At the start of the year, the PRNEWS team predicted a rejection of popular platforms, such as Twitter, would likely bring new social media contenders in 2023. Over the weekend, Twitter's decision to impose temporary limitations on daily tweet visibility stirred controversy. This situation has created an opportunity for Spill, a Black-owned app in beta that was developed by former Twitter employees, to emerge as a top social app in Apple's App Store.
However, before brands rush to embrace this new platform, it's essential to carefully evaluate several key factors.
Understanding Spill's Cultural Impact
Before migrating to Spill, brands must understand the platform's user base and its alignment with their target audience. Analyze Spill's demographics, interests and engagement patterns to ensure that your brand's content resonates with the right audience.
A thorough understanding of the platform's user base will aid in effective content creation and engagement strategies. Spill has made this easy with a set of detailed community guidelines on their site, which includes “rules [that] exist to stop the harms that disproportionately impact vulnerable, overlooked, and typically marginalized groups online — especially Black women, the queer community, and other historically marginalized groups around the world.”
Brandi Sims, Founder and Consultant at Brandinc PR, believes that Spill's unique proposition lies in its integration of Black culture as a central aspect of communication. This distinctive feature sets it apart from other platforms, providing a space where users can freely express themselves and connect with others authentically.
"Through influencers, we’ve seen the impact of how users can shape their own narratives and essentially create their own communities that have not only a profound following, but buying power," says Sims.
Tapping into Trends and Communities
According to Sims, savvy communicators should always be mindful of the spaces where tastemakers and trendsetters gather, as these are often indicators of "what's next" in marketing, entertainment, beauty and technology.
"The benefits are that you have a new platform that incorporates elements of major social media platforms but creates a new approach that embeds relevant cultural elements to engage with the community," Sims emphasizes.
By delving into Spill's unique user interactions, communicators can glean valuable insights for their strategy planning. Understanding the most popular GIFs used and how users seek advice can offer crucial information to optimize brand messaging and engagement.
Kalli Combs, Social Media Manager at PR agency Comprise, sees Spill as an intriguing platform to watch, particularly given its roots, having been created by former Twitter employees.
"I particularly love the 'content-first' experience with a mixture of Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter," Combs remarks, suggesting that this approach allows brands to evoke emotions and foster connections through compelling graphics, memes, and videos.
Industry Fit and Early Adoption
Combs suggests, “for brands whose target audiences are Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha -- this platform could be one to leverage.” Industries that rely heavily on visual appeal can readily leverage the platform as well, according to Combs. “Similar to TikTok, food, clothing and makeup brands are highly visual and have to be shown in order to sell.”
However, Combs adds, “other non-typical industries like manufacturing, municipalities, nonprofits, software development and early start ups could benefit from being an early adopter of the app. Competition is minimal in those industries so the opportunity to dominate this space could be beneficial.”
Navigating Risks and Assessing Impact
While incorporating a new medium like Spill, budget allocation and return on investment play pivotal roles. "Set a budget to research and test the platform and learn more about the audience. This will give you a glimpse into whether it is worth additional resources. While testing, learn what audience is using the platform and the type of content they seem to engage with the most, then test that content on your profile. Rinse and repeat for 90 days and review data. This strategy will help you see if it's working to amplify your brand messaging, or not," says Combs.
Risks may involve discovering that the audience does not align with the brand or encountering potential negative sentiment. Careful analysis and consideration of how Spill aligns with current company goals are essential to make informed decisions–even the decision to sunset the account.
By harnessing cultural elements, offering a content-first approach, and attracting a diverse user base, Spill holds the potential to reshape brand communication strategies. However, it is important for professional communicators to evaluate their brand's alignment, set clear intentions, define boundaries, assess industry fit, and consider budget and ROI. With these considerations in mind, brands can navigate Spill strategically and leverage its unique features to engage and resonate with their target audience effectively.