Making good use of social media is not a new thing in the world of digital marketing, but the platforms businesses choose to use is always a point of intrigue. CNBC highlights the most recent entrant to the social media world, TikTok, and the millions of dollars that companies ranging from Aerie to Zara have made from the viral media factory.
Social media is an ever-shifting landscape; that’s true whether a business operates within one platform, or many. Today, more than ever, new opportunities – and potential new pitfalls – are opening up at a record rate. Taking advantage can be a huge boon for business.
There is an obvious need in digital marketing to stay ahead. Digital marketing experts Neon Ambition highlight the need for marketing managers to use up-to-date tech, design and SEO techniques to ensure that they have a lead on competitors.
Having the right social media blend is part of that. A proper strategy will, of course, use the biggest networks – with the use of all-in-one content posting apps and services, you can easily manage your cross-platform social media game without too much effort. However, it’s important to look further afield in order to gain an advantage over competitors.
There is plenty of inspiration in the market – according to Forbes, Signal, MeWe, CloutHub, Clubhouse and Parler are just a handful of new networks that give a little appeal perhaps not found elsewhere.
Establishing what this demand is in the market is an important stage of the strategy building process in itself, and can help to influence your own policies on current social media platforms – the values that modern consumers are looking for in new social media can help you to perhaps grasp part of an emerging market on the classic platforms. Of the new platforms highlighted by Forbes, Signal, MeWe and Clubhouse offer the most intriguing look into where consumers are placing their values.
Signal is the much-vaunted successor to WhatsApp which, rightly or wrongly, attracted a lot of bad press in cybersecurity and privacy circles due to its sale to Facebook. Signal, an alternative, has offered users the opportunity to share with each other using full end-to-end encryption.
What does that mean for marketers? Advertising and marketing on these platforms is not as simple as it is with conventional social media. For one, most conversations are by invitation only.
However, this can tap into an important factor in modern consumerism – the importance of authenticity and the brand voice. Secure social media apps are an opportunity to spread word organically, and with the trust of users.
Authenticity is an incredibly important point here. Companies can, and should, do more to show their credentials when it comes to protecting consumer privacy. The days of laissez-faire data harvesting and use are gone; consumers expect more. This ties into a wider consumer trend minded towards freedom of liberties.
This desire to have agency over personal data and views extends into the controversial world of censorship. As TechCrunch highlights, a major aspect of many new, alternative social media platforms is an aversion to alleged censorship on major tech platforms.
MeWe has been aided by its use in Chinese democracy protests alongside everyday use – it has a trust and legitimacy on it not found in many other platforms. MeWe continues to grow, not least in hot markets like East Asia. Again, authenticity and a free message is the absolute tone underlying these platforms; businesses with an honest pitch and a good product stand to flourish within these new social media markets.
Of course, apps like MeWe are constantly vigilant to the threat of intrusion from unwanted parties – the company flourished by taking a stand against Chinese national authorities.
This need for trust and confidentiality is charging the growth of arguably the most intriguing, forward-thinking and transformative of the new social media stables.
Through voice and face activation, social media is looking to take away total anonymity and ensure that there’s a level of recognition and trust extended between users – something marketers can get involved with, too.
Voice and invite-only
Leading the charge towards voice-only social media is the niche platform Clubhouse. Clubhouse doesn’t currently have a huge amount of users, yet, in a recent funding opportunity, raised over $4 billion.
According to Mashable, it’s chiefly a celebrity favorite that has lower membership numbers due to its invite-only model; the general public can only, at this time, reserve a name. What Clubhouse does differently is focus on voice content and activation - big tick marks for websites looking to find their way up the Google algorithm’s rankings.
The focus on modern methods of communication, like voice tools, is the key aspect here, as many technologists and social trend analysts believe there’s a move towards such tech.
Voice activation, cross-platform accessibility and adaptive tech are the name of the game in modern web page marketing. Getting content involved with new, voice-focused social media like Clubhouse will help to elevate your own game and reach a new generation of web users who prioritize the non-text-based approach. It can be a relatively low impact investment, too – these networks are not huge, yet, and will be relatively easy to start working with.
The big four of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – will of course still take up the bulk of a marketing agency’s focus. However, with new opportunities out there, it’s important to look for value in the market. For a brand with a well developed voice and message, it’s never too early to start researching.
The cutting edge of marketing technology will, arguably, focus around the idea that communication should go back to being a matter of voice and video – the astonishing rise of TikTok and Instagram shorts as a method of marketing products is evidence enough of that. Brands positioning themselves at the forefront of tech stand to benefit to the greatest degree.