Should your business be on these new social platforms?

| 14 July 2015

By Sam Wright

Digital ‘experts’ will gush about the need for your business to be on social media. While they’re right in claiming the need for you to start a conversation with your clients, it doesn’t have to be restricted to Facebook and Twitter.

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It might be time to start thinking outside the typical digital box and explore emerging social media platforms. Here are some new social media platforms your business should consider using:

Periscope

Popularity of live streaming smartphone apps is on the rise. Periscope’s live streaming functionality can also be utilised as a smart marketing tool for your business. It can compliment campaigns running on other platforms or be used to broadcast product launches to the world. Periscope is easy to use and allows you to GeoTag your streams. The app also lets you save streams so users can watch and share when you’re no longer live.

Periscope is a great platform for setting up question and answer sessions with business executives (the app allows users to text in questions) and giving a behind the scenes look at presentations, productions or the day-to-day operations of a business. It’s a great way for clients to feel that personal touch and give your brand the edge.

Many big corporates have already started using the app in their marketing plans. Adidas made their first appearance on the live streaming service by sharing the signing of a sponsored athlete with the world. Adobe utilised the app to live stream new product features building up to their 2015 Creative Cloud launch.

Snapchat

The addition of the My Story feature has changed the way SnapChat is being used. Snapchatters from around the world have gained notoriety and influence by sharing interesting stories and creative artworks.

Snaps last 24 hours and smart brands like Heineken have used this to their advantage. The beer brand chose to send cropped snaps to followers during a major music festival this year. The snaps hinted at featured artists for surprise shows during the festival. Followers could snap back who they thought the artist was and, if correct, received early confirmation of an act scheduled for the Heineken Stage.

Snapchat is about making exclusive content available for only a short time. The platform isn’t solely for the use of consumer brands. General Electric utilised SnapChat as a means to share fun facts, brain teasers and puzzles with followers. The brand uses the platform to encourage a younger audience to get involved in science and technology while sharing its inventions with them.

Influencer Marketing

For certain brands and strategies, it’s unnecessary to set up branded channels on these platforms. It’s possible to have a presence simply by using the right influencers to create informative brand messages through engaging content that can reach new audiences. Universal Pictures, for example, paid SnapChat influencers to promote The Minions movie by encouraging their followers to snap their funniest Minion impressions.

Some South Africans have already begun to create influential profiles on these new channels and businesses should be quick to follow. In a digital world overrun by content, being different will spread your brand message further and get your products sold faster.

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