Is your brand leaving Twitter? We'll break down a few alternatives for marketers to consider as they navigate the evolving state of social media.
Twitter is one of the most valuable tools marketers have in their pocket with its unmatched ability to reach a worldwide audience. However, since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the site last year, Twitter has been in turmoil. A rise in hate speech, political conflict, and the site's unwillingness to moderate it has advertisers fleeing en masse. A report from April has Twitter’s ad revenue down 59% and there are no signs of things improving. It might spook advertisers that one of the largest social media platforms is going downhill, and we at Diagram are there with them. Twitter is essential in our marketing efforts, so to prepare for the worst we have identified some potential alternatives to Twitter that we believe are useful for marketers to spread their message and brand.
Reddit is a popular social media platform and online community where users can engage in discussions, share content, and discover new topics of interest. The key feature of the site is subreddits or individual communities within Reddit dedicated to specific topics or ideas. Users can subscribe to subreddits that align with their interest and interact with other users who share these interests. Reddit offers distinct advantages for advertisers compared to Twitter, making it an appealing platform for effective advertising campaigns. One key advantage is Reddit's highly active and engaged user base. With millions of passionate communities, known as subreddits, covering virtually every topic imaginable, advertisers can reach specific niche audiences that align with their target market. This level of granularity in targeting allows for highly tailored advertising, resulting in more relevant and impactful campaigns.
Unlike Twitter, Reddit allows for long-form discussions and in-depth conversations. This means that advertisers have the opportunity to engage with users in a more meaningful and detailed way. By participating in subreddit discussions, providing valuable insights, and addressing user questions or concerns, advertisers can establish themselves as credible and trusted voices within their respective industries. This fosters a positive brand perception and increases the likelihood of users engaging with and advocating for their products or services. Reddit's voting system, consisting of upvotes and downvotes, plays a crucial role in filtering content and ensuring quality discussions. This system helps advertisers gauge the sentiment and reception of their advertisements in real-time. By closely monitoring user feedback, advertisers can gain valuable insights into the preferences, opinions, and concerns of their target audience, allowing them to refine their strategies and adapt their messaging accordingly.
Another advantage of Reddit for advertisers is its native advertising options. Reddit offers sponsored posts, where advertisers can seamlessly integrate their content within the sites users' feeds, making it appear like organic posts. This non-intrusive approach increases the chances of users engaging with the advertisement as they would with regular content. Additionally, Reddit's self-serve ad platform provides advertisers with detailed targeting options, such as subreddit targeting and interest-based targeting, enabling precise audience reach and maximizing campaign effectiveness.
Mastodon is a social network platform based on a decentralized network of servers organized around various topics, interests, and communities. Operating on a federated model, it consists of interconnected servers called instances, allowing users to choose their instance based on values and connect with others across instances. This decentralization is the main difference between Mastodon and other social sites. There is no one owner of the platform and it operates more like a forum than a traditional social media site. While this has immense user-experience benefits for those on Mastodon, it presents a challenge for marketers as there is no single marketing team to work with. Moreover, Mastodon has a commitment to “No Ads” on their site, ever. So, businesses will need to find an alternative to connecting with their audience on Mastodon.
As noted, paid advertising is not an option on Mastodon. Even so, there is still massive opportunity on the site that makes it a worthy alternative to Twitter. One of Twitter’s most valuable features is how directly brands can connect and engage with their audience. This connection leads to a better customer experience, something brands do not want to lose. Mastodon offers several advantages for advertisers compared to Twitter, making it an appealing platform for advertising campaigns. One notable advantage is Mastodon's decentralized nature. Unlike Twitter, which is controlled by a single company, Mastodon is made up of multiple independently operated instances, each with its own community and rules. This decentralization allows advertisers to engage with niche communities that align closely with their target audience. By selecting specific instances or communities, advertisers can reach a more focused and relevant user base, increasing the likelihood of their advertisements resonating with users. Privacy and data control are significant concerns for users in today's digital landscape. Mastodon addresses these concerns by providing users with more control over their data. With Mastodon's open-source and federated structure, user data remains within individual instances, giving users greater control and reducing the risk of data breaches or privacy violations. This focus on privacy and data ownership enhances user trust, which can positively impact the reception and engagement with advertisements.
Another advantage of Mastodon for advertisers is the absence of algorithmic timelines. Unlike Twitter, where algorithms prioritize and filter content, Mastodon's chronological timelines ensure that users see posts in the order they were posted. This means that advertisers' content has a higher chance of being seen by users who follow their accounts or are active in the relevant communities. Advertisers can rely on their content reaching their intended audience without the uncertainty of algorithmic interference. Mastodon's community-oriented approach fosters meaningful connections and engagement. The platform encourages conversations and interactions among users, creating a sense of community and camaraderie. For advertisers, this presents an opportunity to authentically engage with users, participate in discussions, and build relationships based on shared interests. By actively engaging with the community, advertisers can gain trust and credibility, leading to higher brand loyalty and advocacy. Furthermore, Mastodon's lack of advertising saturation sets it apart from platforms like Twitter. Advertisements on Mastodon are relatively less common, providing advertisers with an opportunity to stand out and capture users' attention. Users on Mastodon may be more receptive to advertisements due to the reduced advertising noise, resulting in higher engagement rates and better return on investment for advertisers.
BlueSky is a social media platform that shares many similarities to Twitter. Being the brainchild of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, BlueSky aims to create a decentralized version of Twitter where user and community moderation play a bigger role. With these big ideas of what the internet could be, organizations are buzzing to try out this new platform. A major drawback is that BlueSky is still in beta and requires an invite to make an account, so there may be a wait before the full potential of the platform is realized. Even so, advertisers should still begin to strategize on how to best reach their audience on this platform, so they do not miss out when the platform becomes public.
Bluesky uses an open-source framework, named AT Protocol, meaning people outside the company can have transparency into the site and the servers they join. This gives users much more control over their data. This level of consumer privacy gives Bluesky a level of trust that Twitter doesn’t have and contributes to an overall healthier environment on the site. This is the main difference between BlueSky and Twitter, which is interesting because the user interfaces (UIs) of the two sites are very similar. Like Twitter, Bluesky delivers short-form content (300 characters), images, and short videos. Posts are fed into a public timeline where users can discover content. A similar UI makes Bluesky the most obvious replacement for Twitter. Organizations could easily move their marketing efforts over to Bluesky from Twitter without much disruption. Overall, Bluesky is a similar and less toxic alternative to Twitter, and even with the waitlist, is a tool that every marketer should know about.
Tumblr is a popular social networking and microblogging platform that allows users to create and share multimedia content in the form of text posts, photos, videos, and more. Launched in 2007, Tumblr has gained a reputation as a creative hub and a unique online community. After facing a massive decline in users in 2019, Tumblr regained some interest after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. The UI of the site fosters unique and niche communities to flourish, which is a great opportunity for marketers who want to reach a very specific target audience. Tumblr presents advertisers with a unique and dynamic platform to connect with audiences in a creative and authentic manner. Tumblr's user base consists of a community known for their passion and dedication to specific interests or fandoms. This focused user demographic presents advertisers with the opportunity to target niche audiences and tailor their messages accordingly. By leveraging Tumblr's powerful tagging system and exploring relevant communities, advertisers can connect with individuals who are genuinely interested in their offerings, leading to higher engagement rates and conversion potential. Paid advertising on Tumblr offers advertisers an effective way to reach a highly engaged audience and promote their brand, products, or services. One of the primary advertising options on Tumblr is sponsored posts, where advertisers can create and promote their content in users' feeds seamlessly. These sponsored posts can include images, videos, text, and even interactive elements, enabling advertisers to craft visually appealing and engaging advertisements. Tumblr's ad platform allows advertisers to target their campaigns based on various criteria, such as demographics, interests, and location, ensuring their ads are delivered to the most relevant audience. This precise targeting capability increases the likelihood of reaching potential customers who are more likely to be interested in the advertised offerings, leading to improved conversion rates.
Substack is already a popular newsletter platform where users send long-form content to their subscribers. This year Substack released a new version of their platform dubbed Substack Notes. This Twitter-esque site allows users to post short-form posts onto the public-facing platform. This differs from the traditional Substack platform where users subscribe to specific accounts to receive blog posts and long-form content. This new design allows users to reach new audiences and grow their brand much more effectively.
Discord offers a highly engaged and niche-focused audience that can be leveraged effectively for targeted advertising campaigns. Unlike Twitter's noisy and crowded timeline, Discord's server-based structure allows advertisers to create dedicated communities around specific interests, products, or brands, fostering deeper connections and interactions with their target audience. The platform's real-time communication features, including voice and video chat, enable advertisers to establish direct and authentic connections with potential customers, enhancing brand loyalty and trust.
These are a few of the more popular alternatives to Twitter that may prove to be useful to marketers looking to elevate their brand message. As Twitter continues to grapple with its challenges, marketers should consider diversifying their advertising efforts across these alternative platforms to ensure they can effectively reach their target audiences and maintain a positive brand perception in the ever-evolving social media landscape.
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