5 Rising Social Media Platforms to Watch

Your business can benefit from more than just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. If you’re a smart marketer, you’ve been using the these top social media giants to share your content, promote your products and services and grow your business. But rival platforms are being created all the time, and while many of them don’t reach the same heights of success, a handful could give mega-popular platforms a run for their money. Moreover, if you’re an early adopter of up-and-coming alternatives, your company could reap the biggest benefits. 

If you want to be ahead of the curve, keep your eye on the following five social media platforms to watch.

1. TikTok

Previously known as Musical.ly, TikTok has become a huge hit with younger audiences. In fact, according to research firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the fourth-most downloaded app for all of 2018. TikTok is all about short-form videos that play on a loop, similar to the now-defunct Vine. Users can easily create and share video content, but what sets TikTok apart from other video-creation platforms is the simplicity of adding musical overlays, fun effects, AR filters and more. 

Why You Should Consider Using It: TikTok has gotten a bit of a bad rep as being a silly lip-syncing platform for kids, but if your target audience is between the ages of 16-24, it’s a great place to promote your business and especially effective for fashion and e-commerce who want to work with influencers.

Related: How to Master Social Media Marketing in 2019

2. Lasso

Lasso, which was quietly released in late 2018, is basically Facebook’s version of TikTok; users can create and share short videos with fun filters and effects. They can also log in with their Facebook or Instagram accounts and cross-post their videos to their Facebook Stories. A feature that allows for adding Lasso videos to Instagram Stories is said to come in the future.

Why You Should Consider Using It: While Lasso isn’t as popular as TikTok now, it could rival its top competitor soon, so if your target audience is using TikTok, Lasso is a platform you’ll want to keep an eye on. 

3. Vero

Vero is an Instagram alternative that boasts about having no ads, no data mining and no algorithms. Users on Vero can share content such as photos, music, TV shows, movies, books, links and more. Plus, users can decide who can see each post by choosing between four categories: close friends, friends, acquaintances or followers. 

Although there’s no ads on Vero, brands can still work with influencers on the platform and pay to add a “Buy Now” button to their posts. 

Why You Should Consider Using It: Without ads and algorithms, Vero is touted as the more “authentic” social media platform. It’s perfect for companies that want to build a stronger, more meaningful relationship with their audience. Plus, because users can share such a wide range of content, it’s great for learning more about your target audience. 

4. Steemit

Steemit is a blockchain-based blogging and social media site that rewards users with the cryptocurrency STEEM for creating and curating content. So, when a user creates content that gets upvoted, they’re paid, and when users upvote the content of others, they get paid too. Then, users can take their digital STEEM tokens and exchange them for real money. 

You may think this Reddit alternative is all about cryptocurrency and technology topics, but it’s not. Users can create content on a wide range of subjects, such as travel, photography, music and sports.

Why You Should Consider Using It: While Steemit has a relatively small user-base so far, smart marketers can use the platform as an additional channel to share their content and grow their audience, all while getting paid for it at the same time.

Related: 8 Business Titants Reveal the Best Social Media Tactics 

5. Caffeine 

Caffeine is a social broadcasting platform similar to Twitch that was created by a team of ex-Apple designers and mainly focuses on gaming, entertainment and the creative arts. You can create live broadcasts for friends and followers, and viewers are able to interact with you in real-time with comments and emoji reactions. 

Why You Should Consider Using It: According to Livestream, 80 percent of consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, so live broadcasting on a platform like Caffeine could really generate a lot of attention and interaction. And it’s not just for gamers. Your business could host live Q&As, a behind-the-scenes tour of your company, product demonstrations and more. 

Over to you….

Take a closer look at these up-and-coming social media platforms to find out which is the best option for your business. Jumping on them early can provide big benefits for your business, and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. As they say, fortune favors the bold.