You know you should be on social media. The marketing director came to you with “a strategy” and you think you have a game plan. But are you sure you are on the right social networks for your business? Often times many businesses overlook and neglect to ask the most important question when it comes to their social media strategy. Why am I on this social network? The answer shouldn’t be: because my competitors are, or because everyone else is there. You really need to ask yourself what you hope to get out of the social network in the first place because each social network presumably has a different audience. And each audience requires either different messaging or your message to be put in a different context so that it translates well to the people who are consuming it.
Although this might seem like social media 101, you’d be surprised at how many small and big brands get it wrong.
In one example, I walked into a nonprofit and they were on Pinterest, well, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Often times, many nonprofits make the mistake of feeling like they need to be on the latest and greatest social network to expand their reach or make an impact. But this philosophy is dead wrong. This nonprofit was of the legal nature. Could they have a presence on Pinterest? Sure. They could stretch it and get a few hundred followers, but for the amount of effort that would be compared to the number of quality leads it would bring in, it’s not worth the time, money, or resources put into maintaining it.
In another example a smaller brand I consulted for, who was a furniture design company, had a significant following on Facebook, was just starting out on Pinterest, and had little to no following on Twitter. They also had no blog nor LinkedIn Company page. Without even knowing this brand, I can tell you that Twitter might not be for them. There are designers on Twitter, but that’s not who they are trying to reach. They’re trying to reach people who would be interested in high end furniture. Those people are not necessarily looking for that information or inspiration on Twitter. But they would be looking for inspiration on Pinterest or Facebook, and probably the web.What they needed to do was put their energy into a Pinterest strategy and abandon Twitter for now. If they had time for one more social network, I’d suggest a weekly blog that was keyword optimized for SEO (search engine optimization).
Large brands are just as guilty of doing this and it’s usually because they have the money and resources to throw at it to see if it works. But for many small businesses and nonprofits who lack those kinds of resources, wasting time on social networks that don’t have a dividend are simply not worth it.
That’s why you need a game plan. A marketing or communications department is not a social media strategy. And every social network needs their own strategy. In my new book: Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field — Social Media Fundamentals for Brands, I go through step-by-step on how to develop that game plan, teach you how to pick the right social networks for your brand, and show you how and what to measure your efforts and which tools are best for doing so.
Have you asked yourself why you are on all of the social networks you are on? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.