Despite how young a field social media marketing is, it’s one that marketers tend to feel like they have a firm grasp on. The heavy-hitters all have relatively accessible ad platforms, while community management has become more a science than art (though, it’s in the crafting of responses that many brand wins still happen). In this realm of marketing, Facebook continues to reign supreme with its billion users and swelling ad revenues.
But recently, a new contender has stepped on the social media field looking to unseat the king with a simple ideology: Insist on excellent content, and pay content creators. Social media managers and content marketers, meet Tsū.
Core to its offering, Tsū provides a different type of ad model. Rather than simply collecting all ad revenue, Tsū splits its ad spend with users to encourage the two vital actions of social media: networking and sharing quality content.
To encourage the production and sharing of original content, Tsū gives the majority of ad revenue generated from original content to the user that created it. Further, the user who invited the original content creator to the platform also receives revenue, thereby incentivizing users not only to invite new members to the community, but to also consider whom they know who can produce excellent content. It’s a clear break from Facebook’s model, where advertising or promoted content is held separately from the community. No incentives are provided for regular users to contribute to the quality of the platform.
Aside from the revenue share, Tsū offers all the main features social media users have come to expect. Users can connect with friends, join groups, tag and hashtag to their hearts’ content, and send private messages. In most every way, Tsū resembles Facebook, even down to integration with Instagram, as well as Twitter and Facebook…
Or rather, an intended integration with Facebook.
Tsū is not unique in challenging Facebook. With numerous takes on the social formula blinking in and out of existence every week, one might expect that Facebook would ignore Tsū in the same way as any other start-up platform.
But Facebook made news this past week when they began blocking any links to Tsū. From sharing the URL in posts or messages to trying to integrate your Facebook with your Tsū profile, Facebook won’t allow any Tsū content on their platform, period.
This is far from a guarantee for the future of Tsū, and no where even close to a harbinger for Facebook. But while the story develops, there are plenty of takeaways for content marketers to consider with social media.
For the time being, Tsū primarily benefits individual content creators and users. While its relatively tiny audience and by-request advertising platform make it a relatively weaker tool for enterprise social media marketing, it does raise an important question for marketers: When is the right time to adopt a new platform? There are a couple easy questions brands can ask themselves to decide.
If your brand can benefit from a particular type of content, it can probably benefit from any number of other types of content. Make sure your team is producing a variety of content, and that you have dedicated spaces for each type (even if your content crosses multiple platforms).
Retail brands thrive on platforms like Instagram because users want to see products, while B2B brands might find that the discussions on LinkedIn mean more for their customers. When adopting a new platform, consider whether your time and spend on that platform will actually generate interactions that lead to leads. Visibility for the sake of visibility diminishes returns, and the more “silent” platforms your team has to manage, the fewer resources you have to put toward actually growing your brand through efficient channels.
So what’s the verdict then? Largely, a dissatisfying “Wait and see.” Tsū offers a unique and attractive take on social media, but until its model has attracted a big enough audience, ads or community growing will prove difficult and perhaps disappointing. And with Facebook blocking links, Tsū certainly has a challenge ahead of them in getting the word out. But if your brand has any element that can benefit from an audience that creates content itself—and if you have some discretionary time and spend in your budget—carving out a niche while the platform is young could pay off in the future.
Looking for ways to improve your social media marketing strategy in the meantime? Check out this free eBook for ideas on how to extended the reach and impact of your social content.