With recent disruptions at Twitter, including concerns around hate speech, upheavals in their management, and wavering trust from advertisers, many have been left pondering the future and efficacy of social media for branding. While it's tempting to generalize and deem the era of social media marketing as waning, there are gems in the digital landscape that offer unparalleled opportunities.
Understanding the Changing Tides of Social Media
Selecting the right platforms to amplify your brand is crucial. Remember, on these platforms, the relationship with your audience isn't truly yours. They can modify the rules, adjust algorithms, or introduce new features, impacting your audience engagement. Therefore, your overarching strategy should be to drive this audience back to assets you own, such as your website.
Relevant studies to note
Business Insider Intelligence: Highlights TikTok as the favorite among Gen Z.
Nielsen: Indicates 80% of sports enthusiasts use social media platforms to stay connected with their favorite teams.
Social Media Examiner and HubSpot: Respectively found that 85% of marketers leverage YouTube, while 70% are tapping into the potential of Reddit for marketing.
Diving Deeper into the Giants
Founded in 2005 with a core focus on video sharing.
Evolved with features such as likes, comments, and follows.
Offers advertising via Google and sponsored video collaborations.
Consistency in video uploads, catering to various formats from extensive interviews to short tutorials.
Collaborate with freelancers and agencies if lacking in-house video production.
Fit for Business Types: Media & Publishing houses, Entertainment, Retail & eCommerce with video showcases.
Founded in 2016, a sensation for younger audiences.
Limited to 10-minute video durations; shorter videos gain traction.
Provides CPM and CPC advertising options.
Embrace humor, creative editing, and effective hashtag usage.
Capitalize on community challenges and influencer partnerships.
Fit for Business Types: Consumer brands, publishers, and Entertainment sectors seeking genuine audience engagement.
A veteran since 2005, famous as a "community of communities."
Hosts subreddits dedicated to specific interests.
Offers varied advertising options from sponsored links to Q&As.
Respect platform conventions and community standards.
Engage in advertising subtly, respecting the ethos of the platform.
Fit for Business Types: Companies focusing on niche audiences, wanting to build or integrate into existing communities.
Established in 2011, predominantly catering to the gaming community.
Offers an immersive viewer experience with live streams.
Provides conventional advertising and sponsorships.
Understand the unique content genres like cooking, fitness, and music burgeoning on the platform.
Collaborate with streamers resonating with your brand ethos.
Fit for Business Types: Brands targeting Gen Z, those in Entertainment, Fitness, and any brand wishing to tap into niche segments with high user engagement.
Discovering Niche Platforms
Many social media networks specialize in a specialized niche. While smaller sites may not have TikTok or YouTube audiences, they have other benefits. Focused audiences are easier to discover. Building ties with influencers may be easier.
LinkedIn, the leading business social media platform, now features articles, videos, and groups.
Sports Thread is a student-athlete social network. Brands have new potential since the NCAA allowed student-athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
Ravelry is a knitting, crocheting, spinning, and related social network. It's estimated that 45 million Americans crochet and knit. Reaching women, who make up majority of this population, using this medium may be new.
Social network Goodreads connects authors and readers. This Amazon-owned platform is essential for publishers seeking enthusiastic readers.
Success stories: How well-known companies have used social media for marketing
1. The Home Depot
The Home Depot is a home improvement retailer that uses YouTube to create product videos, tutorials, and live streams. The company has over 10 million subscribers on YouTube and its videos have been viewed over 1 billion times.
The Home Depot's YouTube channel has helped the company to:
Increase brand awareness: The company's videos have helped to introduce its products and services to a wider audience.
Generate leads and sales: The company's videos have helped to generate leads and sales by providing information about its products and services.
Build relationships with customers: The company's videos have helped to build relationships with customers by providing them with helpful information and advice.
2. The NBA
The NBA is a professional basketball league that uses TikTok to create short, engaging videos that can be shared with its fans. The league has over 100 million followers on TikTok and its videos have been viewed over 10 billion times.
The NBA's TikTok channel has helped the league to:
Engage with fans: The league's videos have helped to engage with fans by providing them with short, entertaining content.
Promote its games: The league's videos have helped to promote its games by showcasing highlights and behind-the-scenes content.
Build excitement for the league: The league's videos have helped to build excitement for the league by creating a sense of community among its fans.
3. The International Cricket Council (ICC)
The ICC is the governing body of cricket that uses Reddit to connect with fans and answer their questions. The organization has over 100,000 subscribers on Reddit and its posts have been upvoted over 1 million times.
The ICC's Reddit channel has helped the organization to:
Connect with fans: The organization's posts have helped to connect with fans by providing them with a platform to ask questions and interact with the organization.
Answer questions: The organization's posts have helped to answer questions from fans about cricket.
Build a community: The organization's posts have helped to build a community among cricket fans.
These are just a few examples of how well-known companies have successfully integrated social media into their marketing strategies. If you are looking for a way to reach your target audience, build relationships with customers, and generate leads and sales, then integrating social media into your marketing strategy is a great option.
Crafting A Resilient Digital Strategy
It's evident that while platforms like Reddit, YouTube, and TikTok offer unmatched potential, putting all your eggs in their baskets can be precarious. Brands need to prioritize driving traffic back to owned assets. Enhancing your website with community-centric features like live chats or live blogs can be a game-changer. Dive deeper into how integrating solutions like Arena's Live Blog can redefine your customer engagement.
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