Time to Try Lemon8: A Beginner’s Guide for Brands
By Alexa Sorensen
May 2, 2023
By Alexa Sorensen
May 2, 2023
Few social media platforms last forever: or, at the very least, their time at the top of the pack has a ticking clock on it. Culture moves on, the youths pick a new home to frustrate their parents’ snooping attempts, and sometimes a social media company makes a few unpopular decisions that cause an exodus.
Whichever the cause of the shift, it happens, and it’s important for brands and marketers to keep an eye on the up-and-comers. Today we’re shining a spotlight on Lemon8, an emerging social media platform grabbing the hearts and likes of Gen Z and Millennial consumers.
That’s a great, and important, question. One of the most difficult things for a new social media platform is justifying its existence in a sea of competitors. Instagram and Pinterest do images, TikTok nails the short-form video, Facebook has baby pictures, Twitter does checkmarks, etc. So why Lemon8?
Lemon8 is a new platform that debuted in February of 2023, and already has over four million active users in the United States (and counting). Technically it also launched in Japan in 2020, but the recent release in the UK and the United States has skyrocketed their user numbers and pushed Lemon8 into the mainstream. Now, sitting at 17 million downloads (and counting) Lemon8 is starting to attract attention.
Lemon8’s parent company is also ByteDance, making it a younger sister of TikTok.
The common theory seems to be that Lemon8 is an answer to the complaints thrown Instagram’s way, like ads in feeds, a push for video content, paid verification methods, and a lack of a chronological feed.
Lemon8 has DNA in common with Pinterest and Instagram, where users share images with each other. On Pinterest, users create boards from existing Pinterest images or from images they’ve pinned or posted from other sources. These grid-like boards full of images are often inspirational, and might collect recipes you want to try, tattoo ideas, or a summer fashion wishlist.
Instagram started as mostly posting images but has since moved on to videos and TikTok-style reels. Lemon8 combines Pinterest’s inspiration with an algorithmic and visual feed similar to Instagram’s, and creates the bite-sized, endless, personally-curated content storm TikTok is so good at.
Lemon8 also features “micro-communities,” groups of people united by a common interest. And the topic that unites these micro-communities can be as niche as they come, united around a demographic, a geographic location, fashion tips for a certain shape of person, or specialized workout routines going after a particular personal health goal.
A brand moving into a new social media space is always fraught with difficulty. Does the brand match the culture and form factor of the platform? Will you be welcome? Have other brands found success? How do I reset my password? There are a lot of questions.
Let’s take a look at the potential upsides and downsides of jumping on Lemon8.
Obviously, any social media environment is a chance for brands to find new audiences, those drawn to a new platform that maybe weren’t interested in the current lineup of social media platforms. These new audiences give you the chance to strengthen your brand awareness and find new customers.
Lemon8 is heavily focused on user-generated content, a useful avenue for marketers looking to leverage more content and get customers engaged. If your brand or product is the perfect fit for the interests of a particular micro-community, you’re getting direct access to a specialized, curated demographic that fits your audience.
Lastly, certain brands may find the most success. According to the data, the four most popular topics for Lemon8 users are currently Social Media, Shopping, Finance, Food, and Drink. Brands that overlap in any of these areas will find a receptive user group on Lemon8.
Lemon8 is a new social media platform, and that comes with difficulties and dangers.
One, you’re going to have a limited reach. While Lemon8 is growing, the current audience size is still small compared to Pinterest, Instagram, or TikTok. Your posts are just going to reach fewer people.
Two, micro-communities may not be as receptive to brand interference. Obviously, Lemon8 is brand-new, so we don’t know how micro-communities are going to organically incorporate any kind of branded content.
Three, analytics may be tricky to access. As far as we can tell at the moment, it doesn’t look like data and analytics are open for perusal. Companies may find it difficult to measure the efficacy of their campaigns.
Four, it’s related to TikTok. That’s going to be a boon for interest in the platform, true, but TikTok is in a precarious position at the moment because of potential security concerns. This New York Times article covers the ins and outs of a potential TikTok ban in many countries. Lemon8 is from the same parent company, and brands might be skittish about investing time and money into the space if the banhammer is coming down in the future. Which, to be fair, is probably unlikely.
Lemon8 is new, it’s exciting, and it has the potential to connect brands and customers in novel ways. Lifestyle, beauty, fashion, food, and drink brands in particular are ideally suited to take advantage of its unique interface and standing demographics.
Staying up to date on emerging social platforms is always a good idea: not only does it keep you in touch with the Gen Z demographic in particular, it ensures you never get too comfortable in a changing marketing landscape.
We encourage you to try out Lemon8, give it a download, and find out for yourself. And if you’re looking for help with bringing Lemon8 (or any social media platform) into your current marketing strategy, reach out to Inspira Marketing today.
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