Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
How to Navigate Today's Fragmented Social Media Landscape
Posted on May 23rd 2014
A recent Forrester study confirmed what many marketers suspected: consumers don’t engage often with brands’ social content. On six of the seven social networks studied, brands achieved an engagement rate of less than 0.1 percent. Except on Instagram. It blew the others—including Facebook and Twitter—away with an engagement rate of 4.21 percent. Now, data from GlobalWebIndex is revealing a similar story as it relates to active users. Over the past six months, Facebook has seen the largest decrease in active users (down 8 percent), while Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest have seen increases of 25, 22 and 7 percent, respectively.
What does this mean?
Let’s start with what this doesn’t mean. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is going away. The social networking giant is ubiquitous. Eighty-two percent of internet users worldwide have a Facebook account (excluding China), so its share of our social media usage isn’t in grave danger.
But what this data does signify is that the era of the Facebook monopoly may be coming to an end. Consumers have more and more social networks to choose from, many of which capitalize on specific behaviors (photo-sharing and Instagram), interests (WAYN for travel enthusiasts) and life stages (teens and Snapchat).
It also means that Facebook has irrevocably (dare I say it?!) changed how people consume and share information. So much so that it has created new social norms. In the Facebook world, it’s normal to announce your engagement in the form of a Facebook post that includes a pic of the bling and the words “I said yes!” It’s normal to live-post your child’s birth. It’s normal to reconnect with a grade school friend you haven’t spoken with since eighth grade. It’s normal to join chats with the POTUS and Hollywood celebs.
Facebook warmed us up to the idea of real-time sharing (and in some cases, oversharing) and discovery. And many of us liked it so much so that we now seek out new channels that enable us to share and discover content in ways that resonate with our interests and lifestyles.
Ok, I get it, Facebook changed the world. Now what?
Marketers need to be ready to evolve the social presence of their brands. In general, evolution isn’t a new concept. But what is new is the speed at which new networks are popping up and the rate at which fans are trying them.
So here are three ways to ensure you’re ready.
1. Know where your fans are. In the good ol’ days, you could post on Facebook and reach a good chunk of your fans. Today, your fanbase may be large, but due to declining organic reach and an uptick in inactive users, your posts don’t carry the same weight. Rather than wait for the next shiny object to grab your fans’ attention, get in front of it.
You can do this by mining your existing communities for information. Poll your fans about the social channels they use. Include a survey question about social media usage in your next enewsletter. Talk to your customers at the point of purchase. Ask influencers to participate in an online focus group. These cost-effective tactics can yield big insights about where your brand should be on social media.
2. Get fist-hand experience. It’s our job to know what’s trending in social media. But often, we get consumed by what’s happening on the social channels we currently use and don’t spend enough time scouting new ones. Change this by dedicating time at routine intervals to trying new social networks. Not your brand, but you (and your team). Create a personal profile on Couchsurfing, start messaging coworkers on Whisper, join a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) chat. Reading about these things is great—but first-hand knowledge about how they work will translate into invaluable insight.
3. Plan to test new channels. Not long ago I would have advised my clients to take their time when thinking about creating a new social profile. Lots of time and effort would be spent identifying the opportunity, crafting a content strategy and watching how early adopters fared. But the speed of social is not slowing down and the prescribed path for launching a presence on a new social network needs a shortcut.
To do this, start by incorporating these tests into your social strategy. If the team agrees upfront that this is a critical activity to increase reach and engagement among your target, then you can take action more quickly when an opportunity arises. And, if you’re doing steps 1 and 2 above, you should have plenty of intel to guide how and where to conduct these tests.
Image courtesy of: mkhmarketing (creative commons)