Right now, Facebook may be the world’s largest social media platform, but it won’t be forever. In fact, Millennials and Gen-Z’s worldwide are steering clear of it. They consider it the social media playground for their parents and grandparents! If you or your organization want to grab the attention of audiences beyond Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), and Twitter, read on. Learn more about some of the new and exciting digital platforms that are gaining users now.
MIXER & DISCORD
You think you got game? Great! Think of Discord as a chatroom for gamers with Skype-like features thrown in. Users set up or add themselves to thousands of private servers. Once there, they can text and voice chat with others while they’re playing games. They can also upload or download videos (of themselves playing games). Though gaming is the primary focus, we should mention Discord doesn’t limit conversation to gaming. For example, users can find servers focused on movies, music, and art. With features designed to make it easy to communicate with small or large groups of friends or fans, Discord now has over 250 million users. Its future of may be a bit in flux, though. Its most popular user, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, recently jumped ship for a Microsoft-owned competitor called Mixer. His followers, well, followed him there.
It’s bigger than Twitter and Snapchat. Folks have downloaded it more times than Facebook. Tik Tok — like Vine before it (Oh Vine, how we miss you!) — is a platform where users can create super short videos to be shared. Videos are only about 15 seconds long, but the fun comes in when users add platform-provided graphics and special sound effects. Content mainly features people lip-synching songs, funny skits, or re-enacting memes, although some post informational videos as well. The platform also allows users to “respond” to other people’s videos, increasing the opportunity for a video to go viral.
At one point — after Facebook’s many scandals and users’ frustrations with Instagram — this app was the “hot new thing”. However, in some ways, Vero is very much like its competitors. Like most social media apps, Vero users “friend” each other (“friends” are “connections” here). Users are able to DM one another, and they can also make “collections” of places, movies, tv shows, books, and links they like. Its two biggest advantages?
- It’s ad-free
- Posts are listed chronologically (!!!)
While the app is giving users lifetime free membership now, the plan is to eventually have paid yearly subscriptions. It’s the dope plan — the first hit is always free. Once hooked, you’ve gotta pay.
Originally a live streaming platform for gamers to watch and play, Twitch is now a content provider of its own. Users can certainly find plenty of channels on gaming, as well as sports, travel, podcasts — there are even several ASMR channels! Launched in 2011 and now owned by Amazon, the site is one of the most visited websites in the country. It’s extremely easy to use – just go to Twitch and you’ll start seeing content right away. (However, you have to register to subscribe to a channel, comment in a chatroom, or create a favorite channels list.) Twitch is also compatible with Discord (see above), allowing streamers to better manage subscribers on their channels.
So how can your nonprofit best use these new technologies?
- Build your own “stream teams.” Many streamers are happy to help raise money for their favorite causes. Looking for a unique and fun way to fundraise and involve a new and large community? Partner on a charity stream. Your organization can set up a campaign where streamers raise money during their sessions. (For example, The Chronicle of Philanthropy notes that nonprofit Save the Children hosts “Gaming Tuesday,” a two-week fundraising campaign with participation from live streamers and their fans.) Or you can set up “stream teams” — individual gamers or gaming teams who will solicit donations to your organization whenever they’re on. (Check out St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to see how it’s done.) Tools such as Tiltify, DonorDrive, and JustGiving help make it easy for streamers to fundraise.
- Connect with influencers. Just like the more established platforms, each of these newer digital platforms has several influencers with loyal followings. Partnering with the right influencer can give a big boost to your cultivation and fundraising efforts. When figuring out just which influencer to work with, decide what audiences your organization is trying to reach. Likewise, consider what your organization can offer that person in return (even wider reach; the opportunity to advocate for a cause that means a lot to them). It’s helpful to do a little research by engaging with their posts before reaching out to build a relationship.
- Communicate with your supporters online. While gaming is probably the most popular activity on many live streaming apps, there are other innovative ways to use these platforms that can enable you to connect with and mobilize new supporters. Any event that allows current and potential supporters to see an up-close and personal view of your work may have an impact. The ability to include live voice or text chat adds an engaging and unpredictable element to this event.
While the platforms mentioned here are little less established, the same tips apply to cultivate audiences as on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you have any questions about these digital platforms, established social media platforms, or just questions about digital fundraising and marketing in general, talk to us!