Every social media manager has been here before.

Just when everything is going great with your brand’s social pages and your engagement rates are on fire, someone pops in and says “Hey, everyone is on this social media channel, even brands are doing great on there, why isn’t your brand leveraging on it?” and in a whim, the rat race begins to get in there ASAP!

Stop.

Like Mobile, social is the future. Social networks keep changing, but not as fast as user behavior and content do, and that’ll lead to completely new networks that disrupt the status quo.

So, for a fact, there would always be new developments around this sect as the years go by. And while it is great to go with the times and be up to date as a brand, you do not need to be everywhere.

Social media explained with puff puff

Social Media explained using Puffpuff.

The key thing in this game is to consider where your brand strengths would shine the most and work at being a hundred percent there. There’s no point being average on 7 social media channels, when you can be upbeat on a random few, yes? So, how can you decipher where to play when considering expanding your social presence? Here are 5 questions to ask:

Are my target audience on this channel?

The second most important thing after understanding the need your brand was created to address, is to identify the businesses or individuals who will buy it and where to find them. The ability to identify these people is what helps in making right marketing decisions. In this case, different social networks have different user bases. For example, we know for certain that there are far more older adult internet users on Facebook (your parents and mine 😉 ) than you can find on let’s say Snapchat. So if your brand was a solution for the older generation, you sorta have no business being on Snapchat.

Also, each of these networks attract users for different reasons and to cater to different user behaviors, hence, it’s important to keep in mind that the target audience for your brand might differ between departments. Your HR department might need you to be active on LinkedIn to sell the company as a whole as opposed to your marketing department who would need you to create brand affinity to drive sales.

You want to know where your target audience are enganging on social media and figure out a strategy to connect with them. So, is this new channel going to do that for your brand?

Can I create the right content for this channel, consistently?

Social media is really all about content. It is having relevant, interesting and consistent content that can be engaged with. Consistent, relevant content is what keeps your brand top of mind on any social channel, as well as, what brings in the views, interactions and leads. Every brand has that social channel that fits perfectly for their marketing endeavors.

For example, if your boss pops in and says, “Why aren’t we on Snapchat?” You want to consider how creative you can be with 5 seconds, if it can sell your brand in the way that you want it to, and how often you can make it happen. So here, it’s important to consider if a channel fits your message, where you will be getting content materials and how well you can sustain putting in the creative posts multiple times a week.

Will this channel fulfill a need different from my other channels?

Let’s say for example, you already have 2 existing social pages (most likely Facebook and Twitter) and then you get prompted to hop on Instagram. You definitely want to ask yourself if being on Instagram is going to project another brand angle that the other two aren’t already doing.

Why?

When you start another social channel, you’re building an audience (that you probably already have on two existing channels) all over again. Now, there really is no point if a user is following you on three different channels, only to get the same message said in three different ways (and many times it’s said the same way, because social managers try to find an easy way out and link the pages. IT’S WRONG!)

Unless there is a different content sect that your audience cannot receive on the existing channels and you feel the need to share, or you want a totally different audience from the already existing ones, there is not enough reason to launch a new channel.

New channels should serve a unique function from your existing ones.

 Do I have marketing budget to scale up on this channel?

When you consider how many social channels are going with Facebook and making new posts on newsfeeds algorithm-dependent, you’d understand the need to have a budget for your social channels.

So, Facebook for example, recently updated their newsfeed ranking to help users see more posts from friends and family on their pages first. Now, with the extent to which people share stuff, you find yourself clicking in and out of your newsfeed to view the content. Before long, you finger starts to hurt, you’re done with the scrolling and you get out. Wherein lies the chance for a new brand to be out there on this channel?

Advertising (and of course, smashing content)! With even a little spend, you get to boost your posts, thereby putting yourself in front of new followers. In additon, if there is budget available, ensure you have well defined goals before starting out.

What is the goal of being on this channel and what would mark as success?

Finally, and very importantly, you need to define the goals. Here, you want to ask yourself what value exactly would this channel bring my brand? Would it boost sales? Or create a stronger brand affinity? Would it foster a closer talkability with my target audience? Or reach a broader unreached sect of the target audience? The questions are as endless as they are important.

If there are no clearly defined goals for jumping in, there’s really no point taking the leap.  However, if these goals can be defined, you want to go a step further to set KPI’s that would determine that taking the leap was successful. For example, if a brand is joining Instagram because word out there says businesses thrive on that platform, the defined goal would be sales. KPI’s that determine success could be getting 20 sales leads per week and converting at least 70% of them.

When everything is taken into consideration, you have the final say J If all of these questions tick just right for you, by all means go ahead and jump in that channel (Snapchat?), if not, you could reconsider and realign to find the perfect way to fit you brand in or just leave it altogether.

How many social media channels does your brand have? Which of them do you find most effective or unnecessary? Let me know in the comments section below!