I don’t think I need to belabor just how fragmented to the social media landscape is today – others have certainly done so to great effect. However, in the panic that is today’s land-grab of social media real estate coupled with the panic to remain relevant, many brands (personal brands, included!) have adopted a haphazard approach to their social media strategies. They are everywhere – and, oftentimes, end up being nowhere all at once.
A recent Business Insider article exhorts brands to adopt a “platform native” approach, focusing on one or two key ones rather than be have a weak, spread-to-thin presence all over the social media landscape:
Too many brands and businesses still try a scattershot approach at social media. They try to be everywhere, spread their efforts too thin, and end up annoying users.
Particularly for smaller or niche brands — or really, anyone on a constrained budget — it makes more sense to double-down on a single platform, learn its culture and idiosyncrasies, and become an expert at cultivating its audience base.
I don’t necessarily agree to the “platform native” approach, but I do agree that brands need to consolidate their social media strategy into something far more manageable. Hence, these ten reasons posited by Business Insider certainly apply:
- Social media budgets become more manageable. Your organization will no longer leak dollars with a half-hearted attempt to be, and post everywhere.
- Brands and businesses will gain a more authentic voice. It’s difficult to develop a genuine, humanized voice on every platform. Attention to a single network will help brands cultivate a more persuasive personality.
- Become more efficient. Many companies on social media see a great deal of success on one platform, but still grind away at others. Why not focus resources on where your engagement is deepest?
- Improve your chances at earned media and viral success. These grow out of a deep understanding of a social network’s idiosyncrasies, not by throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
- Develop a knack for avoiding social media gaffes and bloopers. Many of the social media foot-in-mouth moments of recent years grow out of a lack of comprehension for what makes each network tick.
- Users have developed sophisticated network-specific cultures. They can spot a poser from a mile a way.
- Creative freedom: This may sound counter-intuitive, since choosing to focus energies on a single platform would seem to close off options. But focus actually opens up opportunities. Ideas come more easily once a single primary platform is chosen.
- Avoid top-down strategies that try to fit round pegs into square holes. Ideas for posts and campaigns will be driven by a more bottom-up thought process. And not by the nebulous question, “What’s our social media strategy?”
- Drive better recruiting and contracting decisions. If a single platform is prioritized, the search for social media talent becomes clearer. Different kinds of expertise are required for each network.
- Finally, a deliberate platform-centric approach allows for more straightforward testing and tracking of results. If one platform focus doesn’t work, another emphasis can be tried. But data will be cleaner and priorities will be easier to rearrange.