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!