The land of social media is as much about instant gratification as it is about, well, being social. Posts need to be short, snappy and to the point, and some, particularly in the case of Snapchat, disappear into thin air after only a little while.
The apps themselves seem to come with a sell-by date, with hundreds of competitors trying to break into the market each year. Each new social media platform opens up new opportunities to speak to your customers, especially those marketing-skeptic millenials. But for a time-poor marketer, trying out each new app that hits the market is a nearly impossible task. To help you out, I’ve rounded up the best new social media platforms currently available. Each of these stand out either because they offer an innovative new way to reach new audiences (or your current audience in a different way) or because they offer something completely brand new to the market.
Granted, WeChat might be one of the older kids on the block, but its global expansion plans means that it should be on every marketer’s radar. The Chinese social media network offers marketers an opportunity to not just tap into the lucrative Chinese market. Indeed, WeChat themselves are openly courting large global brands in a bid to open up more revenue streams.
Another interesting feature that WeChat offers is the one-stop-shop for nearly everything a user may need. You can hail a ride, order a takeout, shop, buy cinema tickets and even pay bills through the app. It seems, in some cases, that WeChat has managed to beat Facebook in the Jack-of-all-trades stakes. Which makes the app even more interesting to marketers as it begins to expand beyond Chinese borders and threaten Facebook’s dominance.
In simple terms, Depop appears to be eBay for millenials. It has an Instagram-like user interface with the jumble sale ethos of eBay – and it’s caught the imaginations of millenials in a big way. Its user base currently stands at just over six million with approximately 400,000 active users every day. The majority of these are teenagers and early twentysomethings.
Just like how Youtube created vloggers, and Instagram created influencers, Depop is creating a new generation of entrepreneurs, who use the app to sell goods they’ve created or bought for resale. Similarly, Depop’s wow factor lies in the ability to curate all the images displayed within your store. In other words, just like how Instagram allows users to portray the best side of themselves, Depop allows storeowners to highlight the best of their shops – along with a few aspirational “I want to be her” images dotted here and there.
Telegram is a messaging app, similar to Whatsapp but with one big difference: privacy. Consumers are getting savvier when it comes to their data. This has been largely caused by several leaks, hacks and endless requests from several governments for social media user data. Likewise, the majority of social media sites now bombard us with advertising, and a large draw of Telegram is that it is ad free. You’d be forgiven for wondering why I brought it to your attention. Telegram signals a huge shift in how consumers are willing to part with their data, and how businesses should therefore use it. If someone isn’t happy with how their data is being stored or accessed, then they’re going to shut off access to that data. Telegram has over 100 million active users – that’s 100 million people who have potentially turned their backs on traditional social media for a platform that’s less intrusive and, well, creepy.
Peanut is brand new to the scene, having been launched in beta in February this year. Think of it as Tinder for moms. It matches up new moms with others in their area, with children of similar age ranges, so they can make new friends, get support and generally just make motherhood a little less lonely and overwhelming.
Peanut is one of a whole host of ultra-specific social media platforms targeting niche audiences. Nowadays, if you’ve got an interest, there’s probably a platform for you. This provides a golden opportunity for marketers – tap into the right platform, with the audience that’s right for you, and your targeting has already been done for you. Every marketer wants to get their message across in a way that’s personal to each and every individual, this new breed of social media allows you to do just that.
A lesson that should be learnt about social media platforms
Social media has become part and parcel of every person’s life. As we wake in the morning, we log onto Facebook, we connect on LinkedIn, we message our friends on Whatsapp, and we’re constantly searching for the next big thing that will help us connect with our social circles with more convenience, security or ease. If there is any lesson to take from the newcomers to the social media scene, it’s this: when getting social, consumers constantly innovate and find news ways to communicate. Marketers, therefore, should too.