Why It’s Ok For Brands To Sometimes Just Say NO

By Carrie Tylawsky 

As a member of Likeable’s new business department,  I speak to brands all day long about their social media strategy. Everytime I get on the phone it’s to discuss challenges, opportunities, goals, and what we will actually do in social media to impact business’ bottom line. One thing I get all the time is, “What networks should my brand be on? Shouldn’t I be on all of them at least a little bit?”. 

For marketers, this is a difficult question. On the one hand, you want to make sure your brand is seen as an innovator in the space with a robust full-bodied social presence. On the other hand, social media takes a lot of resources, and it can be very taxing to try to manage content and communities on the eight+ social networks that are currently seen as the hot place to be.

Whenever I get these questions from brands, I always ask them to take a step back and look at why the heck they would ever want to be on Snapchat if their target demographic is 45-60 year old women. It might be an interesting network for marketers and it could potentially get some press attention, but will it actually drive sales and grow a community of potential new followers? Before signing up for a new network and committing those five+ hours per week it will take to actually do well on the network, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is my target demographic on this network? Do I have any proof that if I were to join and allocate resources that my brand would get in front of my customer base?

If you’re looking at Facebook, of course, the answer is almost always yes because Facebook runs the gamut as far as demographic goes. However, if your target demographic is boys age 15 – 25, you likely shouldn’t spend time on Pinterest even though it’s a huge revenue driver for brands, because you just won’t get the same impact as other networks.

2. What are people using this network for? Will my brand add value to the space or will it clutter?

The last thing you want to do is become a nuisance to your customers. Brands should always be cognizant of how people are actually using certain sites. For example, proactively reaching out to someone on Twitter is a common best practice to engage new followers. However, if a brand writes on someone’s personal wall or comments on a post, that’s just creepy.

3. Do I actually have the time and resources?

Ultimately, it all comes down to manpower. It often looks much worse for a brand to be an absentee landlord on a social account vs. not having one at all. If you are going to commit to an account, you should be prepared to check it regularly and update content so your user knows you’re there. If you don’t have the time, focus your energy on an amazing presence on one network, prove its success, and then gradually build marketing to be able to expand into those other sites.

What is all comes down to is quantifiable reasoning. If you can’t think of a valid business objective that can be correlated to joining a new network, don’t do it! What other questions would you add to this list? Share in the comments below! 

[...] post references an article by Carrie Tylawsky that appeared on likeable.com on February 6, 2013 [...]
Savannah Brentnall February 11, 2013
Even more annoying are the people who look only at the number of twitter followers, without caring whether any of them are actually interested in the brand. Same for FB. I tell clients all the time "Yes, I could get you xx number of followers/fans in a month, but why do you want to reach people who don't care what you're selling?"
Michal Smetana February 7, 2013
The only thing I have to do now is nothing but to agree with you, especially with the last point. "Do I actually have the time and resources?" - this is the stumbling block for many brands and businesses. They see the big brands and their 'bigger brothers' operating smoothly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and posting every once in a while a video on YouTube. However, what they don't realize is that they are simply bigger and they do have the time and resources (in the means of labor capital). Smaller brands, if not having the time and resources, should really focus - I'd say - only on Facebook and maintain a strong presence there, instead of trying to be "everywhere" and not doing a good job anywhere. Don't you think?

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