There’s nothing about social channels that is predictable. The digital landscape is fluid, competitive and many promising social media platforms hit the dust. However, one constant factor is this: to reach your target audience and expand your market reach, you need to be where your consumers are.
This article will look at some emerging social channels that aren’t as well known as the big guys, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. But, depending on your marketing goals and objectives and your target audience, you might want to try these off-the-road channels. And, there’s something to be gained by getting in early, should any of these channels become more mainstream.
Before Choosing Social Channels, Establish Your Goals
Before launching a marketing campaign on any social platform, you first want to establish your goals. These are marketing goals, not business goals. For example:
- Expand my organic reach
- Build brand recognition
- Grow my brand community
- Drive more traffic to my website
- Get people to sign up for my webinar
- Test or launch a new product
- Showcase accomplishments
- Get more people to sign up for my newsletter
- Grow my client base
- Increase sales
- Attract investors, collaborators, or influencers
I’m sure you can come up with more. But, without first establishing your social media marketing goals, you won’t be able to create an effective digital strategy.
Next and equally critical to your success is to identify your target audience. Again, you’ll find many tips on this blog regarding targeting but remember, when you develop your customer persona, you want to consider both demographics and psychographics.
Stay Ahead Of Trends
Online communication services such as America Online, Prodigy, and CompuServe began to flourish in the early 1980s and ’90s. As the internet became more accessible, social networks were created, such as Six Degrees which debuted in 1997, and Friendster, launched in 2001. Probably you haven’t heard of either of these because not every social platform has staying power. As the world changes, people change, the kind of experience consumers want from digital media also changes. Additionally, as the digital world becomes more sophisticated, consumers’ tastes become more sophisticated.
The pandemic accelerated the world’s dive into digitization. As a result, any B2B or B2C brand that wanted to survive had to strengthen or create its online presence. Today, as online users become savvier, they’re immune to the onslaught of digital ads and promos. And unfortunately, they’re also suffering from screen fatigue.
The online audience is skimming content, scrolling through their feeds, searching for something interesting or helpful. This is especially true of B2B users who have limited time.
To keep and grow your audience, you have to create valuable, authentic, informative, and engaging content.
- Create bite-sized content that you can cross-post across your social channels.
- Remember, loyalty to social channels is not a given.
- What’s hot today can quickly become toast tomorrow.
Staying ahead of the trends is critical to growing your business in the digital world.
Now that you’ve done your homework, let’s jump in and look at some alternative social networks that might help you achieve your marketing goals.
4 Social Channels You Might Want To Try In 2022
Founded in 2013 by Chris Pavlovski, Rumble is a video-sharing platform competitor to YouTube. According to Pavlovski, the channel reached 31.9 million average monthly users by the end of Q1 2021, a significant jump from 1.2 million monthly users in Q1 2020.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Rumble appears to be very strong financially. For example, its recent C.F. Acquisition IV SPAC shares soared by 43% the first week of February 2022.
According to SimilarWeb data, total traffic and engagement in January 2022 were 149.6M, an increase of 13.69% over December’s traffic.
- 60% of users are from the U.S.
- 24% from Canada
- 54% from Australia
- 36% from the U.K.
- 06% from France and
- 75% from other parts of the world.
Rumble is like YouTube—video only. Users can engage with videos by liking, sharing, and commenting.
Part of Rumble’s growth is due to the large number of conservative content creators demonetized on YouTube. Its mission is to be immune to cancel culture and restore the internet to its open and free roots.
Rumble offers content creators alternative streams for monetization in addition to ad-based revenues.
How Does It Work?
If you’re marketing on YouTube, you’ll have no problem using Rumble.
Before you qualify for a business channel I.D., you need ten subscribers. So, once you start uploading videos, be sure to send links to all your social networks and include them on your blog and emails.
Similar to YouTube, keyword optimization is essential. Be sure to add descriptions that will draw viewers to your video. Engage viewers with the first few words in your description, and choose the most engaging thumbnail.
YouTube’s recommended videos are based on a user’s viewing history. However, Rumble displays videos according to the channels a user subscribes to. Therefore, your subscribers are more likely to see your latest marketing videos.
Rumble could be an effective part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, especially if your target audience is conservative.
Discord is a community-driven VoIP software with voice calling, texting, and video capabilities. Launched in 2015 by Stan Vishnevskiy and Jason Citron, this popular chat runs on Android, Windows, Mac, and iOS.
As of February 2022, the platform has 150 million monthly active users, 19M active servers per week, and 4B server conversation minutes each day. (Discord statistics).
How Does It Work?
Users can create and host their own servers, keeping them private or public. Servers are similar to chat rooms but have both voice and text support. Once you create a server, you can open multiple channels. So, let’s say you have different products or services, you might want to open a channel for each one.
With a public server, you can build brand awareness. Your channels allow you to test out ideas, showcase your products or services, answer questions, provide product details, and immediately respond to customer feedback. Discord users are very engaged and eager to help each other out.
On the other hand, if you want to create a brand community where conversations can take place in a protected space, then you’d want to keep your server private. You’ll access insights into the effectiveness of your messaging and create new brand ambassadors.
Discord offers you an entirely different, unfettered way to build your brand community and stay in touch with your consumer audience. It’s perfectly suited for hosting virtual events because it provides a platform for real-time interactions. Today’s customers prefer to reach out to brands via social networks. And they like to have a response quickly. On Discord, you can have conversations in real-time, something you can’t do as efficiently and affordably on Facebook and Twitter.
Unlike LinkedIn, while both are business platforms, Discord’s conversational style is much more casual.
Discord is an emerging platform, so all the rules are not written in stone. However, it offers unparalleled opportunities to create and strengthen relationships with your audience and build brand awareness and engagement.
Reddit is a news aggregation and discussion site. It’s the 5th most popular website in the U.S. and ranked 17th globally. According to Reddit officials, more than 430 million users are active on the platform each month, with more than 30 billion views per month. It tends to be more popular with Americans between 18-29, but it’s not exclusive to this age demographic. Reddit topics drive user demographics more than age. For instance, retail investors make up a large portion of the audience on this social network.
There are approximately 2.2 million subreddits or communities focused on different topics. Users can post various types of content, such as videos, images, text, and links.
The Reddit audience is very engaged, providing opportunities for you to build brand awareness and authenticity. They’re looking for content that provides them with answers to their questions, the latest news, and solutions to their problems. As a tool for marketing, Reddit enables you to introduce your brand to a sizeable organic audience and gain insights that you can use in developing your brand messaging.
One critical aspect to consider is that on Reddit, viewers can downvote your content. So, unlike other social channels where algorithms can bury your content, Reddit users can bury your posts to the bottom of the platform’s feeds.
How To Use It
Reddit users are not so fond of advertising; in fact, they’re pretty negative about it. To be successful with this social channel, you need to be consumer-focused. Share helpful and entertaining content that addresses the concerns users express in the communities.
Find the subreddit that fits your products or services with your consumer persona in hand. The most popular communities may not necessarily be what you want. Think more about your brand niche. A smaller community might offer higher visibility and ease of engaging with your audience. Focus on authenticity and building trust in your brand.
Before hopping on Reddit, create your marketing goals and define your target audience. Of course, marketing on the platform is not as simple as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter; it requires constant honest engagement. However, overlooked by most marketers, Reddit offers untapped digital geography. You won’t need to work through so much digital chatter to get your voice heard.
TikTok is not an emerging social channel, but it’s still overlooked by many small-to-medium size businesses, especially B2B brands. However, it could be a powerful social channel to add to your omnichannel marketing campaign.
TikTok revenue grew by 70% in 2021, and its daily active users continue to grow. It surpassed 17 million users in 2021. In November 2021, TikTok execs announced that it had reached 1B users, and analysts predict it will surge past 1.5B in 2022.
There are several reasons for Tiktok’s rise, including the thirst for more creative, engaging, purposeful content that doesn’t feel like brand advertising.
Yet, at the same time, TikTok says that 74% of users report that they were inspired to learn more about a brand or product after seeing that company’s content. So you could net millions of additional organic views of your brand content.
And it’s not just for adolescents and teenagers. The demographics are changing, which is one of the reasons why more and more B2C and B2B brands are marketing on TikTok.
Marketing on TikTok
TikTok’s For Business page provides you with marketing options. For instance, you can “reach your customers with target lookalikes and custom audiences, install pixels on your website and track your performance with a real-time data dashboard.”
TikTok users are focused more on engaging with a good story and less on your content’s production quality. As a result, the conversation is more casual, like friends talking to friends. If you need ideas, scroll through the platform, see what the competition is doing, and note if their content engages your target audience.
Depending on your audience and marketing goals, TikTok could offer you
- unparalleled opportunities to reach a global audience
- grow your brand presence, and
- build trust in your brand.
- Digital marketing is no longer an option.
- To grow your business, you must be where your audience is.
- Emerging social channels offer new opportunities to expand your brand reach in less-crowded digital space.
- The social channels highlighted here enable you to build brand communities, engage with your audience, establish authenticity and communicate in real-time with your customers.
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