A myriad of social media platforms exist on the internet nowadays, each appealing to a slightly different demographic and range of interests. Effectively leveraging the relevant platforms can be a huge boon to any business, but there is a careful balance to be struck between effective social media use and spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms.
This post explores the ‘Big Three’ social media platforms, presenting the pros and cons of each.
With 300 million monthly users, Google Plus is far from the flop some people consider it to be. It is a platform that allows you to share impactful visual content to very targeted communities, and thus represents a great opportunity for brands who use it properly. Brands like Destinology, operating in the travel sector, have seen huge successes on Google Plus by posting high quality and striking visual content, resulting in over 2 million followers.
Google Hangouts is also used to strong effect by some brands: it allows small groups to communicate with each other through a video connection, and can be a great way to engage with select customers. Perhaps you could give exclusive sneak previews of new products or services via a Google Hangout, or offer dedicated issue resolution to premium customers. Customers appreciate this level of direct engagement and it costs little to implement.
Incredibly popular: in December 2014 Facebook saw an average of 890 million active users per day. To compensate for the huge amount of users and brands on Facebook, an algorithm controls what users see when they log in. An estimate from Facebook’s advertising executive Brian Boland is that users will see around 1/5th of the stories their friends and followed pages post.
This algorithm takes into account how popular a post is (its likes and comments), how relevant it is to the users’ interests, its similarity to other posts they engage with and multiple other factors. It then displays the most relevant content to them.
The takeaway point here is that quality is more important than quantity on Facebook: spamming users’ feeds with countless updates will result in less visibility.
A great forum for quick and direct communication with individual customers, and all content posted is shown to your followers (unless it begins with an @mention, in which case it is only visible to that user and any mutual followers). Twitter is the place to be if you want to maintain active dialogue with your customers, whether this be general chit-chat or issue resolution. Given that your content will probably get buried quite quickly in users’ feeds, it requires a different type of post to be successful: usually something punchy and instantly understandable that will encourage other users to retweet and engage.
To summarise, it is not necessary to be on all platforms (or even more than a couple). Business Insider offers this valuable advice: “Money and effort should not be wasted by brands to be on all platforms, even if the budget allows for it”. You should curate quality content for one or two platforms and focus on ensuring this is the best it can be.
If you already have multiple social media buttons active on your site and, after reading this post, want to lose a few, here are some tips on how to best achieve that:
- Investigate your Google Analytics referral traffic and see which platforms are driving the most traffic and conversions to your site: prioritise those platforms.
- Look at which platforms have the most engagement from followers. If you have a loyal group of tweeters retweeting your content regularly, it may make sense to keep this channel active.
- If you elect to use paid advertising through any social media platform, prioritise the ones which offer you the best ROI.
About the Author: Dan Yeo is a Content & Online PR Manager for an award-winning digital marketing agency. He is passionate about content, social media and PR, and how they can affect small businesses.
Image used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Source.