If I ask you what platform first comes to mind when you think of social media advertising, I’m pretty confident your answer is either Facebook or Instagram (no matter if you answer from a consumer’s perspective or a marketer’s perspective).
These platforms have become the defaults on which to spend social dollars, and for valid reasons.
Facebook boasts 2.375 billion (with a B) monthly active users, of which 1.49 billion are DAILY active users. That’s roughly 20% of the world population. Instagram isn’t far behind, with 1 billion (again, with a B) monthly active users and 600 million daily users. With consumer pools that vast, no wonder brands want to swim in the Facebook/Instagram waters.
However, let me play devil’s advocate here.
While Facebook and Instagram absolutely are great platforms on which to reach consumers, are you defaulting to those sites because you think you have to be on them? Have you settled into a comfort zone with Facebook products?
Now I’m not suggesting you abandon either platform, especially if you’re seeing strong results from your efforts. I’m simply asking if you’ve considered expanding your reach to other social platforms.
Here are four social media platforms to consider adding into your social media advertising mix. All are still largely underutilized, but wildly popular with their user bases.
At its core, Pinterest is a search platform.
Pinterest users are typically in the earlier stages of their customer journey, so they flock to the site to discover new products, services and ideas. 73% of users say content from brands makes the platform more useful. Please pause for effect here…
There aren’t many other places online where consumers say they welcome brand messages, so that reason alone should seal the deal for advertisers.
If that’s not enough, consider that the majority of searches are unbranded, meaning most pinners don’t come in with preconceived brand notions. This creates a more even playing field for brands of all sizes and recognition levels. Also, Pinterest offers immense potential when it comes to influencer marketing, which is still widely underutilized on the platform.
It’s easy to see that Pinterest ads are beneficial for fashion, home decor and CPG brands, but I think so many other brand categories could see great success, too. Companies that provide services like concrete work and outdoor living construction could capitalize on searches for “outdoor living spaces,” while painting companies or contractors could generate leads around searches for “best paint colors for living room” or “bathroom tile ideas.”
Pinterest offers several different ad formats, including standard image pins, video pins that auto-play, and carousel pins with multiple images. Shop the Look pins are also available so users can shop right from the platform.
Twitch is a video streaming platform on which users can live record themselves and interact with others who are watching the stream.
The platform is used by the majority for streaming video game play, although there are streamers that record other activities like workouts, beauty/make-up routines, or even their work day (these are classified as IRL streamers).
Twitch’s audience skews younger (55% of users are 18-34) and male (81.5%), and users are typically more educated, family-oriented and socially conscious. They’re also more open to advertising; in fact, 82% of users say sponsorships are good for the gaming industry. Reaching Millennial and Gen Z males can be tough, so Twitch is a great platform to consider if they’re part of your target audience.
The platform offers a pretty nice suite of ad products, including native, display and video options. There are also opportunities to partner with/sponsor influencers and create your own content on your own channel.
Reddit is a forum-style website on which users share content and have discussions about more than 1.2 million topics.
Each topic has its own subreddit, or individual community, and users can subscribe to subreddits that peak their interest. It’s the sixth most popular website in the U.S. and reports 234 million unique monthly users.
This is another platform that skews younger and male, an elusive group when it comes to advertising. There’s a lot of opportunity to get in front of the perfect niche audiences for your brand because the targeting has already been carved out for you.
However, Reddit users are very opinionated, highly conscious, and well-known for their dislike of advertisers, so don’t take subreddit audiences for granted.
Direct-response ads and salesy jargon will not fly on this platform. Brands should do their homework and spend time listening and learning about subreddits on which they want to advertise before advertising anything.
Reddit’s minimum ad spend is $5 and you’re charged by CPM, so this platform might cost you a fraction of what you spend on others- and your audience is likely more interested to boot. Ads look like regular Reddit posts (and should be written similarly), and can be created in the self-serve platform. All in all, I think the opportunities outweigh the risks when taking due diligence.
My colleague just wrote an excellent blog post about TikTok and why brands should take notice of the platform, so please go check that out for more background.
To supplement her post a bit, Tik Tok’s user base skews extremely Gen Z, with 52% falling between the ages of 16 to 24. If that’s your target audience, your brand should start learning about Tik Tok .
Up to this point, larger brands have promoted themselves with hashtag challenges and influencer partnerships, but advertising has been pretty out of reach for the little guys. However, we do know that several ad products are in the testing phase, including brand takeovers and native videos. When those are released from beta, brands who enter the advertising arena early will surely reap the benefits.