Every so often, rumors spread around the internet of the latest big thing. The next big app, the next big website, the next big social network. Most of the time, the hype is exactly that - hype. However, there are certain forces at play in today’s mobile-first world that have forged a gap in between the social media landscape. The result is the introduction of a number of new social networks that intend to exploit these frailties.
So what are they? And how might the lift off of these new additions create opportunities for your business?
The first of the bunch is Yik Yak, the social network that lets you see anonymous updates from people within 10 miles of your current GPS location. This is particularly relevant for sporting events and could break into the restaurant and retail space in a similar fashion to Yelp or FourSquare.
People only care about what’s relevant to them and the people in their immediate vicinity are just that. You can use the app to discuss the game or concert you’re at, let people know about road closures and local issues, get information on local events and it won’t be long before searching for reviews of local businesses and restaurants is featuring on there, too.
If you have a physical store, this could be a great opportunity to engage with those around you. Those that are in town right now. The mixture of immediacy and locality make this app one to watch for businesses in the future and could take location-based services to the next level.
As an exclusive, invitation only network that doesn’t include any advertising, Ello is directly competing with Facebook and Twitter and it stands a good chance of luring users. With 45,000 people signing up per hour, Ello is attracting those who are put off or tired of the intrusive, ad-ridden networks of present.
Users are increasingly put-off by privacy breaches and ads. Facebook pushes its luck daily with advertising and new features that often annoy users, who are slowly leaving and looking for alternatives.
Ello presents an opportunity for brands to get back to basics and focus on what’s important. Making a connection and engaging with people. If your brand genuinely cares and has something to offer that’s more than selling your products, this might be the place for you, if you can get an invite.
From its beginnings as a messaging app that was primarily abused and taken out of context by users sending sexual messages to each other, Snapchat has now morphed into a video sharing network rooted in the here and now. Your videos only last 24 hours so it’s much more about immediacy than longevity and is rivalling YouTube in the mobile space.
The younger generation are all over Snapchat like flies around trash cans. They’re leaving Facebook in their droves and Snapchat is where they’re at.
For those brands that rely on telling stories and engaging or entertaining potential customers, you could find joy on Snapchat, especially if you’re targeting the under 25s.
Built to Last?
Out of all of the above networks, if we had to pick one that is likely to go the distance, it would be Snapchat. It’s fairly established, has a large user-base and has adapted to mobile video exceptionally. However, there’s gains to be made from being first to market on Yik Yak and Ello, especially given the relative complacency of the larger networks.
The bigger networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are beginning to show signs of hair line cracks with certain groups of users. If your brand targets those who are relative early adopters or younger, your social media strategy is likely going to need a revision and one of these three networks would be a good place to start with the change.