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Go beyond your usual social media advertising with three important and overlooked platforms.

Diving Deep into Social Media: Platforms You Might Not Think to Advertise on

David Bosley

Social media advertising is a key component of digital marketing. Ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can be extremely effective and also tend to tie up a large portion of the digital marketing budget.

With so many companies focused on the same platforms, however, social media advertising has become more difficult. It’s harder to stand out and more expensive to compete for large audiences. One good way to combat this is by finding a niche or newer platforms that your competition probably hasn’t given any consideration to just yet.

To help you out, here are three important social media platforms worth carving into your 2019 social media advertising budget:

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging service that has grown quite popular. You don’t need an SMS provider to utilize WhatsApp’s services since they rely on the Internet to send and receive messages. It’s especially popular as a way to keep in touch with large groups of people at once. Since you can sync your conversations across multiple devices, it’s also extremely popular among users with multiple devices.

By the end of 2016, WhatsApp had 18.8 million users in the U.S. By 2021, it’s estimated to have 25.6 million users. Globally, WhatsApp is an absolute behemoth. In January 2017, it had 1.2 billion monthly active users.

The exciting part for your business is that WhatsApp ads are on their way. Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, has already rolled out the ability to direct News Feed ads directly to WhatsApp so prospects can chat directly with your business. Next year, ads can be placed directly in WhatsApp. With this in mind, make sure to set aside a small amount of your 2019 digital marketing budget to WhatsApp. You’ll need to test carefully before you have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, but you’ll be a step ahead of your competition.

2. Nextdoor

Platforms like Twitter and Facebook aim to connect people from around the world to each other. Nextdoor is exactly the opposite – it aims to keep you connected with people right in your backyard. Nextdoor allows you to join neighborhoods, where you can share recommendations and thoughts to your fellow neighbors. In order to join a neighborhood, you need to verify your address in order to ensure that you’re actually living in that town.

NextDoor hasn’t given specifics on their number of active users, but they have confirmed “tens of millions” registered users, and believe they’ll have 100 million active users in the U.S. by 2020. As far as actual neighborhoods go, they are already at 90% coverage of all neighborhoods in the U.S.

Nextdoor is clearly a goldmine for local business. Their sponsored posts allow you to communicate directly with these small, niche communities. Brand advocates will be able to hop on and provide their input, too. If you’re looking for an authentic way to reach people in a specific area, Nextdoor is hard to beat.

Nextdoor brings that welcoming neighborhood feeling to social media.

3. Reddit

Reddit doesn’t often jump to the front of our minds when we think about advertising on social media, but it’s actually a massive platform. Reddit actually has about as many monthly active users as Twitter (330 million), placing it only behind Facebook and Instagram in terms of total monthly active users.

Reddit bills itself as the front page of the Internet, and it strives to be just that. You can join a subreddit for anything in the world you can think of, whether it’s a specific television show, type of literature, or hobby. If people care about it in any time of meaningful way, there’s a community dedicated to it.

Reddit ads are in the form of sponsored posts. It looks exactly like any of the other posts on Reddit, except that the words ‘Promoted Post’ appear. The key to advertising on Reddit is staying authentic and not too salesy. This isn’t a place to push for conversions. You want to try to draw web traffic or push people to sign-up for a newsletter. Give them something valuable, try to start a discussion, and let the communities do the rest.