The fast-moving nature of digital media is mainly a result of the fast-paced rate of emerging platforms. In February 2020, there were over 38,000 new app releases on the apple app store (Statista). For many apps, alongside driving revenue and improving convenience, sociability is a crucial objective for any app to have long term success and a high ongoing engagement rate.
This article is going to explore some of the less mainstream social platforms that can be very effective for brand building online if used well;
The most downloaded app on the app store with over 33 million downloads in a singly quarter. TikTok is a short-form video sharing app which has shaken up the world of social media over the last year. In just a few simple clicks and using a touch of creativity, anyone can become a viral video producer.
TikTok first captured the attention of Millenials but in recent months, with more and more celebrities joining the app. It is quickly growing to become the next Instagram. Now just 41% of the audience demographic is aged 16-24 years. It is split 56% male to 44% female. A large portion of the 800 million active users are in China or India (Omnicore).
To further highlight how big this platform is; the world-famous rapper Drake released his new single via TikTok in collaboration with the internet-famous dancer Toosie. Toosie created the #toosieslide, which achieved over 7 million views on the app in just one week. More artists are starting to use TikTok in this way (Rolling Stones).
How Can Brands Tap into TikTok
Own your Handle
Even if you’re unsure whether this platform is right for you. A lot of brand handles have already taken. It is essential for brand protection that you claim yours.
TikTok is fantastic for viral challenges. A lot of TikTok challenges are inspired by Meme culture. One of the most prevalent challenges was the Old Town Road challenge. Users morphed into cowboys and cowgirls to the old town road soundtrack.
The key to creating a successful viral challenge is keeping it simple and relevant to your brand. Think of the bottlecap challenge; there were very few barriers to entry for users, so everyone and anyone was able to give it a go. For food & drink brands, there are many possibilities to recreate something like this. E.g. a pancake flipping challenge, how many times can you get the pancake to spin in the air.
As well as creating challenges, there are a lot of viral challenges already trending that can be effective to engage with as part of the TikTok spirit and to get you’re brand and content seen. Chipotle jumped on the trend with the Adele’s “someone like you” song. The soundbite features Adele’s audience singing back to her so in this clip it looks like the chips are singing to the guacamole.
See video here.
Sharing your Everyday Story
What makes TikTok especially good is the ease at which you can create engaging video content. It is now much easier for you to share your everyday brand story using fun videos to bring to life your team culture and behind the scenes of your brand. For example, for a restaurant brand, you can show the prep work, laying tables, the end of night clear up, supplier stories, your team, recipes and dish build-ups in an incredibly engaging way. Compared to Instagram, TikTok is a lot more real. People aren’t trying to show themselves in amazing landscapes or ideal well-filtered homes. You mostly see people in very standard modest settings just having fun. The sentiment around TikTok is about making your day which is an excellent way for brands to understand the app and the content which they should be creating for it.
Spotify is the biggest music streaming platform in the world, with over 217 million monthly active users. Users spend an average of 25 hours a month on the platform listening to an average of 40 unique artists a week (Business of Apps).
Despite being around for over 13 years, Spotify is still quite unknown and hasn’t been explored to a great extent for brand marketing. With such a highly engaged and attentive audience, there is a lot of potential here.
How Can Brands Tap into Spotify
A Brand Channel & Playlists
Where TikTok allows anyone to be a video creator, Spotify allows anyone to be a DJ. Anyone with an account can create a public playlist, and user-generated playlists are being listened too more than personalised and curated ones (Business of Apps). For hospitality brands, Spotify can provide a great way to extend your brand and for people to feel like they are in your venue while at home. It is super easy to make a playlist and costs nothing. With a good playlist, you’ll be surprised at how many followers you’ll organically grow through the platform. As with all social media platforms, Spotify has an algorithm to recommend playlists based on a users taste profile. I also recommend sharing your playlists on your other channels and even connecting with your website to drive awareness around your channel and playlists.
Sponsored Playlists & In-Stream Ads
With a strong budget, you can exclusively sponsor Spotify’s top owned playlists such as Today’s Top Hits, New Music Friday. You can make it quite targeted with workout related playlists for sports brands or a concentration playlists targeting students with a student-focused brand. (Spotify for Brands)
In addition to sponsored playlists, there are a few other advertising opportunities to get your brand noticed and drive a high brand reach. These include;
- Audio ads played between tracks for users,
- Rewarded video ads. Users watch a 30-second video to get 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening.
- Display ads which act as overlay screensavers for when users return to the Spotify App
Advertising costs are largely lead by competition. With competition being reduced in recent months and advertising budgets across the board being reduced, now could be an excellent opportunity to get in touch with Spotify and see how they can help your brand.
Over ten years in the making, Pinterest is a mood board inspired social media platform where users can make, share and save pins. It is used mainly for planning significant life events, travel, recipes and home decor tips. It is still growing fast as a platform with 28% growth in users last year and with a total of 322 million monthly users globally. It is a predominantly female audience of which 58% use it for shopping and purchasing decisions. Over half of Millenials use it monthly to search for new ideas (Sprout Social).
With an average session time of 14 minutes, Pinterest has a highly engaged audience. A pin can also still gain engagement up to 9 months after being published, in comparison to a tweet on Twitter which lasts 20 minutes. The other fantastic thing about pins is they can link to a landing page so can drive website traffic. For e-commerce brands, you can use product pins to showcase shoppable items and link directly to your checkout page to drive sales. This mixed with the highly engaged, planner orientated audience, it is an excellent brand-building platform and great for driving conversions (Sprout Social).
Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest focuses on reach more than followers. The primary metric is monthly viewers. An active account with exciting content can organically gain a high reach and a high number of monthly viewers at a fast rate.
How Can Brands Tap into Pinterest
Create a Page & get Pinning
Once you have your brand page setup, you can create pins. You can create and schedule your pins for up to 2 weeks in advance. Pins can be organised into boards. I recommend creating boards to reflect the key aspects of your business. Then get pinning with images and content related to them linking to your key webpages.
Your blog content strategy should include Pinterest. When you publish a blog on your brand website, always publish on Pinterest. Use a relevant image with the blog title and some text in the description explaining the post. You have up to 500 characters for the description so they can be relatively lengthy. For recipe content, I highly recommend putting as much of the recipe in the description to really hook in users. You can use hashtags on Pinterest to get more reach with your content. You can use up to 20 hashtags on Pinterest, they work more like search terms than they do on Instagram. Hashtags should be specific and descriptive on Pinterest.
Longer Form Images
The Pinterest feed is dynamic and responsive to the various pinned image sizes. Longer pins take up more feed estate. A long pin is 600 x 1260 px. To get your business noticed more, long pins are definitely a great way to achieve this. Long pins can be infographics showing thought leadership in the areas your business expertise is in or can be great for showing recipe content with before and after photos.
While you have more space to explore new social media platforms, I highly recommend giving TikTok, Spotify and Pinterest a go. Each of these platforms have really unique strengths compared to the usual mainstream channels. If you have any questions or would like more consultancy on your brands social media presence, get in touch with our specialist Charlotte on firstname.lastname@example.org.