox was among the 50 most-used websites in the world in 2022.
What is Discord?
People who play online PC games often use Discord for video calling and messaging. Other than this, many users also use Discord as a video conferencing app. There are millions of users on Discord, and you can communicate with them worldwide. The platform uses text and voice chat to facilitate communication, and joining and creating servers is simple. Discord can be used for both casual and professional purposes. Chat features include voice, text, video, and screen sharing. Arguably the best thing about Discord is that it has a pretty strong free version.
Although Discord is free, there is a premium option called Discord Nitro and a less expensive variation called Discord Nitro Classic. Compared to Nitro Classic, which is $4.99 per month, Nitro is $9.99 per month. The flexibility and affordability of discord make it attractive for its large user base.
How can a Brand Benefit From Presence on Discord?
Discord is all about building a community that is highly engaged with your brand. It all starts with creating a specific server for your category or subject matter. You can use this forum to share relevant news, tips and other helpful content. As this community becomes more engaged, you can also reward them with exclusive offers and promotions. Discord is also a good platform for you to collect qualitative data on your product category and your brand. Further, it can also be used as a channel to provide customer support.
You might wonder, “Who uses discord?” Does it fit my target audience?
Since they make up over 42% of Discord’s viewership, users between the ages of 25 and 34 have the largest share worldwide. Additionally, 22.2% of the Discord user base was comprised of people who are 16 to 24 years old. These groups are generally comprised of Millennials and Gen Z users. Both groups care about authenticity in a brand’s voice. Discord may therefore be the right platform for you to showcase what your brand stands for. Other Discord users who are not on the same servers as you can be contacted directly or added to group chats. This means you have the opportunity to organically grow your community.
What are Discord’s Limitations?
Text and voice chat are the two most used methods of communication on Discord. Discord also offers video chat, however, there is a resolution cap and only 25 people can participate at a time. Thus, it isn’t always the ideal solution. While Discord is beneficial for gaming, technology and other niche fields, such as Anime, it may be more challenging to find communities that are engaged with broader topics that are better suited for your industry.
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BeReal: The Authentic Social Media Platform
What is BeReal?
Unlike other social media platforms, where filters & heavily edited photos are essential, BeReal comes as an antidote to users who are on the market for more genuine content. The whole idea behind the app is to encourage users to “be real” in what they post on their accounts. To achieve that, the app prompts you once a day and gives you a 2 min time frame to post a picture with both your front and back camera.
On BeReal, there is no room for likes or follower counts. That’s why it’s so appealing to Gen Z users, especially college students. It is a move away from content heavy platforms. It is the platform where you get to share a snippet of your day with your chosen friends. Although there still is a possibility for users to delete and retake photos, the fun is in abiding by the given time frame.
How can a Brand Benefit From a BeReal Presence?
As you may have guessed, there is no room for formal advertising on the platform. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a brand presence on BeReal won’t be of added value. Brands just need to think differently when it comes to their presence on the app. We have to admit that it wouldn’t be easy for brands to move away from the editorial quality images they normally share on their accounts. It’s a bold move to be sharing more spontaneous “raw” pictures of the brand. This however has not scared brands away.
Chipotle, the US fast food chain restaurant, was one of the first brands to create a presence on the app. It sort of set the blueprint for other brands to follow. Chipotle is mainly using its account to share discount codes and freebies amongst its friends. e.l.f Cosmetics was also one of the very first beauty brands to create a BeReal account. Users on both accounts enjoy a behind-the-scenes feel that is very different from platforms such as Instagram or LinkedIn.
What are BeReal’s Limitations?
Unlike other social media platforms, BeReal only allows a limited number of friends on each account. Business accounts don’t get the previously enjoyed privilege of a verified account or a higher “friends” count. Users can however change their privacy settings and make their photos available in the “discovery mode“.
ChatGPT: Not a Social Media Platform But a Chatbot Worth Your Attention
What is ChatGPT?
Open AI recently launched a chatbot called ChatGPT. The bot is a large language model that mimics human responses and produces plausible answers to nuanced questions. This can be as complex as giving a quantum mechanics explanation or as simple as leading a normal conversation. The tool is not, however, limited to regular text and content production, it can also be used in coding. Open AI also created a user interface for the bot and allowed regular users to test its capabilities for free.
How can a Brand Benefit From ChatGPT?
ChatGPT would come in handy in marketing, customer service, and content creation. Companies can rely on the tool to create text ads, define product names, and write product descriptions, create marketing emails, etc. ChatGPT will, however, shine in customer service as 69% of users prefer automated chats to guarantee an instant response. Chatbots reduce companies’ operational costs by 30% and these are the stats for regular chatbots that are typically less human-like than ChatGPT purports to be.
Users can rely on the tool to drastically reduce the time allocated for content creation. For instance, Companies can easily ask the chatbot to create social media posts for their products. Chat GPT can, based on the users’ request, produce multiple versions of the posts, and thereby give the user the chance to pick the most brand appropriate one.
What are Chat GPT’s Limitations?
As with any trained language model, chat GPT can give biased replies, and not function reliably as it is intended to do. As we were writing this blog post, Chat GPT’s website was showing that it was at capacity. Users were then asked to register their emails to get notified once it’s live again. The tool is still in its trial phase and the company has allowed users to test it for free but this is very likely to change.
What is Supernova?
In December 2021, Supernova launched as a new alternative to Facebook and Instagram as an exciting new social platform. Why does this matter? Supernova donates 60% of its advertising revenue to charities, and brands and creators can choose which charities to support. Using the app is very similar to Instagram, as users can share photos and videos along with comments and messaging. In their profile, users can specify which charitable cause they wish to support (like climate action, homelessness, mental health, etc.) with the money Supernova gains from its advertising partners. As a result of a Like, a user’s choice of charity will receive a larger donation from the “Supernova Action Fund.” It promises a more inclusive community by using 24/7 human moderation.
How can a Brand Benefit From Supernova?
The Supernova platform can be a great addition to brands’ social media presence. In contrast to being part of an ancient toxic order where some brands are potentially harmed, being a part of a ‘new era’ social media is a great PR asset for those brands. 80% of millennials prefer companies that put other people’s interests ahead of their own. As a platform, Supernova can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to be more community-focused and inclusive.
The new social media platform that focuses on building a healthy online environment and helping with charitable events is a perfect way for building up your brand’s reputation.
What are Supernova’s Limitations?
It seems that the app is slow and can freeze and crashe on occassion. A number of users also complained that they could not block harassers even though the app’s initial goal was to prevent negativity. This indicates that more work must be done before it can effectively moderate the content. Finally, from a business perspective, as any social media Supernova needs enough of a network effect so that enough of your brand’s target audience begins to gather there.
What does This Mean for You?
In 2023, your social media strategy should be agile and not set in stone. This is because the social media landscape is more dynamic than ever. For your brand, just focusing on traditional social media platforms could mean missed opportunities in terms of connecting with your younger demographics, discovering new forms of immersive media and building engaged communities. The best place to start is by understanding where your current target demographic is choosing to gather. Another good place to look is where your competitors are investing their efforts.
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