What is Lemon8? Everything brands need to know
Social media has become integral to our daily lives in today’s digital age. With the rise of video and photo-sharing platforms, people are more connected than ever. Lemon8 is a photo-sharing social media platform that has gained a lot of popularity in the US, and it’s slowly gaining more traction here in the UK too.
What is Lemon8?
Lemon8 is a “content-sharing platform for a youthful community” where its users can discover “beautiful, authentic, and diverse content.” It is owned by ByteDance, the same company that owns TikTok. It was first released in 2020 in Japan and by 2022, it had more than five million monthly users worldwide, with expansion into Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
It is a photo-sharing social media platform designed to be simple and easy to use, with a range of templates and editing tools to help users create engaging, visually stunning and asethtically perfect content. The platform is particularly popular among Gen Z and millennial users.
Social media influencers have described the app as if “Instagram and Pinterest had a baby”.It’s taken the graphical and creative aspects of Pinterest and added them to an Instagram-style feed which centres around a specific topic. The most popular topics are fashion, beauty, food, wellness, and travel, and under each topic are suggestions, recommendations, and get-ready-with-me style videos.
Fashion influencers on the app can “tag” where they bought their clothes and how much they cost. Lemon8 is most similar to Instagram in terms of existing large social media platforms as the content created aims to influence users to buy something to be like your favorite influencer opposed to focusing on the content creation side like TikTok.
Lemon8 is a direct competitor of an app that’s popular in the East called Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book, in English. In China, Little Red Book holds a large share of China’s social networking and e-commerce market, and Lemon8 hopes to do the same in the West.
What do brands need to know about Lemon8?
- Lemon8 is a highly visual platform:
The platform is primarily focused on graphically edited photo-sharing. Many users use the in-app features and templates to add intriguing and engaging elements to their posts. This helps the app stand out from other apps on the market as it solely focuses on creative photo content as opposed to viral video content.
- Gen Z and millennials are the primary users:
Brands that want to connect with younger audiences (Gen Z) should trial creating content for Lemon8 to engage and resonate with the audiences on the app. As the audiences are currently still small on the app by comparison to TikTok, there is an opportunity to be an early adopter and create and build a trustworthy audience.
- Hashtag challenges can be a powerful tool:
Hashtag challenges are a popular feature on Lemon8, where users are encouraged to create and share content using a specific hashtag. Brands can use this feature to create their own branded hashtag challenges, which can help drive engagement and brand awareness.
- Influencer marketing can be effective on the app:
Collaborating with influencers on Lemon8 can be an effective way for brands to reach a new wider audience away from other overcrowded platforms and build their brand awareness. The bulk of influencers on the app are nano in terms of following on TikTok or Instagram which is partially due to the official launch in the UK and US only happening in February, and it is as yet unclear how creators can monitise their content.
As of yet Lemon8 has no specific page for analytics or reporting. So for now creators will have to experiment and enjoy the app as it is until there’s an update that introduces this feature.
- Big Captions Win
The app relies heavily on search optimisation and encourages longer captions of about 150 words, according to instructions that ByteDance sent to creators. Lemon8 also provides caption templates to help creators strategically format text. This varies in comparison to TikTok where much shorter and more concise captions are used more frequently under the video content.
Are brands getting involved yet? And should you?
In the US there is some apprehension about using the app for brands, due to its links to TikTok and the proposed legislation that would effectively ban Chinese social media sites in the US, due to national security concerns. .. Brands and individuals are apprehensive of building up yet another audience on an app that could potentially be banned in the country in the future.
But Lemon8’s newness and emphasis on user-generated content could provide small businesses that create accounts with an opportunity – and an advantage – if the app takes off.
Lemon8’s 17 million downloads is minimal in comparison with the monthly active users of one billion global users on TikTok, two billion on Instagram, and the 450 million on Pinterest. For instance, you will likely stand a better chance of achieving more sales on Pinterest than you would on Lemon8 right now. But if a brand chooses to start an official Lemon8 account, it’s important to balance resources across all mainstream platforms first and when thinking about Lemon8 ask yourself the question, ‘Why do I need to be here? And ‘What do I want to achieve on this platform?’’
As it stands, Lemon8 is still in its infancy and doesn’t currently offer huge opportunity for brands to take advantage of the app and drive leads, revenue or even traffic to their other channels. And it would seem that the app is better suited to content creators and individuals looking to widen their reach with Lemon8. However, as it is owned by the same parent company as TikTok and is their rival offering to Instagram it is highly likely there will be major efforts to push this platform this year.
For now stay up to date with all of the new updates Lemon8 releases about the app and wait for the treal brand and business activation to happen. Also keep a close eye on competitors, brands and bigger influencers in your industry to see when they are making moves to the platform. It’s an opportunity but when to jump on it will be key.
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