The past decade has seen the emergence and ultimate dominance of social media. When social platforms got their start in 2004, no one could have imagined how much we would depend on them both personally and professionally. Overdrive Interactive has updated its annual Social Media Map to include social tools as well as new apps and websites that were introduced in 2019. The map is broken down into 25 sections, each of which is applicable to the different steps of the buyer decision process.
Download the Social Media Map here.
Notable features of this year’s map:
- 471 live links to help you explore the world of social media
- Added tools for AR/VR
- Added links for travel, flights, and hotels
- New category: Gaming
- 73 new sites
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Below, is a brief overview of the different categories included in the map, and some notable new or popular tools, apps, and sites that you should get to know.
Video-Sharing – post original video content
Video is one of the main ways that people share content. Videos on social are the most popular type of content and generate the most interaction. This medium’s popularity has created the emergence of new ways to distribute video content. Most notably is Tik Tok, a platform that hosts 3-15-second-long videos. The app has over 1.5 billion downloads and now has e-commerce capabilities, making it more valuable to marketers.
Payment apps – send and receive money instantly
Payment apps are used for everything from ordering pizza with friends to paying rent and employee salaries. Programs like Venmo and Cash App are peer-to-peer payment options that allow you to instantly transfer money. Lots of brick and mortar stores are set up for Google and Apple Pay enabling customers to purchase goods without cash or a card using just their phone.
Blogging – publish written works online
Blogging is still a popular way for people to publish their content. Influencers often use their blog to publish work related to their other social media profiles. Having a blog is paramount in content strategies and helps to drive consumers to a website. Postach.io is changing the way that people blog through their fully integrated system.
Photo Sharing – post, share and sell photographs
The power of photo sharing lies in the ability to create a community. Being able to connect and engage with other users has a major impact on the visibility of photo content. SmugMug allows photographers to store their images, interact with other creatives, and sell their images.
Management and Tracking – create content calendars, analyze performance, engage with consumers and more!
Management and tracking platforms play important roles throughout the lifetime of a social media campaign. Brandwatch, recently merged with Crimson Hexagon, has new software that combines the top benefits of each platform to generate data from over 100 million sources using the power of AI.
Reference – explore, ask, and learn on public resource sites
Reference websites have a long collaborative history. They let users publicly ask and answer any sort of questions. Some, like Quora, are forum-based, while others like Wikipedia are full profiles with answers to questions on a specific subject.
Reviews – get a second opinion for just about anything and feel more confident in decision making
Reviews have gone beyond looking for tasty new restaurants. You can find reviews of everything from brand experiences and product testimonies to doctors. Sitejabber is a website dedicated to sharing reviews for different businesses and products. Once a consumer makes a purchase, they can leave a review or rating.
Podcasting – broadcast audio content in episode format for the world to hear
Like most social media, podcasting gained popularity in the early 2000s and has grown steadily ever since. Today, 32% of Americans are active monthly podcast listeners. Partnering with a podcast delivers a message to a specific audience that trusts the person speaking about the product or service. Soundcloud recently added podcasting to its list of offerings. Like their other audio capabilities, listeners can interact with the track they hear with comments and likes.
Listening – strategize and optimize your brand based on data
Social listening lets companies monitor the digital conversations people are having about their brand. Keyhole uses hashtags, media monitoring, and social media analytics to deliver comprehensive reporting to marketing agencies and companies.
Crowdfunding – find or list a cause to help raise money
Crowdfunding gives you the ability to receive donations from people all around the world. Some sites are purely for charity purposes while others give you the ability to get funding for a personal project or business venture. Being able to connect with your donors is great for startups and worthy causes alike.
Music – listen to your favorite tunes from anywhere at any time
The number of people streaming music increases annually and is projected to keep growing for the next few years. Beyond the ability to reach massive audiences, most music platforms offer in-depth data into users and their habits. With that data, campaigns can be created to target specific listeners based on when and where they listen to their favorite music.
Professional – connect, communicate and learn from like-minded professionals
Professional social platforms are gaining popularity because people crave an equal connection in their professional and personal lives. Gust is a great SaaS connecting investors with startups in their realm of interest.
Livestreaming – broadcast video content as it’s happening
Livestreaming has become a common element of many social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Many livestreaming sites fall into a specific content category. A great example of this is Twitch, which is used for livestreaming all sorts of gameplay.
News – find out the latest information about topics you care about
News is a lot more personal than it used to be. While you can look for the trending news of the day, there are also platforms that are offering more curated news experiences. Programs like Mix go beyond real-time news to deliver the content you care about.
Networks – connect, interact, and chat with your friends and family online
Networks are the original sources of social media. They’ve created a new way for people to connect, share interests, and make friends. Today the most popular networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Health & Fitness – personalized apps to help you achieve your health-related goals
The boom of mobile health and fitness is a real advantage to marketers. These apps offer extensive user data, habits, and geographic locations. Cool Running is an app and community for those interested in running. The app sets goals for you, while also letting you communicate with people who have gone through the same process.
Messaging – directly and personally communicate with consumers
Messaging has become an integral part of the way companies do business and communicate with their consumers. Because texting is a permission-based activity, consumers who opt-in want to receive those messages. Politicians like Amy Klobuchar have given donors the option to receive text updates on the campaign.
Dating – find someone to date from the palm of your hand
Dating sites are known for being able to match you with a potential partner, but it is also a lucrative opportunity for marketers as they give you the opportunity to reach people based on user demographics and geographic location.
Local and Location – better visualize and navigate your surroundings
Map and location apps are used for people to better visualize and navigate their surroundings. The popularity of these apps is very useful for location-based marketing efforts. Meetup helps you find events and like-minded communities near your location.
Influencer Platforms – find the right influencer for your brand
Influencer platforms help you to find the right person for the goals of your campaign. Upfluence is a great example of a company that uses AI to search for and communicate with potential influencers.
Travel – book flights, hotels, cars and more with travel tools
Travel is a lot more collaborative than it once was. Businesses like Airbnb introduced a new way for people to visit cities. When booking somewhere to stay on Airbnb there are rankings and reviews left by other people who have previously booked that space. The interactive social aspect is what makes it possible to find the exact home for the experience you’re trying to have.
Recruiting – find the perfect candidate for your job opening
The way companies recruit online has had some major changes recently. Companies like Indeed and Glassdoor have completely revolutionized the way that people search for both employers and employees. Industry-specific sites like Dice are also gaining popularity for their niche nature.
International – reach consumers in foreign countries
There are some countries that have limited access to certain sites and prefer a national webpage instead. Weibo is a social media site based in Beijing, China that has over 445 million active users. Its main functions are sharing content with friends and publishing fully interactive blogs.
AR/VR – computer-generated simulations that reflect the world around us
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are great opportunities for companies to immerse their consumers in a world of their creation. With Amazon AR View shoppers can now see how furniture and décor will look in their homes before placing their order.
Gaming – play and create with like-minded gamers
Gaming has become much more mainstream than it used to be. 90% of people worldwide say that they have played a game on either a mobile device, computer, or console. Collaborations with video games is a great opportunity for advertisers to engage with a guaranteed audience.
Overall, this year introduced new ways for consumers to interact not only with each other but with the people who create the content that they love. Being able to leverage these relationships, and the channels that they live in are going to play a major role in the evolution of digital advertising. Overdrive continues to incorporate existing and new social media platforms in the services that they offer to clients.