To thrive in social media marketing, modern brands need an omnichannel social media presence. Using multiple channels and adapting to new social media platforms enables you to reach a wider audience and create opportunities for more engagement. However, maintaining an online presence that consumers want to interact with involves more than simply reposting identical content across different platforms.
As a marketer or ecommerce brand leader, it’s your responsibility to tailor content to each social channel's best practices to align with users' expectations for that platform. For example, you can repurpose a blog post you shared on Facebook into a series of quotes in a Twitter thread. One TikTok video could be edited to create a few Instagram stories.
Adapting content in this way saves your marketing team time and money since they aren't tasked with creating every piece of content from scratch. It also improves brand awareness and recall for customers that come across your content on different platforms.
Your brand doesn’t have to focus on the most well-known social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to succeed. The typical social media user interacts with 6.6 platforms, meaning your brand has around six different social media channels to make a connection with your consumer.
This doesn’t mean you should stretch your marketing team thin and post a version of the same piece of content on every single platform. Experimenting with new platforms helps you identify where your target audience spends the most time and what channels to prioritize when allocating social media team resources.
That said, let’s take a look at four new social media platforms and apps to try in 2023.
BeReal is an app focused on authenticity. As channels like Instagram are increasingly permeated with polished, professional brand posts, users are getting better at spotting sponsored advertisements and scrolling past them in a fraction of a second.
Today, social users are more interested in authentic content from real people than ever before. BeReal makes authenticity its mission by sending users notifications at a random time once a day to take a candid picture, and users have two minutes to post a photo of what’s happening in their lives at that moment. This post includes a photo taken with both the front and back camera of the user’s smartphone and is only visible to friends who have also shared their own post.
With over 10 million daily active users as of this article, BeReal's approach clearly resonates with social media users. Authentic, genuine content connects with people in a way that paid advertising or overly-produced brand posts often can't. This is why user-generated content (UGC) continues to grow as a pillar of content marketing; more brands are leaning towards featuring their customers’ own original content in their social media posts rather than relying solely on in-house content or media from a design agency.
@dmc_embroidery Embreadery 🍞 🤯 By @embroiderycode #dmcthreads #tiktok #embroidery #foryou #fyp #mindblown #embroideryskills #viral #craft #diy #bread #satisfying ♬ original sound - DMC
Though BeReal’s philosophy seems like a perfect match for posting your brand’s curated UGC, there’s some ambiguity about how marketing can play a role in the app. Brands like Chipotle and e.l.f. Cosmetics have leveraged the app as another marketing channel and have had success by offering discount codes.
However, a few issues stand in the way of BeReal becoming the new go-to platform for social media marketing, as the first few brands to use the app have noticed.
Users must be friends to view each other's content, but there’s currently a limit on how many friends an account can have. This isn’t conducive to brand accounts with the goal of reaching new audiences.
BeReal focuses on real-time images. Instead of posting curated UGC or other pre-made content, brands need to create effective marketing content in a way that feels candid.
Part of BeReal's appeal to users is that it's an ad-free space, and the app's terms and conditions state that it can't be used for commercial purposes.
Like other social media platforms that came before it, BeReal and the features it offers will likely continue to shift, and these updates will play a big role in whether the app establishes itself as a channel that’s here to stay. While social audio app Clubhouse saw a massive spike in user signups and app usage during its first few months, the app quickly fell off the radar. Time and market trends will be the main elements to determine if BeReal sees a similar dropoff.
It’s crucial for marketers to monitor how their audiences are using and enjoying new social media platforms and apps as they emerge. While you don’t have to create a posting strategy for every new platform that might become popular, it’s up to you to be aware of these new channels and the trends they’re revealing.
Created by rewardStyle.inc, LTK (formerly LIKEtoKNOW.it) is a creator-led app that focuses on social commerce, letting users shop thousands of brands directly from authenticated influencers’ original posts using an affiliate link. In 2022, shoppers bought $3.6 billion worth of products via its influencer affiliate links. LTK’s creator-guided shopping and product reviews have also helped brands reduce product return rates by 30%. Often referenced in influencers’ TikToks or linked in their bios on channels like Instagram, LTK’s active user base has grown substantially in the last year.
Though brands can’t create their own accounts on the app, it is rising in popularity among content creators and can be a valuable resource for content inspiration and creator discovery. Creator collaborations are worth exploring on the app as they have a significant impact on users’ shopping decisions, and the users active on LTK have often built an engaged following that trusts their recommendations.
According to LTK’s website, over 1 million brands and 5,000 retailers have made their splash on the app, with their products promoted via creators’ profiles. And we’re not just talking about apparel — travel, entertainment, home decor, and CPG are just a few of the other industries with products listed on LTK.
Source: Business Wire
While your brand may not be ready to invest fully in building up a presence on LTK, marketers should definitely spend time getting to know the app, its popular creators, and what kinds of content they’re sharing that drives consumer interest. Not only can you potentially discover creators to work with on other social platforms like TikTok or Instagram, but you might come across inspiration for your brand’s own social media strategy.
Like BeReal, LTK was created around the premise of authentic content that comes from an individual rather than a brand or organization. Consumers view content from their peers and the influencers they love as more trustworthy than brand-created content. If the theme of these new social media platforms and apps can tell us anything, it’s that brands need to center their content strategy around community-led content.
Patreon is a subscription-based membership platform for online creators. Consumers pay a monthly fee — straight to the creators they’re subscribed to — to access exclusive content and deals from those individuals. To pique interest, creators provide snippets of content from videos or written posts on traditional social media platforms like Instagram, and then direct viewers to their Patreon account to purchase a subscription and access all of their content.
Subscribers on Patreon are directly paying the creators they love and trust rather than a company, and this humanized approach is appealing to consumers. This direct payment method helps establish a relationship between creator and viewer, further cementing the viewer’s affinity and trust. It also provides creators with a reliable stream of income, making Patreon extremely attractive to influencers.
As a marketer, you can incorporate Patreon into your brand’s omnichannel strategy through micro-influencer partnerships and brand ambassadorships. You can work with creators to promote your brand’s products in their content within the app.
However, with a sizable income coming directly from viewers, influencers are likely to be picky about product promotion and only share content around products they actually like. All signs in social media marketing today point towards authentic content, and influencers won’t want to risk subscriber loss by sharing content that comes off as overly-promotional or ingenuine.
Finding a creator whose style and audience align perfectly with your brand will be more important than ever if you choose this approach. It’s a good idea to have an established influencer marketing strategy and the right content management technology to support it if you’re starting conversations with creators on Patreon.
Though it may not feel like a new platform anymore, TikTok is still in its infancy compared to established channels like Facebook and YouTube. Because it is still the new kid on the block, only 36% of social media marketers use TikTok as of January 2023, compared to Instagram (65%) and Facebook (67%). Today, TikTok allows brands to break into the platform without being overshadowed by a high volume of competitors.
TikTok’s algorithm favors UGC and original content that doesn’t feel overproduced. This gives brands of any size the potential to land on the “For You” page (a scrollable feed of personalized content) by tapping into that authentic feel. Keeping up with TikTok trends and making use of filters, popular audio clips, and other video effects can make brand videos blend in with other users’ posts in the feed.
The first few people who view your TikTok ultimately decide its fate, giving videos from accounts with just a few followers the chance to go viral. Marketers should be taking advantage of this before the app becomes oversaturated with brand content and/or the algorithm changes to make content from smaller accounts less discoverable.
Unlike LTK, brands can create their own accounts, access all of the app’s features, and run different types of advertisements on TikTok. This opens up numerous opportunities to get creative with your TikTok marketing content. You can make how-to videos that demonstrate your product, share your brand’s values, highlight exceptional UGC, and much more.
TikTok is known for the various unique, niche communities that pop up on the app. Hashtags like #BookTok, #BabyTok, and #KnitTok let viewers connect with brands, creators, and peers who share their hobbies and interests. This is another compelling reason for brands to start sharing on TikTok — you’re likely to find engaged users within your industry.
The app continues to roll out new features that marketers should keep tabs on. “TikTok Now” is TikTok’s daily photo and video-sharing tool that is similar to BeReal. It’s important to take advantage of these new features when you’re experimenting with new social channels to maximize your reach and engagement.
Get ahead of the competition
There’s a case to be made to prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to the number of platforms a brand is active on, but testing the waters with new platforms can help you get ahead of the competition. It allows you to find the most effective channels for your brand and promote your products in a lower-competition space.
Stay up to date with new social platforms and features as they emerge by practicing social listening and collaborating with influencers on a long-term basis rather than one-off campaigns. As you experiment with new social media marketing channels, create benchmarks and a timeline to understand how well a new platform performs for you. Keep the ones that improve reach, engagement, or sales, and drop those that don’t add value.