I already know what you’re going to say – All of my clients and customers are on Facebook. And no, Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And yes, it’s still the most popular social network. OK, now we’ve got that out of the way.
While I agree that Facebook is the largest social media platform with the most users, it’s imperative to diversify your social media marketing beyond Facebook. With the vast amount of social media networks, brands and individual users cannot afford to pigeon hole themselves into one network. This is a sure sign that there is not a social media strategy built around making their brand more visible. Why diversify? Here are a few reasons:
- Every network has different audiences. You have a tremendous opportunity to spread your content on other platforms where business people and/or other individuals may be focusing their efforts. Don’t assume everyone is on Facebook only.
- You appear that you “get it.” Ever Googled a business to find out that they are only on Facebook? Boo. That is a red flag that they assume they have no other use for social media beyond this platform and therefore are perceived as not very forward thinking.
- Relying too much on Facebook can be frustrating. Brands especially, are hoping every day that their post will somehow magically appear in front of their users if they use the right content, image, and advertising. While FB advertising is affordable, it’s still a gamble and most likely only reaching a small percentage of your audience. Definitely a crap shoot.
- Your audience may not be B2C. Are you a business looking to attract other businesses? Unfortunately Facebook is not ideal for B2B social networking. It’s OK to still have a presence but platforms like Twitter and Linkedin are certainly better when targeting business people.
- Improve your Google search. Over the years I’ve worked on diversifying my personal brand across almost 10-12 different networks. When my name is searched, there are literally pages and pages of places to find me. Doesn’t that sound attractive for your business? I think so.
Now that I’ve convinced you to think beyond the most popular platform, you are probably wondering which ones are appropriate and how to manage your time on one more platform. Here’s what you should do:
- Develop a strategy – Don’t randomly select a platform without knowing your end goal and targeted audience. A strategic marketer such as myself can help define where you are best suited.
- Consider your budget – Do you have time to manage other platforms and if not, a budget to hire someone to do this for you? While you’re at it, factor in advertising dollars. Other platforms such as Twitter and Linkedin have advertising available and built-in metrics to measure your success.
- Decide where you audience is – Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram are all driving an incredible amount of traffic to websites and blogs. Again, think of the end result and not necessarily just diving into a platform.
- Research and understand the tools available – There are an abundance of tools to help you manage your multiple accounts such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc. There are analytical tools and lots of sites that help you find and curate content.
- Review your Website and/or Blog – Before plunging forward and thinking of where you will be driving traffic, review where you customers will ultimately land. Does you site need a tune-up? Is it optimized for mobile? Does it have share buttons? If not, i recommend focusing on this before you expand your other social media networks.
Overall, the concept is pretty simple. The more people you reach, the more people will respond and share, and the more visible you will become. In order to be successful as a business or individual brand, your success will depend largely on your reach. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good idea.