There's more to Social Media than Facebook, Twitter 4: Tout, Klout, Kickstarter
Here's a look at a few newer sites that are probably not worth investing time in yet but which could easily become important platforms in the near future. These are ones to keep your eye on or, if the concept really fits with you, might be worth experimenting with.
New Sites to Watch in Social Media Marketing
Tout is to YouTube what Twitter is to Facebook. Users upload video clips of themselves which are, at most, 15 seconds long, talking about whatever they have to say. Its apps interface quickly and easily with laptop and mobile device cameras, and it offers a lot of easy ways of sharing the video through other networks.
It's an interesting concept, and the ease of use makes it simple for anyone to do. However, the main reason Tout is currently my #1 pick for a social network set to make waves is that they recently signed a huge deal with the World Wrestling Entertainment franchise that involves all of the WWE's superstars promoting and using the service heavily, as well as featuring viewer-made Touts during their TV broadcasts.
Regardless on your feelings on pro wrestling, the WWE has millions (and millions) of fans worldwide across a range of demographic groups. That sort of exposure is going to give Tout a push straight out of the gate most startups could only dream of.
I get a little anxious writing about Klout because I worry it could have a destabilizing effect on the social media industry by encouraging people to game the system. None the less, its popularity is rising and it's worth a mention.
Klout is a social media aggregator that keeps tabs on literally everyone who has any social media presence whatsoever - unless a person specifically opts-out - and measures their "Klout" score based on how influential they are. It helps users identify people who are a nexus of social activity, and shows who the actual "movers and shakers" are.
The main reason I believe Klout will continue to grow is that it provides a service a lot of powerful people want. Klout scores have even started to become a hiring criteria at some companies. It's growing in importance, whether I like it or not, and people serious about social media marketing need to at least keep an eye on it and how it's being used.
Kickstarter recently exploded onto the scene out of nowhere, and is having spectacular growth.
Kickstarter is a social-based venture capital project. People with an idea for a new product create a Kickstarter page where individuals pledge small amounts to pre-fund its production, with PBS fundraiser-style levels of prizes depending on the size of the pledge. There's also a system in place where pledges are refunded if the project fails to meet its goal, making the venture much less risky for investors.
While not a traditional social network, I believe it represents the next evolution in social media, away from being "all talk" and towards achieving concrete goals. It helps startups both find a market and capital simultaneously, while being easily used in conjunction with social media marketing for cross-promotion.
If you have a great new idea without the money to make it real, Kickstarter could be the answer to your prayers.
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