Social Media. Something that changes over 24 hours, new features and new challengers and yet, it’s not had a new leader since Facebook became king. There have been a few incomers that look like they could take the crown but still, the king reigns supreme.
There’s a chance that the new challenger, TikTok, could do it but with the influence of a foreign government, I don’t see them gaining a huge amount of new users. There are just two viable options for growth in services and active users, to join Facebook at the very top of the table. LinkedIn and Twitter.
I’m excluding TikTok from the viable options purely because they’ve got a perfect niche and expanding that is going to be a bit difficult, it’s the reason why Vine got ditched and then merged into Twitter – Tweetdeck is likely to go the same way.
To become a leader in social media, and challenge Facebook, you need the ability to adapt and grow your service portfolio. Facebook has video, marketplace, games, groups, and more. It is becoming Google of the social media world. Twitter and LinkedIn could do the same, TikTok not so much.
It’s no secret that Twitter has struggled in recent years to increase the active users, one of the key metrics for measurement of success for social media and a key pull for advertisers and investors in the product.
Twitter’s issue is that it’s confusing to new users, no one really gets it. Unless you’ve been using it for a while. The onboarding process isn’t that great and you are just left in the wild, and how they overcome this issue seems to be a struggle. I’m not even sure how to increase active users joining and staying.
LinkedIn is the less confusing of the two, however, it’s very niche so the active users will be less and it will be incredibly difficult to grow that. The business section for LinkedIn is amazing and it is absolutely key for sales and marketing folk, outside of that though? Pulse isn’t going to pull people in and their features are limited – they’ve only just got @mentions in the company feeds.
There are definitely a few things that Facebook has that its two nearest rivals do not. Something that I’ve always wanted for LinkedIn and Twitter is native scheduling, you could do it through Tweetdeck for Twitter but you’ve always needed to do it through a third-party app for LinkedIn. Twitter is now rolling out scheduling as standard on their website, one of the accounts I manage already has it. It already exists on Facebook, so it is important that other networks implement it.
LinkedIn is definitely the interesting one, now it’s owned by Microsoft it opens up a world of opportunity for them. Integrating with Skype and trying to make it a Google Hangouts/Meet competitor, or creating a better “Facebook for Work” competitor which is clearly aimed directly at the LinkedIn market. With the above scheduling and some better networking tools then LinkedIn could become a powerful business and collaboration tool.
The success of the other giants of the internet industry, Apple, Google, and Facebook is the diversification of their services. I spoke earlier about new features within the platform is a good thing, but new things from the business is even better.
Finding new things that will help bolster your platforms is just good business, you don’t need someone in Marketing to tell you this. It has been done for years before the internet, you just need to look at Unilever, Coca Cola, and P&G. Now you can say the same about Google, Facebook and Apple.
Toothpaste to pet food is now the same as Maps to payments, emails to social networks. This is another thing that LinkedIn and Twitter need to do to start making a better impact in 2020 and beyond.
These networks have a mountain to climb and the growth of these networks will take time. The key things they need to do over 2020 is: increase their key features to make a fully formed platform that is equal to Facebook, Twitter needs to de-complicate their offering to keep people engaged, and they need to find unique and new offerings that will help them take on the giant, and king, of social.
Although these networks are not the most popular, they are definitely still worthwhile for small businesses. Twitter is especially good for connecting you to other businesses of your size.
If you are interested in how social media can help your business grow, you can get in touch below or check out my digital marketing services which are designed to help small businesses with social media strategy.