3 Emerging Social Media Platforms B2B PR Pros Should Know

Remember when the only social media platforms considered significant by PR pros were Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? For many, they continue to be the trinity of social media. But by the end of this year, an estimated 3 billion people will be using social media, and not just on those three sites. What’s more, new platforms are popping up regularly.

New platforms can work for B2B PR 

That means there’s greater potential for B2B brands to reach an engaged audience of business users. The opportunity to reach specific audiences goes beyond the social sites that currently dominate. For example, TikTok has taken the world by storm and no one wants to miss newer sites that could gain similar prominence. Here are three emerging platforms that PR pros should track. They can work particularly well for B2B visibility programs.


Clubhouse was launched in 2020 and breaks the mold of traditional social media platforms. It’s audio-only and connects the audience and speakers by letting them share information in real time. What kind of conversations take place on Clubhouse? A little bit of everything! Topics range from relationship discussions to starting a business.

Another thing that sets Clubhouse apart is its exclusivity. It’s invite-only – at least until its official release. Users act as gatekeepers for the platform’s daily ongoing conversations by holding three invitations that will allow new users to join. Those who don’t have invitations will have to join the waitlist until the official release. Having said that, it’s fairly easy to score an invitation.

Since its launch Clubhouse has become a hub for tech types, artists, and entertainers. Can B2B senior executives also find their niche here? Yes. For B2B clients Clubhouse can be another social media tool used to drive thought leadership, especially those who are subject-matter experts. Savvy business leaders are well suited to host rooms and later start their own clubs. The platform offers PR teams a new way of storytelling for organizations and gives business personalities who are talented speakers with a strong point of view about industry trends an opportunity to ride the social audio wave.

Twitter Spaces

In a bid to get in on the social audio experience, Twitter released Twitter Spaces in December 2020. It’s still in its early stage, but there are new features and updates in the works. One driving force behind the creation of Twitter Spaces seems to be the challenges Clubhouse faces regarding its community standards. Unfortunately, Clubhouse’s conversations on sensitive topics such as identity, ethnicity, gender, and racism have led to abusive behavior by some users. Twitter Spaces is seeking to offer a more inclusive environment.

So how does Twitter Spaces work? Those who want to host a conversation must have a Twitter account. They can create either impromptu Spaces or schedule them up to 14 days in advance, all within the Twitter app. Up to 10 people can be invited to speak in a created Space at any given time. Spaces are public, so anyone can join as a listener, including people who don’t follow you. To issue invitations, hosts can simply post a link by tweeting it, sending it through Twitter’s direct-messaging, or posting it elsewhere. 

Like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces is an emerging platform that can work well for thought leadership. It features live discussions, training sessions, and Q&As, among other things. The hosting capacity for Twitter Spaces is still limited, but in May Twitter announced that accounts with 600 or more followers are now able to host a Space. According to Twitter Spaces, these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting because of their existing following. Audience quality is another thing to consider on top of having a charismatic speaker host. Though Twitter Spaces is still in a fledgling stage, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on for PR plans as it picks up steam.

Instagram Reels 

There’s no denying TikTok’s influence on the launch of Instagram Reels. This new feature is actually in competition with TikTok as it offers similar video creation capabilities.  

Instagram Reels can be used to promote brand awareness and even recruitment. The feature offers a fun, creative way to display your brand’s product releases, how-to’s, and even its workplace culture. There’s no need for a production team – all you need is a smartphone. You can also reach out to an industry influencer to create reels in your interest.

Finding which new social channel to onboard 

Being one of the first to join an up-and-coming social channel and learning the lay of the land can place you ahead of competitors who lag behind. However, time spent experimenting with new platforms must be balanced with refining strategies on already established ones. 

Determining which new platforms are worth the time and effort of watching and experimenting might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! We recommend keeping the following in mind when navigating new channels:

-Track growth. Big numbers signal that the platform is gaining momentum and that the chances for engagement with a broad swath of users are high.

-If a platform doesn’t offer specific metrics (like Clubhouse), but it has buzz, it’s probably worth a trial.

-Pick platforms that your audience can easily use and enjoy.

-While you should pay attention to the level of adaptability, you should consider how your audience wants to consume media. If you’re looking to target business decision-makers they’re more likely to sit in on a discussion of industry trends on a platform like Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces.

-If you can’t come up with any interesting ways to tell your brand’s story on a niche platform, you might want to hold off on making an account. A boring or dormant account can signal that the brand isn’t ready to engage.

5 PR Lessons From Our Favorite Instagrammers

With more than 400 million users monthly, Instagram can be a powerful tool in a PR campaign — as we previously noted here. With 68 percent of users saying they engage with brands on Instagram, big brands, small businesses, and influencers alike have embraced the social media platform, producing content that professional communicators can learn much from. Here are some PR lessons we gleaned from some of our favorite Instagrammers.

Find creative ways to make the standard announcement. Store openings, fundraising rounds, new product launches — consumers and businesses have come to expect these, but our Instagram feed shows us they don’t have to be a yawn. Take Nordstrom: it tapped Instagram’s popularity by launching an annual sale with a 14,000-square-foot image designed to look like an Instagram screen shot of one of its dresses — viewable on the rooftop of its flagship Seattle store. Yes, real news and announcements merit media coverage on their own, but creative storytelling tactics can make a bigger splash and leave a more lasting impression.

Appeal to the imagination. Whether you’re speaking to millennials, chief marketing officers or stay-at-home moms, everyone wants to be surprised and delighted in ways that spark the imagination. We see this in brands like Solestruck, which takes a shoe-selling platform to new levels by sharing unexpected juxtapositions and bright pops of colors in its feed. Maybe it’s a media event in the middle of winter that transports attendees to warmer places, or a product that has implications for how the world will be different in the future. If your PR campaign triggers thoughts and associations with places we don’t normally go, you’re likely to win new fans and keep loyal followers.

Be true to your brand. We draw this lesson from the queen of Instagram (among other things), Taylor Swift, the world’s most followed Instagrammer with 64 million followers. Equal parts glamour girl and girl next door, Swift uses a combination of cat videos and world tour shots to reflect her persona — both the pop star we all want to be, and the ordinary girl we believe we are. For PR programs, whether the moment calls for media pitches or creative extensions, it’s best to make sure ideas, language, and core messages are authentic. An incongruous message or delivery only raises suspicion that something is amiss, or is just a media ploy.

Don’t underestimate the power of words. Here’s one to show we have a sense of humor: in the Instagram feed of Wafflenugget, the irresistible Bernese mountain dog with more than 38,000 followers, it’s the captions and suggested dialogue that bring this “influencer” to life. Words matter, and the phrases and descriptions in your PR pitches or press releases  — even on the phone, informally — can have lasting impressions and ramifications. We remember instances when words spoken off the cuff were quoted in an article, underscoring the importance of choosing words wisely and not going off script.

When possible, mix media. Food blogger Julie’s Kitchen shares artful collages made of fresh ingredients (sourced from local farmers markets) on her Instagram feed and sells the prints online. It’s the perfect example of how different mediums converge. Does your media push translate into a foray into another medium? Simple sharing on social media is an obvious one, but what about turning the content from your in-depth interview into a Twitter chat? Or making your spokesperson available not only to be interviewed by the press, but by a crowdsourced group on Reddit, as we recently did for a creative client? Repurposing material for different mediums is a great way to reach different audiences and maintain buzz.
With Instagram now in its sixth year, it continues to evolve and grow in popularity, and there’s no shortage of inspiration of ideas we can learn from it.

5 Brands With Great PR On Instagram

Instagram is a powerful PR tool for brands to develop their audience and voice. A 2014 Forrester study found Instagram is 58 times more engaging than Facebook, and 120 times more engaging than Twitter. When used alongside other PR tactics, Instagram can complement and amplify a brand or company’s core messaging in distinct ways. So what makes a brand’s Instagram content stand out from the others? Here are five examples – from consumer tech and tech startups to art materials and tasty beverages – to help answer that question.

Sonix Cases (@shopsonix): The product is the star. These are not your ordinary phone cases, and Sonix’s Instagram feed shows you why. The cases come in many styles and designs, and the brand’s Instagram photos are creative and colorful. Oftentimes, the patterns on the cases are matched with beautiful scenery or fun props. But the key is that the product is always the star of the photo. Sonix is also reliable with responding to its followers’ questions, which allows the company to show it’s listening and it cares. Hats off to Sonix for finding ways to take a product that’s typically a yawn and turn it into one that is “Instaworthy.”

Veuve Clicquot (@veuveclicquot): A clear call-to-action. This champagne brand knows how to package a well-loved beverage to make it even more exciting, and then convey that to its customers through great photography. Through its social media handles, the company announced that this summer, the Cliqcuot Mail Truck is traveling cross-country to bring champagne to people all around the US. Beautiful “#CliquotMail” photos are taken at each stop and shared on Instagram with backdrops of the various cities. How can you resist? It speaks to champagne lovers and wanderlusters alike, with a call to find the truck while it’s in your city and take a picture of it, too. Bring on the champagne, please!

Misfit Wearables (@misfitwearables): Embrace popular hashtags. Hang on – is this really a tech product? Misfit Wearables’ offerings are so well-designed you’d never know they’re so packed with technology. Pictures on Instagram show you how the wearables can be integrated into your daily life. Whether it’s worn as a fashion statement at your next cocktail party or as a fitness tracker when you play tennis, there’s a way for it to fit your lifestyle. Misfit isn’t shy with using keyword hashtags (e.g., “#activitytracker”) to attract new followers, too – a good tactic to increase awareness of your products as long as you don’t go overboard.

Codecademy (@codecademy): Humanizing the brand. This NYC-based startup that teaches coding for free is not only cool because it’s filling in a gap in STEM training among millennials, but it’s also got an Instagram feed that shows how much fun everyone is having in the process. A timeline of the company’s milestones on the office air duct? How creative. You’ll also find lots of photos of staff and students eating cake, celebrating birthdays and attending workshops. Followers want to see less promotional content and more behind-the-scenes info on social media, so it’s important to feed that through your Instagram visuals. Showing who’s behind the company and what they like to do “humanizes” the brand, which resonates with followers.

Sakura (@sakuraofamerica): The well-played Instagram takeover. This beloved stationary and art supplies manufacturer is from Japan, but they know how to make a splash in the US. By including artists as guest Instagrammers, Sakura shares ways to use their products to create beautiful pieces. These “Instagram takeovers” are highly effective as they lend an authentic voice to the brand’s social media content and allows experts to share their tips (in this case, which types of pens they like). Product mentions strategically include branded hashtags (e.g., “#pigmamicron” for Sakura micron pens) and the posts are highly engaging, as followers ask the guest Instagrammers questions. It’s also a win for the guests themselves, since they’re able to gain visibility by tagging their own Instagram accounts. No doubt, these photos inspire consumers to pick up some supplies to try out themselves!

Five Ways To Use Instagram For PR Programs

Visual images often have an emotional punch that text lacks — a worthwhile consideration for anyone developing a compelling PR campaign. To understand the power of visual communication in our business, look at the meteoric rise of Instagram. Since the photo-sharing app is based entirely on pictures, certain limitations apply, naturally. But with its more than 200 million users, Instagram offers plenty of potential as a public relations tool. Here are five ways to incorporate Instagram into your PR practices.

Share the more casual side of your brand. Instagram is all about authenticity, fun, and engagement. The professional headshot might work well for the company website, but Instagram can capture the lighter, human side of your brand — the moments people connect with. (The boss in her Halloween costume, perhaps?)

Make announcements creatively. Use Instagram to push out gorgeous shots of new products, an upcoming event, or fun media pieces. And remember to write great captions: include basic information, inspiration, and anything else helpful for followers to know. Add hashtags as you would on Twitter, to increase “searchability” and add to your following.

Research with it. Google lets us ask any question or research any individual and get dozens of answers in 10 seconds flat. But Instagram, as a mobile application (and not a web-based one) often flies under the radar of Internet searches. It’s worth searching through the volumes of captions, hashtags, and location identifiers on Instagram to find information relevant to your products or services. For example, a new restaurant can do a search to identify foodie-types in the neighborhood (based on location tags), who often share photos of their dining experiences, and follow them on Instagram to build clientele.

Crowdsource ideas. Jamie Oliver brilliantly mined his 2.3 million followers on Instagram to help decide which foods to include in his latest book, “Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.” It was brilliant not only because it was a smart way to come up with lots of ideas and determine (unscientifically) which foods were most popular, but also because it engaged and empowered his followers, a big coup for any brand trying to build loyalty and support.

Crisis communications. The old phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” applies here. Especially during sensitive moments, images tend to carry more weight and poignancy. Case in point: after Jill Abramson’s ouster from the New York Times, the picture her daughter posted on Instagram — of Abramson in boxing gloves —  became the telling image of the whole saga.