From Instagram and Pinterest to video apps such as Socialcam and Viddy, marketers find themselves questioning the value of maintaining a presence on multiple social media platforms. We’re beginning to see a shift in focus from quantity to quality — in fans and followers, number of social profiles and even the content shared through them. A recent study by Facebook declared that brands should post no more than three updates per week on their business pages, far less than most big brands are sharing today.
As such, marketers are now asking, “are there social platforms my brand is using that may not provide as much value as others?“ But arriving at the answer isn’t so easy; according to the study Marketing ROI in the Era of Big Data, 65 percent of marketers said that comparing the effectiveness of marketing across different digital media is “a major challenge” for their business.
Some Things to Consider
Each organization needs to determine the best use of their time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean targeting the most popular platforms, i.e. Facebook and Twitter, scrapping the rest and calling it a day. Instead, brands need to go beyond impressions and consider a variety of factors when deciding which platforms are worth the investment.
– Evaluate Existing Platforms: For your current accounts take a close look at Facebook Insights and tools such as TweetReach, Klout and Statigram for Twitter and Instagram. Look beyond where you have the highest number of fans to where you have the largest percentage engaged. Are they liking, commenting, clicking on or sharing your content?
– Listen First: People are sharing information about your company or product online, but do you know where? Listening is one of the most valuable tools to get to know your audience. Rather than establish your online presence in a vacuum, find where existing conversations are taking place and participate when appropriate. Free tools like SocialMention allow you to search multiple social networks using keywords around your brand name.
– Dive into Data: Who is your target audience and where are they spending their time? Pay attention to research by companies like Forrester, eMarketer and Comscore that provide helpful insight on behavioral trends of specific demographics.
What happens when certain platforms are no longer deemed a priority? Do you delete the account or just post less content, or none at all? If you plan to communicate more through another profile community members should be gently encouraged to follow your brand on that alternative platform. Announce the transition plan and share a link to your new profile over a short period of time, gently but consistently reminding followers of the closing date. Unattended social media profiles become graveyards for spam and should not be left in the public eye.
Focus on the communities that are providing the most value for your brand. By cultivating the conversations that provide insightful feedback you can create force multipliers who become champions of your brand on your behalf.