As 2020 has been such an unpredictable year so far, it can be hard for marketers to get ahead of trends and plan their outreach methods.
New Social Media Platforms to watch in 2021
Fortunately, social media is a way for people to connect in a world that’s oddly disconnected. Marketers can use up-and-coming platforms to adapt to the state of the world and connect with current and new customer bases.
Houseparty is an app that was initially launched in 2016. However, the events of 2021 have skyrocketed Houseparty to unexpected levels of success. Houseparty went from having 132,000 downloads per week in February to over 2 million per week in March.
The Houseparty app creates a virtual chatroom where you can play games with friends in a private setting. For marketers, looking at ways to bring customers together in a way that relates to the business can create a sense of connection and exclusivity. Houseparty could be the next VIP membership offering for your business.
For example, a cosmetic business could use HouseParty to host an exclusive Master Class with a high-profile influencer. It could also be a platform through which to connect with customers on a personal level while enjoying games and camaraderie— think an interactive focus group.
TapeReal (previously TapeBook) is a rising star in the social media world. It’s positioned as a way to communicate using audio and video clips, without the filters and noise that other apps have. In other words, it gets away from the Snapchat and Facebook messenger enhancements for an authentic experience.
This app is worth investigating for businesses that have marketing strategies created around transparency and authenticity. TapeReal is also in alignment with up-and-coming video marketing trends. More businesses are using video marketing to reach their customers with quick, engaging bites of information. Consider the fact that over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook each day.
Audio and video content are also versatile pieces of content, as they can be repurposed into other things, such as social media quote blocks and podcasts. Using TapeReal, you can engage in interactive storytelling and capture user-generated content that connects with your brand.
Nextdoor is an interesting app that connects people within a neighborhood. It’s often used for sharing local updates while doubling as a marketplace. This app creates a more immersive, limited social media experience that connects neighbors and allows them to ask for recommendations and share events. The main selling point of Nextdoor is that unlike having a Facebook Group, you can verify that the people who join your neighborhood are, in fact, your neighbors.
For businesses that are interested in enhancing their local marketing strategy, it’s worth investigating Nextdoor. Your business can claim its page and respond to user comments and reviews within the app. With the current 2021 situation, this app is expected to skyrocket in use as neighbors come together while staying apart.
This app also creates an opportunity to get involved and use it for social listening to see what people in your niche are saying. Social listening is the act of monitoring your reputation to collect customer feedback and analyze the overall mood and tone associated with your brand. You can use the intel you gather to create your USP and shape future offerings or to course-correct any bad press that you’ve been receiving.
Meetup is another local app that brings people together to meet offline in a social environment. These Meetups can be in relation to the local culture or specific interests, such as photography, hiking, etc.
For businesses, this is a powerful networking tool. Having a presence here can enhance your location marketing, which is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses that rely on local customers.
Using Meetup also creates an opportunity for cost-free marketing by positioning yourself as an expert in your field. By engaging community groups that have interests relevant to your business offering, you can provide insider tips and advice. By being transparent and authentic about your business, this can generate trust and loyalty and direct customers to your company over the competition.
At its core, social media is a global take on word-of-mouth marketing. Meetup could play a fundamental role in expanding your reach.
While the CaringBridge app was released in 2016, it’s only starting to see real success now in 2021. The site itself dates back to the late 1990s. This evolution is largely related to social isolation and the fact that a health issue is the number one trending topic of the year thus far.
CaringBridge is an app that allows users to share their journey with an illness while inviting others to follow along. As a business, you have an opportunity to contribute and help local people in need to build awareness as well as documenting the experience of your employees during this time. The world is currently in a situation where the businesses that help are being shared and prioritized above the competition.
CaringBridge does have a multi-faceted partnership program in place. As a business, you can use these partnerships to shape your corporate social responsibility policy and give back to the community that supports you.
Vero is similar to Instagram in format but uses a different approach. Rather than ambiguous algorithms that cause so many headaches for small businesses, Vero is time-based. Posts are shown in chronological order regardless of who is posting or how much they paid for sponsorship.
As a business, you can experiment by replicating your Instagram posts on this platform to see how much traction you gain. Vero also provides a prime opportunity to conduct A/B testing to see which posts generate more buzz.
What’s also interesting about this platform is that while it emulates the feel of Instagram, it allows for link and audio posts as well. Using the categorization feature, users can shuffle through the content they want. For marketers, this is an opportunity to drive traffic to their site in a new and exciting way.
Caffeine is positioned to be the main competitor for Twitch, a live streaming app that targets the video game world. Twitch is the best social media platform for targeting the age of 18-24 male demographic, which makes up 81% of the users. However, Caffeine is hot on its tail.
This app creates more of an immersive, game-like feel and hopes to expand into the sports market. It’s already launched a monetization strategy for businesses that your company can use to get ahead of the curve.
With the Caffeine monetization strategy, viewers can purchase credits and pay them to broadcasters, who will then be paid out upon request. While this approach may not work well for businesses, it opens up new avenues for exploring influencer marketing. In fact, many large organizations are vetting celebrity relationships to capitalize on this strategy.
Your business can take advantage of this opportunity by partnering with and sponsoring Caffeine broadcasters. Take time to develop clear brand standards and outline what’s required for a sponsored broadcaster to be in alignment with your business ethos.
Creating a Social Media Strategy
Consider these rising stars in the social media world when developing your social media strategy for 2021 and beyond. For more valuable insights, check out: How to create a killer social media content strategy for 2021 by BoostApps.