Nowadays it happens fairly regularly – you research a company online and discover a multitude of social media accounts across all different sites. 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. It can be a disappointing and extremely frustrating situation to be faced with as a brand follower but for many communications professionals it’s an understandable situation to be in.
Frequently we hear about the “next big thing” in social media, the 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 to achieve these objectives. Like any good relationship, maintaining social media accounts takes time and effort, it’s important to ensure that the time you invest helps you to achieve real business goals. If it doesn’t fulfil your needs, it may be time to reassess your relationship.
Where does your target audience spend time online? Think about whether the platform you’re using is also used by the audience you’re trying to reach. If you’re aiming for an older demographic, Snapchat probably isn’t your best choice, where 71% of the users are under 25 (1). If you’re targeting a primarily male audience, it may be time to consider retiring your Pinterest account, where there are 4 times more female users (2), in favour of a platform with a higher percentage of male users, like Twitter.
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, chances are that most of your audience are on Facebook, but if you’re a B2B company is Facebook the best channel to contact them through? LinkedIn’s users are in a business mindset and so conversion rate for B2B companies on LinkedIn is 80%, much higher than Facebook’s 6.7% (3) despite having a smaller audience.
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 can tell you two things, either that the content you’re producing isn’t of interest to your audience or, alternatively, that your audience isn’t active on the platform you’re sharing your content on. If the latter is the case, it’s worth considering a relationship with a new platform.
Content with your content?
What type of content are you sharing on social media? Some platforms are more suited than others to different types of content. For example, if your product or service isn’t very visual then it’s likely that an Instagram account for your business will eventually fizzle out. Look to build a relationship with a social media network that allows you to share the content that best showcases your business.
By spreading your brand too thinly across multiple social networks you can risk genuine opportunities to make valuable connections. Evaluate your social media interactions and analyse the return on the investment you’re making, don’t be afraid to leave a network that isn’t working for you in favour of putting more focus on one that is.