Promising alternative social medias to grow your brand cheaply featured image showing several social media apps.

Established social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn can be a great vehicle for building your brand. But it can be tough for brands to stand out and amass a following, especially if you are small.

Most of the established platforms have shifted to a pay-to-play model where organic reach is almost non-existent. The average engagement rate for a post made by a Facebook page is just 0.11% and 0.56% for posts made by Instagram business accounts according to data compiled by Hootsuite, Kepios and We Are Social. That means that if you have an Instagram account with a 1,000 followers, you can expect 5-6 people to engage with your posts on average.

That is not to say that these can’t be viable platforms for brands anymore. They are, and there are many success stories of brands doing fantastically well with organic social media. But it takes commitment and significant resources that aren’t easily available to smaller brands.

In this article, I will list up several promising social media platforms that could serve as alternative and cheaper source of organic engagement for your brand.

#1 Reddit

Reddit is one of the widely known alternative social media platforms with over 500 million monthly active users. Nevertheless, it is often left out when discussing the most relevant platforms for marketing. That’s despite that fact that people are increasingly using it as a search engine, appending “reddit” to their Google searches to get what they deem more trustworthy results.

On Reddit, users join subreddits based on their own interests which in turn customize the experience to each individual. The primary language of the platform is English and its user base is slightly older than those of other platforms as it doesn’t appear to be popular with teenagers.

If you are knowledgeable about your area of business and can help people find solutions to their problems, then odds are Reddit could be a suitable platform for you. Just be careful to be genuine and focus on providing value first foremost — Redditors do not appreciate aggressive sales tactics.

#2 Mix

Mix is a new app provided by StumbleUpon that allows users to curate articles, images and videos from across the web. Users submit content spanning a variety of categories such as photography, design, and business — and in doing so build their own curator profiles.

The app is very recent with just over 30,000 curators according to its website. This could be a perfect opportunity for you to get your brand in front of your target audience by curating relevant content.

Screenshot from Mix
Screenshot from Mix

#3 KuaiShou

Kuaishou is a TikTok alternative that’s been around since 2011. It originates from China, and like TikTok, enables people to share short videos and live streams and discover content with the help of artificial intelligence and big data. As of January 2022, it has about 573 million monthly active users.

#4 Mastodon

Mastodon is an alternative to Twitter that saw its numbers skyrocket shortly after Elon Musk took over Twitter. Mastodon is open-source micro blogging platform that allows users to join communities called “Instances”, follow, and message people. Currently, Mastodon has over 2.3 million monthly active users.

#5 Overtune

Overtune is a novel social media platform that allows people to create musical content by arranging beats, recording vocals with different voice effects and make videos to share with friends. Overtune enables people to post their videos either on the internal feed or to export to external social media sites.

It currently allows people to follow users but does not support messaging or commenting on posts. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting one to keep an eye on for the future. Especially if you operate within the music and creative space.

Screenshot from Overtune

#6 Triller

Triller is another video-based social media challenging TikTok. It allows users to stream and discover new music, join challenges, film or import videos, and an auto-editing feature. The social media has been downloaded more than 250 million times.

#7 Untappd

If you work around beer or brewing, then this one is for you. Untappd is a platform where users can rate beers, explore nearby bars and breweries, and earn badges with an elaborate gamification system. Untappd also provide breweries with tools they can use to manage their brands and engage with consumers on the platform as well as to analyze consumer trends.

A screenshot of Untappd's website about options for breweries

#8 Likee

Likee is yet another TikTok alternative operating out of Singapore. Its mission is to “connect a generation of diverse interests through short-form videos.” The platform was launched in 2017 and has over 115 million monthly active users.

#9 Fark

Fark is a news aggregator that shares many similarities with both Reddit and Mix. Users submit links to articles they find interesting and add to it their own headline. Other users can then comment and discuss the article. According to its website, Fark receives about 2,000 articles each day which get curated by an editorial team.

#10 Discord

Discord made its name as a social media and streaming platform for gamers but has since broken into the mainstream. You can use Discord to nurture your very own brand community in whatever shape or form you like in order to better retain your customers. For example you could use it for customer feedback, connecting customers to one another, online events, host giveaways, and so much more.

#11 Meetup

Meetup is a social platform where people go to make friends and network based on their personal interests. It’s popular with people who have recently moved to a new area due to its ease of use and effectiveness in establishing new relationships.

As a business on Meetup, you can host events relevant to your domain. The opportunities here are pretty much endless.

A screenshot from Meetup
  • A bar can offer to host language exchange, board game nights, etc.
  • Tour guides can host hiking or city trips.
  • A SaaS brand could establish a weekly meetup around its field or organize talks by authority figures in the sector.
  • A clothing brand can establish a group relating to its niche. E.g., running, hiking, playing sports and so on.

Next steps

If you are looking to get active on social media, take the time to consider what channels are most relevant for you. Don’t just automatically go for the big ones. They are the largest and most developed, sure; but they are also the most saturated making it much harder to stand out. Stick with one or two and invest your resources there. It’s better to be consistent in few places than sporadic across many.

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