By Ann Gynn published September 2, 2021 Est Read Time: 11 min

22 Content Marketers Share Their Take on TikTok, Clubhouse, and Trendy Social Spaces

If all the cool kids are playing with TikTok, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Spotify Greenroom, and similar digital social places, should your brand be there too?

Before you get all trendy, we asked some of the content marketing “cool kids” presenting at Content Marketing World for their advice.

Here’s the advice 22 speakers offered.

Use them for research

All audience channels are potential places to listen and learn and develop a better understanding of what’s happening with your audience and what’s happening with content formats in culture. So it’s an audience and cultural data source at the very least. But emerging channels are also a playground for creativity. And even if they don’t inspire your next campaign or content marketing concept, they might teach you a lesson – or at least make you laugh – along the way. – Andrew Hanelly, chief creative officer and partner, Revmade

New #social channels are playgrounds for creativity. If they don’t inspire your next #ContentMarketing concept, they might teach you something, says @Hanelly via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Learn the trends

Explore those spaces to discover trending topics, which audiences are on which channels, and better understand the type of content those audiences are consuming. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

Use emerging #SocialMedia spaces to understand trending topics, which audiences are there, and the kind of #content they’re consuming, says @BrianWPiper via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Set up an outpost

Find out if your audience is there. Set up a small outpost to defend your name and brand, then focus on the channels where your audience is. – Christopher S. Penn, chief data scientist, Trust Insights

Set up a small outpost to defend your name and brand, then focus on the channels where your audience is, says #CMWorld speaker @cspenn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Don’t dilute core channels

First, evaluate whether your audience is there and if it’s worth it. Too many marketers try to be on every channel. Try to just do two or three really well. If getting on Clubhouse is going to be a distraction for your team and dilute the quality of the content you’re creating for your core channels, it’s honestly not worth it. – Joe Lazauskas, head of marketing, Contently

#CMWorld speaker tip: If being on emerging channels like @Clubhouse will dilute the quality of the #content you create for your core channels, it's not worth it, says @joelazauskas via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Go big – as long as your audience is there

First and foremost, know your audience. Are they on these channels? If not, keep any investment to a small test. If your audience is there, however, have fun. Test some of your high-performing content topics on tried-and-true channels on these newer channels. – Katie Tweedy, supervisor of content marketing and content strategy, Collective Measures

As long as your audience is on @TikTok, @Clubhouse, or other newer #social channels, have fun and test content topics there, says @Katie_Tweedy_ via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Don’t let the squirrel distract you

I don’t believe in chasing airplane shadows. Instead of pursuing the latest and greatest channel – squirrel – think carefully: Is your audience there? Does your message fit with the channel’s substance and tone? And frankly, is it really worth the investment, especially when you’re juggling so many channels already? – Jonathan Kranz, principal, Kranz Communications

Think carefully: Is your audience on these new #social channels? Does your #content fit with the channel’s substance and tone? Is it worth it, asks @jonkranz via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Grab your lab coat

Experiment. Find what works for your audience. Just because the latest survey says your audience doesn’t go there – don’t trust it. Look for yourself and see. Maybe the right part of your audience is there. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. – Ahava Leibtag, president, Aha Media Group

Even if the latest survey says your audience isn’t there, go and look for yourself. The right part of your audience might be there, says @ahaval via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Tell stories

Experiment. Try different formats. Invite your best internal and external storytellers to partner. Get playful. – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Get playful on emerging #social channels, says @kathyklotzguest. Invite your best storytellers and experiment via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Pilot small projects

These are great spaces to experiment with new content initiatives and partnerships. Testing a brand partnership with a brand or influencer that is attracting a similar audience on a new platform is an ideal way to explore the potential for further investment in resources. – Jacquie Chakirelis, director of digital strategy, Great Lakes Publishing/Quest Digital

Test a partnership with a brand or influencer who attracts a similar audience to explore the potential of a new #social platform, says @JacquieChak via @CMIContent Click To Tweet

Spend some to prove value (or not)

Spend no less than 5% of your entire budget (time, energy, cash) on new social platforms. Wait until they’ve proven valuable before increasing your investment. – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Spend no less than 5% of your entire budget (time, energy, cash) on new #social platforms @drewdavishere via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Go slowly

Have a play when it looks interesting. Don’t overinvest (or overhype) till you know there’s a there. Build slowly, learning what works in each new channel. – Doug Kessler, co-founder, Velocity

#CMWorld speaker tip: Don’t overinvest in new #social channels, says @DougKessler. Build slowly and learn what works in each new channel via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Test the waters

Have team members establish personal accounts on those platforms and go there to observe. See who/what is successful and try to understand the why behind their success. Also see if competitors or industry players (i.e., brands) are there. Before creating your brand’s account on the service, put together a proposal or plan that the team agrees on. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. – Dennis Shiao, founder, Attention Retention LLC

Before creating you a brand account on a new #social service, put together a plan that the team agrees on, says #CMWorld speaker @dshiao via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Follow the norms

If a new channel or technology aligns with your audience’s interests and/or behaviors, you should absolutely keep tabs on the platform. Follow those who are creating content in your expertise areas and, when possible, dip your toe in the water. The brands that are engaging successfully on these platforms are the ones who recognize they need to adapt to the customs and norms of these platforms to be effective. – Zontee Hou, head of strategy, Convince & Convert

Brands that engage successfully on new #social platforms know they need to adapt to the customs and norms of these platforms to be effective, says @ZonteeHou via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Choose, then ignore

Pick two to three channels where you know your audience consumes content and ignore the rest. How much traffic does TikTok drive to company websites? Zero. How many leads did Snapchat get our clients? None. – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Pick two to three channels where you know your audience consumes content and ignore the rest, says @BrennerMichael via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Follow the same thinking

The same thing they should be doing on any channel. Delivering emotionally charged content. Platform independent. – Adam Morgan, executive creative director, Adobe

Deliver emotionally charged content. Platform independent, says @askadmo via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Go full throttle

Listen. Then, when you think it’s right for your brand, go in wholeheartedly. There’s no point in being on a platform if you’re not fully engaged with it. – Gina Balarin, director, Verballistics

Listen. Then, when you think the platform is right for your brand, go in wholeheartedly, says @gbalarin via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Do more with the content

It’s hard to integrate these, in my opinion. The best use case I’ve seen so far is to do a live conversation on one of these and then republish it as a podcast. – Christoph Trappe, director of content marketing, Voxpopme

Do a live conversation on a #SocialMedia platform and then republish it as a podcast, says @ctrappe via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Forgo rented land

Experiment. I’m not certain any of these spaces will have any real benefit for marketing. They’re all rented land, as Joe Pulizzi would say, and brands can do well now but later see their work obliterated by a change in algorithm or terms that they have no control over. – Angela Hursh, senior engagement consultant, NoveList

I’m not certain any of these new #social spaces have any benefit for #marketing, says @WebMasterGirl. They’re all rented land, as @JoePulizzi would say via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Just say no

Ignore them. If you start with a tool/channel and ask how best to use it, you are not being strategic. If you start with a goal and then create a plan to reach it, you are being strategic. Open your toolbox and ask, how can I use this trowel today? There has to be something good I can do with this. I’m missing out if I don’t start working more with this trowel! – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and CMO, Orbit Media

If you start with a tool/channel and ask how best to use it, you’re not being strategic, says @crestodina. Start with a goal, then create a plan to reach it via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Take a pass

You should ignore them if your audience is not there. We have a very specific B2B audience (sales leaders). While I really wanted to jump into the Clubhouse phenomenon, after researching bios, titles, etc., we determined our audience wasn’t there. Even though many of my colleagues were doing awesome business and some of my business partners thought we might be missing out – our very specific buyer persona was not active and so we gave it a pass. I don’t regret it. – Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

While I wanted to jump into @Clubhouse, we determined our audience wasn’t there so we gave it a pass, says @LinkedInExpert via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Stay true to you

TikTok is such a fun space and can be a brilliant way to generate leads for outgoing, fun brands that want to entertain while teaching. One mistake I made early on with TikTok was trying to be trendy, dancing to songs while sharing LinkedIn tips. Once I started to think about original, creative ways to teach, that’s when people really started to respond. I’ve done LinkedIn profile reviews for followers and roast-my-post videos that are easy to produce and have landed me some pretty big clients. – Michaela Alexis, LinkedIn trainer and LinkedIn Learning instructor, Michaela Alexis

Once I started to think about original, creative ways to teach on @TikTok, people really started to respond, says @mickalexis via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Think accessibility

Be aware that some of these platforms are inaccessible to some of your audience. Ensure any videos you share are captioned, as 80% of the people who use captions are not deaf or hard of hearing. Additionally, on many of the social networks, 80% of the people using them have the sound off. – Meryl Evans, digital marketing pro, meryl.net

#CMWorld speaker tip: Make sure any videos you share are captioned, says @merylkevans. Up to 80% of people using #social networks have the sound off via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Jump on the trendy channels or not?

While not all of these Content Marketing World presenters have the same opinion on trendy platforms, the majority come down on the same side of the line: Don’t jump on trendy digital channels unless your audience is there – and you have sufficient resources to engage regularly on them.

What are you doing with the newer digital platforms? Had any wins you’d like to share? Any lessons learned? Please add in the comments.

Talk about all the trends – and tried-and-true techniques – with these speakers and more at Content Marketing World 2021. Join us in person or online – it’s your choice. Register today. Use code CMIBLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. Former college adjunct faculty, Ann also helps train professionals in content so they can do it themselves. Follow Ann on Twitter @anngynn or connect on LinkedIn.

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