It happens regularly nowadays – you research a company online and discover a multitude of social media accounts across different platforms. Impressed by their online presence you click into their pages only to discover that most of them haven’t been updated in months, or even years. As a brand follower it can be disappointing and frustrating but for many communications professionals it’s an understandable situation to be in.
Frequently we hear of the “next big thing” in social media, a new platform where, as a business, you “have to” be present. Filled with a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) we explore these new sites. Like the early days of a relationship, we go through the honeymoon period, filled with new experiences and regular updates. In some cases, the relationship grows, we form deeper connections, share more and more common experiences and develop a stable relationship.
Sometimes though, it can feel like things aren’t working out. As busy communications professionals, how do you know when it’s worth making more of an effort to grow your relationship or if it’s time for a social media breakup?
What qualities are you looking for?
Did you have a goal in mind when you set up your account? Whether you wanted to increase brand awareness, generate leads, promote content or solve customer issues, ask yourself if the social network you’re using is helping you achieve these objectives. It’s important to ensure that the time you invest helps you to achieve real business goals.
Does your target audience use the platform? If you’re aiming for an older demographic, Snapchat may not be your best choice, with 71% of users aged under 25 (1). If you’re targeting a primarily male audience, it could be time to consider retiring your Pinterest account, where there are 4 times more female users (2) than male.
It’s also important to consider the mindset of the user when you’re choosing a platform to convey your message. With over 1 billion users, most of your audience is likely to be on Facebook, but if you’re a B2B company is this the best channel to contact them through? LinkedIn’s users are in a business mindset when visiting the platform so despite having a smaller audience than Facebook, the conversion rate for B2B companies on LinkedIn is 80%, compared to Facebook’s 6.7% (3).
Assess your relationship with your followers, fans and connections. Do you know who they are and are they relevant to your business? Most importantly, do they engage with your posts on the platform you’re using? A low engagement rate could suggest that the content you’re producing isn’t of interest to your audience or, that your audience isn’t active on the platform you’re sharing your content on.
Content with your content?
Some platforms are better suited than others to different types of content. For example, if your product or service isn’t very visual it’s likely that an Instagram account for your business will eventually fizzle out. Invest time in a social media network that allows you to share the content that best showcases your business.
Spreading your brand too thinly across multiple social networks risks opportunities to make valuable connections. Evaluate your social media interactions and analyse return on the investment. Don’t be afraid to leave a network that isn’t working for you in favour of turning your focus to one that is.