When it comes to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are top of mind. These platforms have gained mass adoption, making them a bit challenging to penetrate. However, there are lucrative opportunities in emerging social networks where you can find millions of devoted users, connect with new brands, share your content with a new audience and build a new tribe beyond the major social networks.
Here is a list of emerging social network sites to explore.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to share photos and videos with users you are connected with. The app initially targeted an audience between 13 and 24 years. However, brands are leveraging the power of mobile and visual content to connect with the over 100 million daily active users, many of whom are millenials.
Users will only be able to see your photos for 10 seconds or less but the Stories feature allows you to use more pictures for meaningful storytelling, with the pictures being available for up to 24 hours.
With Snapchat, you could issue subscribers with coupons, give a peak into behind the scenes footage, offer giveaway incentives, create buzz around your new product, or tell your customers about sales and special offers.
Some successful brands on Snapchat include Audi, GrubHun, The Voice and 16 Handles.
Periscope is a live-streaming app owned by Twitter, that lets you share live videos from a mobile device. Any Periscope user from the world can view your video, re-stream the content to others and leave live comments. Periscope allows you to see the number of users who viewed your live video, the duration users spent on the video, the time they watched it and the retention rate.
Live-video streaming is an excellent tool to connect and engage with your audience by delivering interactive content in real time e.g. an interview with a celebrity or expert, a live event, a tutorial, behind the scenes footage, and product demos just to mention a few.
Do you want an organized way of knowing what is going on in a specific location at a specific time? Banjo could be the answer. Banjo aggregates content from over a dozen social networks all over the world and organizes geo-located content posted by social media users using their mobile devices in real time. Simply key-in a location and keyword to access the relevant newsfeed in real time.
Banjo should certainly be in your radar as it allows you to track brand mentions across different platforms all over the world, for example, you could use Banjo to check whether your product is available and visible at a business expo in a certain city.
WeChat is one of the most popular free messaging and video chat social networks with over 250 million active monthly users outside the U.S. The social networking app supports video, text, photo and location sharing, message broadcasting, group messaging and discovering new users. These features offer brands a direct and instant method of interacting and connecting with their audience, in a way that mainstream social platforms do not allow.
WeChat can be used to send promotional offers to your subscribers, grow your community, incentivize your customers and tribe members with e-coupons, and share branded content that will keep you visible to your audience. Some brands getting it right on Wechat are McDonalds, Pepsi, and Burberry.
The app works almost in the same way as WeChat but its integration with Facebook gives WhatsApp the added benefit of allowing users to stay in contact with their Facebook fans.
The free and live text-messaging feature is especially helpful for small businesses and artisans who would benefit from communicating instantly and closely with their customers.
Launched in 2012, Medium is steadily taking over and disrupting the world of personal publishing and content marketing. Through a proprietary editorial curation and algorithmic system, Medium lets you find a targeted audience for your content.
If you do not yet have your own blog or lack a large following on the popular social sites, Medium is a great platform to share your best content and ideas and demonstrate your expertise in a specific topic. Use Medium to create a branded collection of articles, infographs, images and other visual content.
Like most other online technologies, social media is a fast-changing tool. Smart marketers think out of the box to leverage less popular platforms where they can tap into a wider global audience, build a narrower but more engaged tribe and make meaningful connections with customers and prospects.
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