Alright guys, if you read this post on Snapchat (and our hesitation with hopping on it), you'll know that I tend to error on the side of caution before jumping on any latest social bandwagon. Now, that's not to say that I don't see the value in early adoption. In fact I think this is a great way to harness the power of community building before a network really takes off BUT, I do think you need to consider a few points before deciding to go all in on another channel. (Sorry in advance for the novel, I have A LOT of thoughts on this — wink!).
Here are the three questions you should ask yourself before joining ANOTHER social media network...
Will I be able to stay consistent?
I don't know about you guys, but I can't do it all! Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, these four major platforms alone can be quiet overwhelming! Furthermore trying to stay consistent in your posting schedule, responding to your audience in a timely manner, building your digital presence, all while creating new content is NOT easy! Trust me, I have a phenomenal team helping me do all of these things and it's still challenging to keep up!
Maintaining a consistent presence is different for all. There are best practices out there that say you should be posting every day, multiple times a day, but really you have to figure out what is doable for YOU. Maybe that's a couple Facebook posts a day, a few Tweets, one post to Instagram, who knows! You need to figure out a method that you can realistically stick with.
Once you determine what your consistency rate looks like, you can then ask yourself if adding another social platform to the mix will be too much. Can you maintain your status quo and add more to your busy plate?
Does this network support my unique brand voice?
Okay, now that you know you can stay consistent, it's time to ask yourself if this new network supports your unique voice. Every platform has it's special defining features and some tend to skew toward one specific direction. I'll outline each of the major platforms and you can decide if the network you're interested in is a good space for YOU.
Facebook has been a staple in the marketing realm since its launch of Pages in 2007. It has been the social hub for over 1.44 billion active monthly users (Statista) supporting a diverse range of content including news, trends, entertainment, shopping, etc. Because of this wide variety of content, Facebook can be a valuable network for most brands, regardless of their specific niche.
Twitter tends to be one of the most under-valued networks for small business owners. With over 300.2K active monthly users (Twitter), this platform ranks second in the most popular. Twitter is the perfect place for sharing news, entertainment, quotes, tips, and engaging in authentic conversations with your audience. People assume this network is only for those with a witty sense of humor, but don't let that stereotype scare you away! Because of it's easy access, this channel is often times the first point of contact we choose to make with other brands and people. This can be a great way to gain valuable insights on your target market and build trusting relationships with your current or potential customers.
Knowing the popularity of this visual platform, I likely don't need to pull your arm when demonstrating the unique value of this fast-growing channel. Trailing closely behind Twitter's popularity at 400M active monthly users, there's no denying the amazing potential for growth that this network offers its users. This platform is most unique in the fact that it only supports visual content. The brands that are standing out on this channel are telling their story in a comprehensive and aesthetically pleasing way. This can offer you a great opportunity to connect with your audience if you can steadily create content that stands out above the rest.
If you're interested in learning about making the most out of your visuals, you can check out our upcoming Photography + Photo Styling webinar!
Okay, Pinterest is an entirely different platform in and of itself. This channel should actually be viewed as a social search engine and not a social network. The number one goal for using Pinterest is to drive traffic to your content. Pinterest allows its 53 million active users (Forbes) to discover new things. The brands that are rocking this channel are pinning for their audience and not for themselves. Learn more about it in this post.
I will be the first to admit that this is one of my least knowledgeable platforms, but I wanted to toss it in the mix because I know a lot of you are interested in it. Snapchat is in its infancy stage and starting to gain a lot of momentum from it's users, particularly in Millennials. If you read our recent post on Snap, this is a great way to authentically invite your audience in to join your brand story. It tends to offer a more "raw" look behind the curtain. Successful people and brands who are experimenting with this platform are utilizing its natural tendency to showcase their humor, personality, and creative side.
Is my audience on this platform?
The last and arguably, most important question you need to ask yourself when considering joining another network is "is my audience showing up on this platform?" That's all well and good if you're busy creating wonderful content to share on every platform but if no one is there to consume and share that content, then it's like that "tree falling in a forest" analogy.
Did the tree really fall? Yes.
BUT, if no one is there to listen to that content and interact with it, you're pretty much just adding to the endless amount of noise and wasting your valuable time (time that could be spent on another more beneficial channel!).
There are plenty of studies and statistics available to you online where you can see general demographics for each social network. Keep in mind, these numbers are based off of BIG brands! The BEST way to determine if your audience is on certain channels is to get out there and test it.
You can also find out more here... Three Ways to Find out Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for YOUR Business or Blog
Try sharing your content on different platforms. Set a date for yourself with your tests. Maybe that's a week, one month, or three months where you're trying multiple methods of getting your content out there. Check your analytics (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest) to see what is sticking with your audience. If one platform has significantly lower engagement, then that may be the one you'll want to put on hold.
"If one platform has significantly lower engagement, then that may be the one you'll want to put on hold." (Tweet this!)
Extra tip: You will inherently perform better on the channels you pay more attention to. Just because you may see less engagement and traffic on a network on a particular day or a week, does not mean that this will always be the case.
As your audience continues to grow and change, so will your need to be on specific platforms. Figure out a method and routine that you can stay consistent with and keep testing!
Once you've answered all of these questions, then you can make a more educated and well thought out decision as to if it's a good idea for you to spend your energy on another platform. At the end of the day, if you're excited to join in on the social party, that's wonder! Far be it from me to discourage and stiffen your enthusiasm, just make sure your thinking it through!