By John Lincoln, MBA, Co-Founder and CEO of Ignite Visibility and one of the top digital marketing consultants in the industry.
According to a recent Talkwalker study, social media trends are veering in a new direction. We’re still in a challenging time, and 78% of consumers want brands to help them with their day-to-day lives. Marketing using nostalgia, conversation, memes and socially conscious language will take the lead.
Looking ahead to 2021, marketers will want to watch these nine social media sites to keep their audiences engaged.
TikTok really took off in 2020, and unless an official U.S. ban goes through, it’s not going anywhere. In 2018, the company merged with an app called Musical.ly. After the death of Vine, users flocked to TikTok. Next year TikTok is only projected to grow.
Who it’s for: More than 40% of TikTok’s 800 million users are age 16–24.
Why use it: TikTok has several qualities that should interest marketers moving into 2021, including a plethora of entertaining and to-the-point videos. There’s a whole world of TikTok influencers to discover.
In April 2020, the top livestream gaming social media platform Twitch received almost 1.5 billion viewing hours. This is a massive 50% leap from the month prior.
Who it’s for: Twitch users are mostly (but not entirely) male. They’re largely millennials or younger.
Why use it: Covid-19 has ignited the gaming industry as a whole, and Twitch is up there at the top.
Houseparty is a group video platform that can host up to eight people in a room. Users can play in-app games with each other.
Who it’s for: Happy hour enthusiasts in the social distancing age.
Why use it: Houseparty is great for tight-knit marketing events with influencers, especially while the pandemic is ongoing. There’s also ad space available.
While this one isn’t new — its growing popularity is. Goodreads is one of those niche social media platforms that has secured its audience’s loyalty. Readers can rate books, read other reviews and receive tailored recommendations based on their reading history.
Who it’s for: Book readers across all publishing platforms (print books, e-books, and audiobooks).
Why use it: Marketers can advertise e-books, which is a common part of a content marketing strategy.
Steemit is like Reddit, but with cryptocurrency instead of upvotes. With more than 1.2 million users, it’s one of the new social media sites that’s picked up steam.
Who it’s for: Mostly ages 25–34 and male, but a pronounced regularity of other genders.
Why use it: The cryptocurrency Steem has a pretty hefty market cap of more than $55 billion.
Vero is a place for users to share content and media with friends, close friends, acquaintances and followers. The company is in the category of ad-free social media platforms, but organic marketing has a huge place here. Most notably, it doesn’t use an algorithm, something that’s a pain point for other large platforms.
Who it’s for: Kids and millennials seeking an authentic social media experience (or as authentic as it can get).
Why use it: Amplify organic conversations and real engagement with your audience.
Another livestream competitor, Caffeine isn’t as popular as Twitch. However, this desktop application invites 1 million monthly web visitors (no word on the user base).
Who it’s for: Gamers. Its broadcast system is compatible with 900 PC games. Other users stream things like music and entertainment performances.
Why use it: Compared to Twitch, Caffeine has fewer marketing opportunities, but it’s becoming more well-known.
Nextdoor is defined by private neighborhood hubs where locals go to get their gossip and sip their tea.
Who it’s for: Anyone who lives in one of the more than 236,000 defined neighborhoods in Nextdoor.
Why use it: It’s one of the top social media sites for hyperlocal engagement. Nextdoor neighbors can tag or mention businesses in posts. They can also comment on business pages and send them personal messages. If you’re a marketer after local SEO, Nextdoor is one of the newer social media platforms you should know about.
There are about 1.4 million new articles posted on the microblogging platform Medium every month.
Who it’s for: Medium says almost all their users are college grads and many earn high salaries.
Why use it: Marketers can use Medium for sponsored content, thought leadership and building a backlink profile.
Let Your Audience Light The Way
It would be nice to be in control of how our audience chooses to spend their digital time, but that’s not reality. The truth is that they pick the path, and we just follow. If we want to speak to our audience, we need to find them first.