Too many brands and businesses still try a scattershot approach at social media. They try to be everywhere and spread their efforts too thin.
They also apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether it’s in-house or external social media marketing teams, they craft campaigns around a single communication style and a rigid set of formats — and expect them to drive the same results across platforms.
Particularly for smaller or niche players — or really, anyone on a constrained budget — it makes more sense to double-down on a single platform, learn its idiosyncrasies, and become an expert at cultivating its audience base.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid research service, we dig into the reasons why platform-centric approaches make more sense, and explore how to make them work. Here are the benefits:
- Social media budgets become more manageable. Your organisation 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 prioritised, 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.
BI Intelligence subscribers also receive full access to over 100 in-depth reports on social and mobile, as well as hundreds of datasets and charts you can put to use.
Of course, this doesn’t mean brands and businesses can’t establish a presence across platforms, or if they have the budget — tailor custom strategies to each of the main platforms.
Marketers can secure footholds on alternative social channels — and drive audiences to their primary channel. (Google+ is particularly effective in a secondary role, since profiles and posts appear alongside search results.)
These are the six networks we cover, and the report suggests a platform-specific strategy for each:
These are just some of the possibilities. Once a brand or business commits to a single social media channel, possibilities begin to open up.