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Upcoming Social Media Platforms to Watch In 2022


Hand holding blank mobile phone with love, like, comment, hashtag button on yellow background. Social media marketing concept.

As society continues to evolve and change, so does social media. With new needs and interests popping up regularly, we also see fresh social media platforms appearing in a bid to serve audiences.


If you’re a marketer or business owner looking for new ways to promote your brand, you can’t ignore that. Social media is part of the marketing landscape now, and we’ve argued as much in previous pieces.


Now, a sound social media strategy will naturally involve campaigns on the major platforms. Think ads on Facebook and YouTube, Stories on Instagram, and more.


But to truly make the most of social media’s potential, you should keep an eye too on newer (or less mainstream) social media platforms. Your target audience also likely uses more social apps than you realise.


Today, we’ll talk about some of the platforms that we think most likely to hold promise for brands this year. You’ll also get an idea of how you can leverage each one for your business.



Why pay attention to upcoming platforms?

Graphic of social media platforms floating in space - TikTok, Discord, Reddit, twitch, Instagram Reels and Telegram.

First, let’s answer this question: why bother with the newer or less popular platforms when the big ones already serve your purposes well?


A lot of reasons, actually. The most obvious is that you could be missing out on marketing opportunities without tapping these other channels.


Moreover, new platforms don’t always stay in the shadows for too long. Look at TikTok, which launched as recently as 2016.


It’s already transformed the social media landscape since then and has been nipping hard at the big platforms’ heels. In fact, it’s pushed several to try and offer short video formats in an effort to compete.


Of course, not all social media apps will blow up like TikTok. Still, paying attention to new arrivals like TikTok can reveal how social trends and user expectations are evolving.


In turn, that gives you added insight on how to run your social media campaigns.


The increasing emphasis on live streaming seems to be part of the future of social media platforms, for example. You can see that in how many new platforms are coming out with a focus on it.


That tells you it may be wise to brainstorm live stream marketing ideas for your business, not just to appeal to your ever-evolving audience but also to try and increase it by appealing to even more people.



Apps to Watch in 2022


Now let’s take a look at some of the most promising social media platforms/apps for marketers this year. Let’s start with none other than…



1. TikTok

Man streaming online makeup video tutorial with mobile phone indoors at home.

In human years, TikTok is still young. As of now, it’s only 6 years old.


Yet its userbase has already grown to more than one billion monthly active users


The odd thing is that brands have been slow to embrace the platform. In 2021, only 9% of marketers were using TikTok to promote their business.


As for us, we strongly recommend using TikTok. Among other things, you can use it as a staging platform for short video content even more effectively than Instagram Reels (check out our comparison of the two for more).


Note too that while it was closely associated with younger generations like Gen Z, TikTok has been gaining popularity in other brackets. 36% of its users were between 35 and 54 years old in 2021, which shows significant uplift from 2020’s 26%.



2. Discord

Man looking at discord chat app open on his laptop.

Discord goes all the way back to 2015 and got its start in the gaming community. Today, it’s grown into a major player among the chat-focused social media platforms: there were around 140 million users as of 2021!


Since Discord offers no ads, this is the sort of place where any marketing you do has to be highly organic. Set up a server – essentially a chat room or group chat – and use the space to connect with your audience.


Offer perks to members of the server, for example. Start meaningful conversations. Gather feedback.


You can even offer customer support on Discord, as it’s built around dialogue.


On Discord, brands can emphasise genuine connections and conversation. It’s a great place to build deep relationships and gain valuable customer insight while attempting to build customer loyalty.



3. Twitch

Twitch game live streaming logo on a smartphone.

Founded in 2011, Twitch is another site that has its roots in gaming. It sees about 140 million unique visitors a month and 30 million daily active users.


In case you’re not sure what it is, Twitch is a vIdeo streaming platform. People on it do live streams on everything from cooking to gaming.


In a company’s case, it’s possible to do live streams showing product or service demos and behind-the-scenes material.


Companies can create their own branded channels on Twitch for that purpose. They can also partner with influencers or buy ads on the platform that don’t interrupt stream viewing.


Just take note that Twitch tends to skew young, with almost 75% of users being 16 to 34 years old. That means you should definitely look into this platform if that represents a significant part of your audience.



4. Instagram Reels

Close of phone with Instagram Reels on screen.

Instagram Reels is basically Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Reels are short-form videos that live on a dedicated tab of the app and have a lot in common with TikTok videos.


This means they can be used in much the same ways as TikTok videos. They’re good for engaging with one’s followers, announcing new product releases, showing demos, or offering how-to guides.


They may also be a good way to keep using Instagram while testing out shorter, less polished content with more organic appeal. It’s a good way to try and show off your brand’s personality


Incidentally, if you’re wondering how they differ from Instagram Stories, it’s that they last. Stories vanish from the platform after a set period, whereas Reels don’t.



5. Reddit

Reddit application icon on Apple iPhone X smartphone screen close-up.

The so-called “front page of the Internet”, Reddit is pretty old, dating all the way back to 2005. With nearly 48 million daily active users by 2021, it’s still lively, though.


You can think of it as a site with countless forums or communities organised by topic. These communities are called subreddits and are great places for finding and reaching out to people with the same interests.


Because of the way these subreddits work, though, you have to be very careful when promoting here. Only mods (moderators) for subreddits can remove comments, so you can’t police threads yourself and could very well be booted off a subreddit for violating its rules.


To promote on Reddit, you can use promoted posts or ads and homepage takeovers. You can also set up AMAs (As Me Anything), which are threads inviting other Reddit users to engage with you or your business.


It’s risky but can also pay off, as the high transparency means you get more organic feedback and are perceived as engaging audiences in more authentic dialogue.



6. Telegram

Woman hand holding iPhone X with social networking service Telegram on the screen.

A more privacy-focused alternative to Facebook with group chats and public channels, Telegram is another platform worth minding.


It started testing ads in 2021, though with limited targeting due to its privacy focus. If you do plan to put up ads on it, they only work on public channels and you as the advertisers will not get access to personal data for its users.


So how do advertisers target here? Well, using topics, channels, and languages instead.


And of course, brands can also start public channels to invite interaction from other users. Telegram’s privacy-conscious design can actually help you reach people leery of using other social media platforms freely, so it certainly has a place in a social media marketing plan.



Find the best social media platforms for your brand

Laptop, mobile phone, tablet and documents on a working table in creative office. Successful teamwork and business startup concept.

As you can see, there are a tonne of social media platforms you just might benefit from trying. The question, of course, is which one may be most likely to give you the best returns.


There are several ways to determine that, from assessing demographics to studying gaps in your social media strategy. If you need help with that, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


We have experience helping brands select social media platforms as well as develop strategies for them. We can chat with you about what your business may need and how to achieve it. So, feel free to reach out at any time!


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