When a new social media platform comes out, there’s usually a mad rush to be the first on the platform. But using new social media platforms has advantages and disadvantages. Don’t rush into new platforms until you’re sure you can utilize them effectively.
Wait, why shouldn’t you stampede to the hot, new social thing?
Companies have limited resources to put toward social media. For example, in 2015, companies spent 11 percent of revenue on average on all marketing activities. Another study shows that as of 2016, social media only accounts for 10.7 percent of digital marketing budgets. The choice of social platforms on which to focus directly impacts business’ bottom lines. People want to choose the channels with the most return on the investment, measured in social media engagement, click-through rates, or actual online purchases via social media content.
You’ve stopped trampling, now what.
What are your goals? Look for indicators to help you decide what the platform will best accomplish for businesses. You can get on the new platform early to secure your brand’s official channel before imposters do. But even then, measure whether it’s worth it to join emerging platforms and then possibly have them lay stagnant. This could happen when find out you don’t want to invest the time and resources into them because they don’t perform to your business’ goals. Measure your resources to maximize the platform.
Some gentle steps.
Here’s an example of how you can tell that a new platform might be a hit: load up your email list’s 1,000 top authority email addresses into a fresh Gmail, and sync these contacts into a new platform. See who and how many are on the platform – if no contacts are, then you have an answer. Also, take it slow. See if the platform stands the test of time or dies off quickly.
Another way to measure whether the platform is meeting goals is to make a list of competitors. See which ones have joined the new platform. How are they doing? In what areas are they succeeding or failing? Have they continued to post content steadily, indicating it’s worth the investment? Or have they died off?
Google+ and Peach
A prime example for the strategy above is Google+. Google+ was off to a strong start – by the end of its launch year, 2011, 90 million users had Google+ accounts. Sound good, right? But over 91 percent of Google+ accounts are empty. Many account owners have never posted a single update there. They agree to create a Google+ account because it’s required to access YouTube, Google Photos, and the other Google resources. As of 2015, out of 2.2 billion total Google+ profiles, 212 million are considered active; that’s roughly 10 percent. What’s the lesson here? Make sure the platform stands the test of time – and also measure the platform to see who is engaging with it and in what way.
Fast forward to 2016. Peach bursts onto the social media marketing scene. Peach is a new emoji and gif platform. Like Twitter or Facebook, brands can use Peach to share GIFs, videos, or location. Users can also like posts, have comment threads, and send emojis to the followers/friends on the app. There was huge buzz around Peach the first week, but the enthusiasm has died off quickly because you may only be able to find a handful of people who use it. You can only add “friends” by phone number or their unique username. In other words, it doesn’t work with email addresses and publically available information, so it doesn’t pass the email test.
Don’t rush into platforms. Set your goals for the platform. Be watchful and examine your data to see if you should join emerging networks. Have other feedback about new networks, Peach, or anything else? Sound off in the comments below!
Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Technology