Facebook is all about social, and social media is about the people that use it.
You may have tens of thousands of ‘likes’ on your Facebook page and therefore think you’ve achieved success because of those numbers. Well, think again!
Unless you actually work for Facebook, then you need to stop having your social media marketing plan entirely focused here. If your entire strategy is using Facebook to reach out to new clients and potential customers, or to raise brand awareness then you really need to go back to the drawing board and think again. Oh, and buying ‘likes’ isn’t a marketing strategy either!
Ever since the social media world lost Friendster and MySpace people needed to find the next network to focus on. However, many companies and brands were slow in the uptake in social networking and the only sound they heard in this space was Facebook. After all, it did take the world by storm and last year went through the 1 billion members mark. At the present time of writing Facebook has no sign of going the same way as the early pioneers of social media, but to put all your marketing eggs in the Facebook basket is a big mistake.
Social networking is constantly changing and in a recent survey 10% fewer teens named Facebook as their most important site compared to a year ago. They were also less interested in the other mainstream platforms such as Twitter, YouTube & Tumblr. The same survey found that upcoming chat networks like Kik & Snapchat were popular, proving that mobile friendly social platforms were increasing in dominance for the younger generation.
Facebook is, like, totally ‘uncool’...
It’s a simple fact that Facebook isn’t as ‘hip’ as it once was. For many teens Facebook has always been on the internet and they don’t want to necessarily join a network that their parents are using. That’s just so ‘uncool’.
We are all well-aware that Facebook has been increasing its revenue stream by selling adverts and promoted posts to business pages and our feeds are full of suggested pages and sponsored posts. Businesses are spending thousands of pounds to add their voice to this noise and many Facebook users are getting fed up with them. Not only that, there is evidence to show that spending money to promote Facebook pages isn’t as effective as we are led to believe and is a poor use of money.
I think it’s safe to say that adverts are becoming quite intrusive in our every day lives and we are bombarded with them everywhere we look. When we use the internet we therefore start to become immune to seeing them. The commercialisation of the internet, and the once ‘all powerful’ Facebook means we are looking to turn to other social channels.
But what does this mean for brands now?
Businesses now have to adapt and find their target market across a multitude of networks. This doesn’t just mean linking your Facebook account to Twitter and spamming the same content there either, which is missing the point of social media completely. The challenge is to use several other social networks and target your content with the right flavour without diluting your quality. Twitter, for instance is a fast-paced environment where news travels fast and punchy discussion rules. Google + communities are a lovely way to share knowledge and drive conversation on niche subjects and we’ve all seen great use of the visual sharing channels such as Pinterest & Instagram for retail and fashion brands.
Every single piece of content you publish has to be relevant to each individual platform and add value for your community. Think carefully before you just sign up for another social network as an experiment because ’it’s there’. If you don’t maintain your presence correctly your inconsistency in these other social spaces could reflect badly on your business in the long run.
Give your audience what they want
Using Facebook alone as a social media strategy isn’t a strategy at all these days. It’s just (currently) the most popular of many networks where you should be, but rather than just jumping on the social media bandwagon when a new platform emerges, think about the trends and the demographic of these channels. Do you have the time to operate your presence and engage in conversation here? Do you have the resources to monitor sentiment and create discussion?
You must understand your target audience whichever social media network they are using. Once you learn what your community appreciate you can then create a plan for your business to use social media more effectively.