For a long time, Facebook was the default social media platform for brands.  Now issues are encouraging brands to look for Facebook alternatives

Over the past decade, Facebook has played a vital role in social media marketing and online community building. After all, with its near 2.5-billion users, it certainly has the advantage of massive scale. But does that mean it’s still valuable for a brand wanting to increase its reach or build an engaged community of fans? A lot of industry professionals aren’t so sure.

Whether it’s low engagement rates, constantly being roped into ineffective paid advertising, or privacy issues that are making you think about taking your brand off Facebook, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of alternatives. Many of these are niche communities bring people with shared interests together.

Here are some Facebook alternatives and social media alternatives worth considering:

#1. Reddit

Let’s start with a big one that almost everyone’s heard of. With almost 400 million users, Reddit is one of the largest social platforms on the web. Unlike many other social media channels, it takes a more old-fashioned approach to online discussion and social news aggregation. Users can create their own communities (subreddits), and the site supports sponsored advertising.

         Why it’s better

What makes Reddit different is that it’s not primarily an advertising platform. In fact, any form of self-advertising is frowned upon. Instead, it places the emphasis on special interest groups, thereby creating strong communities around topics rather than companies. That’s a valuable thing for any niche community-driven brand that wants to build stronger relationships with fans.

#2. LinkedIn

Another massive network, LinkedIn has over 300 million monthly active users. While it shares many of the same disadvantages found in other big networks, such as low engagement rates, its focus on professional connections make it unique in mainstream social media. The platform also offers sponsored advertising, interest groups, and various paid subscription options.

         Why it’s better

While LinkedIn undoubtedly has its significant drawbacks, the fact that it’s geared towards the needs of professional users sets it apart. You’re not likely to find an endless stream of inane updates and cat pictures here, which makes it an important resource for building professional communities and prospecting for leads.  Not only is it a Facebook alternative for business – it’s also a must-have for any B2B company.

#3. Diaspora

Here’s one that few people have heard of. Diaspora is unique in that it’s a distributed, open-source social network that isn’t owned by any individual or company. While its feature range is similar to that of Facebook, it takes a decentralised approach to social media. Companies and individuals can start their own networks (known as pods), which interoperate with others.

         Why it’s better

While Diaspora has under a million users, it’s a unique and interesting project which allows individuals and institutions to create and host their own networks, which work like personal web servers. Users can also retain ownership of their data, which is itself a major advantage when big names like Facebook are constantly coming under fire for privacy concerns.

#4. Forums

Online forums are where it all started. Long before the rise of full-fledged social networks, the discussion forum was the standard platform for facilitating online communities. Today’s forum software is much more sophisticated, integrating features like user profiles, gamification, peer-to-peer moderation and more. Many platforms are open source and thus highly customisable, as Facebook alternatives they are more familiar to older users.

         Why it’s better

You can install forum software on your own website, which means you have complete control over its features and functionality. Many brands provide online forums to their members with reasons being to facilitate peer-to-peer customer support and product ideation. However, although they are a good social media alternative, they often don’t offer the best experience on the small screen.

#5. Snapchat

Snapchat is a global multimedia messaging app with almost 200 million daily active users. It’s unique in that it offers a mobile-first social media experience and that pictures and messages sent through the app are only made available to recipients for a short time. As such, it offers a fast-paced, in-the-moment experience to users. Making it a good Facebook alternative for those targeting millennials. 

         Why it’s better

The nature of Snapchat is such that it generates excitement and creates a sense of urgency that’s unique in the world of social media. This allows brands to connect to their users in new and interesting ways, such as by offering sneak peeks into new and upcoming products and offering time-limited discount coupons.

#6. Disciple 

The alternative to moving your community is to from Facebook to another social network is to create your own with a platform like Disciple. These platforms allow you to bring your community together in a community app that you control, can brand and can commercialise.   These are paid platforms that allow you to launch your own community app in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

         Why it’s better

Your community and community data is completely independent of the platform and directly managed by you. Although you pay a monthly fee for Disciple for your app you are able to profit through the easy subscriptions and in-app purchases offered in the apps stores. Additionally, users who download a community app have far higher levels of engagement than those on social media platforms and similar Facebook alternatives.

 

Disciple’s branded community app help brands enjoy all the benefits of community with an independent, valuable, and trusted platform in a safe space that they own and control. Start building your brand community by telling us about your goals.