The Platforms of 2021
The way we communicate evolves proportionally to technological innovations. In the beginning, the quickest way for word to spread was by word-of-mouth. Now, technology is as innovative as ever, with the ability to send and receive information in a matter of seconds. To be an effective public relations professional, it is crucial to stay up to date on technological innovations that debut in the modern consumer market of information sharing. In the 2000s, networking platforms such as MySpace and AIM dominated the information-sharing network. Two decades later, networking applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are society’s number one form of communication aside from text messaging and phone calls. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online communication has increased immensely. The ease of being able to engage in a conversation with someone that lives an inconvenient distance has pleased many online consumers. This year there are a few platforms I think are important for companies to implement in order to reach its consumer base.
One application that has become extremely popular with audiences that are looking to network is Clubhouse. Clubhouse, launched in March of 2020, is a revolutionary chat room application that is only accessible on IOS (iPhone). Clubhouse’s popularity can be attributed to its exclusive invite-only platform which requires its users to be requested to join in order to use the app. Once on, users can give access to one other friend that has not already joined. Clubhouse is an audio-only app, that allows people to talk, spread ideas, and learn about various topics with others. It currently has 10 million users, of which include many well-known people who have spoken such as, Mark Zuckerberg, Kevin O'Leary, Tiffany Haddish, and Oprah. Having these notable icons have helped to increase the popularity of this app.
Another popular video sharing social media application that is the latest to breakout is Tik-Tok. The application was released in March of 2020. Tik-Tok is similar to an application called “Vine”which went inactive in 2018. Tik-Tok has picked up and revamped where Vine has left off. The app has revised the short video sharing experience. The app allows its users to create unique 15 to 60 second videos that can be personalized with multiple effects and music in the background. Tik-Tok within a little over a year has grossed about 689 million users worldwide. About 80 million of those users are located in America. About 60 percent of
them are between the ages of 10 and 29 years old. Many companies have already used Tik-Tok to speak/advertise to their consumers. An example of a company like this is Dunkin’ Donuts who has partner Charlie D'amelio who is a famous Tic-Tok’er.
Due to TikTok's algorithm, companies through micro-influencers have used this popular platform to advertise and share their products with the public. Micro-Influencers are everyday people who have a niche that they like to promote to the world. They can be on any platform such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik-Tok. They do not have a super large following, but still have a large enough fan base that users are happy to promote and share their content for them. Normally brands reach out to an influencer with millions of followers. However, they may not always be the best medium for promotion as some studies stay consumers trust micro influencers more. This is because with micro influencers there is more of a relatable and personal connection between the influencer and the consumer. Many companies use micro-influencers on Tik-Tok. Some examples of companies using Tik-Tok influencers to promote their products are Princess Polly and Shein. These two are both clothing companies that consumers gravitate towards. Within 60 seconds, a Tik-Tok user can try on the clothing from the brands and then provide a link for the clothing so you buy that specific item. Also, they normally provide a discount code for viewers when they go to make their next purchase.
When thinking about your next public relations campaign, if you are stuck on deciding or figuring out how to reach out to your consumer base, by implementing the use of these networking platforms or influencer ads you could greatly improve your product/service outreach and engagement.
Dee, Jake. “20 Celebrities, Entertainers And Comedians To Follow On Clubhouse.” ScreenRant, 26 Feb. 2021, screenrant.com/celebrities-entertainers-comedians-follow-on-clubhouse-apple-social-media/.
Glaveski, Steve. “How to Advertise on Clubhouse.” Medium, The Startup, 10 Mar. 2021, medium.com/swlh/how-to-advertise-on-clubhouse-3a869ecadb51.
“TikTok Statistics - Revenue, Users & Engagement Stats (2021).” Influencer Marketing Hub, 11 Mar. 2021, influencermarketinghub.com/tiktok-stats/#:~:text=31.-,32.5%25%20of%20U.S.%20Users%20Aged%2010%2D19,aging%20with%20the%20app%2C%20however.
Written by: Olivia Kearse