In the social media world—part science, part guessing game—how can brands strike the perfect marketing mix? If you’re not on the right platforms your content risks being ignored, and campaigns miss the mark.
According to digital marketing strategist Rebeka Radice, more than 85 percent of all buyer-seller interaction will take place online by the year 2020. With so many impressions on the line, it’s time to identify the right platforms for your brand.
The Big Guys
In the recent past, social marketers lived by a very simple motto: acquire likes, retweets, and shares at any cost. Social engagement was seen as the happy ending, not the never-ending battle between customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction that it truly is.
Your brand probably already has some sort of presence on the largest social networks. Facebook, Twitter, and (increasingly) Instagram are certainly great places to engage with your audience. But these mature networks are full of savvy consumers who don’t necessarily want to be marketed to.
Brands should embrace Facebook and Twitter with enthusiasm, but temper that enthusiasm with cold, hard data. These mature networks can provide a treasure trove of behavioral data from which you can learn what content works best for your audience and in what amounts. Don’t ignore the data.
Although a brand page full of likes and followers lends you an air of legitimacy, its long-term effect is anything but certain. Relying too heavily on Facebook and Twitter for audience growth and engagement is almost never a good idea.
“Unfortunately, the simplicity of the Like button can also be a negative,” says world-renowned digital strategist John Boitnott. “While Likes can be a gateway to further engagement including comments, there is no certainty that further engagement will occur from one click.”
The Not-So-Big Guys
Obviously, no two brands are exactly alike. While some consumer-focused brands might have incredible success with a Snapchat-heavy social mix, a B2B brand might look amateurish and out of touch with that strategy.
Aside from the giants, several platforms are worth looking at. Brands like Taco Bell make incredible use of SnapChat’s fast-paced, youth-centric paradigm.
“On Instagram or Twitter, you only have so much space to say something,” says Taco Bell’s Jozlynn Rush. “You have 140 characters or one photo, but on Snapchat, we’re able to collaborate with our fans and tell a deeper story. They connect with our fans on a one-on-one level, which other platforms don’t allow.”
Of course, new social networks are constantly emerging. Although you probably shouldn’t go all-in on a platform like Yo, there’s certainly no harm in claiming your username and keeping it in your back pocket, or even experimenting with the technology while it’s still in the early-adopter phase.
Finding the right social media marketing mix isn’t an easy task. Once you’ve sifted through the data, formed a strategy, and begun to make inroads, it can be easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal: creating customers by creating memorable moments.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your social media marketing mix should reflect your audience—where they are, who they are, and what they’ll ultimately respond to.