Is It Time to Try a New Social Platform?

It's time to throw tradition and affinities for just one thing out the window, friend.

The old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” works great if you’re talking about nostalgic holiday traditions or how much you love a car that would be better off in the junkyard. But when you’re thinking about staying active–and ahead–on social media platforms for your marketing strategies, you need to throw tradition and affinities for just one thing out the window.

Of course, this doesn’t mean juggling too many platforms at once or skipping around to the next big thing every time you hear a group of Generation Z kids talk about an application. What you want is a happy medium.

Shiny happy medium

Maintaining that middle ground means periodically gauging how well your social platforms of choice are working for you and if those platforms, or others, could be working better.

It’s not just about finding emerging platforms, either. The social networks you already use are changing all the time, too. At least once every quarter, someone on your team should take stock of how the social networks you rely on are innovating themselves. And you need to innovate along with them, because if you’re not using your social platforms’ newest features, you’re leaving room for your competitors to better engage your audience. Here are some strategies to consider:

Livestreaming: With Twitter’s Periscope taking off and Facebook Live finally launched, live-streaming on these platforms just became easier and also more mainstream. It’s not just for the GoPro geeks. If there’s a way to integrate a live chat, an interview or webinar, or even just stream your super-cool offices to your audience, it might be time to do it. Just always remember to announce or tease the stream before you actually “go live.” No one likes surprises (and no one will tune in).

The personal touch: A great social app for offering a behind-the-scenes view of your brand is Snapchat, which savvy brands employ to reach the young social users who love it. Audi and The Onion used Snapchat during Super Bowl 50 to create memes and quick laughs on game day to much critical success.

Snapchat moves quickly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create memorable campaigns. Amazon, for example, offers deals that last just seconds on its feed for users to click and purchase. And a text or hand-written hashtag, used across platforms like Twitter or Instagram, gives younger social generations a way to expand their connection to your brand, while enjoying your presence on one of their preferred social networks.

Pacing of posts: Some apps, like Snapchat, work better when they happen in real-time, but if that doesn’t work for your brand, that’s OK. You never want to be sloppy in the name of “just being out there,” and meaningful and nuanced campaigns can be carried out on any platform. You just need to know how often to post to reach that platform’s users.

To keep your audience engaged and happy on Instagram, for example, you only need one or two posts per day, says Insightly. Its recommendations for Pinterest, on the other hand, are five posts per day. And if you can’t post enough on a given platform to make your efforts impactful, it may not be worth bothering.

Visual sites offer a very specific challenge, as posts need to be unique and thoughtful to stand out, so that frequency might be too much for you, Kenneth. But as platform features and user preferences change, so will these recommendations.

New platform considerations

So is it time to try a new social platform? If you haven’t in the past six months, the answer is probably yes. And at the very least, you should try whatever new features are emerging on the platforms you already use. It’s also important to keep an eye on emerging platforms that might be a perfect fit for your brand. At last month’s Collision conference, there were a few worth watching for brands in applicable verticals:

  • Shouty, a sports-centric app to bring the live game experience to users anywhere, anytime.
  • ClearView Social, for one-click, cross-platform social sharing (frequented by law firms, but branching out to other areas).
  • firef.ly, a travel app for all phases of travel, connecting travelers to local businesses and other travelers, with recommendations, not whiners (what’s not to love about that anti-Yelp feel, especially if you’re a retailer?).

You can’t jump on every new thing, but it’s worth trying anything that seems tailor-made for your brand. You never know what might catch in the future.

Of course, change is hard. And if your CEO can’t accept that potential consumers are watching more than 8 billion videos per day on Snapchat, for example, the problem might be your C-suite and not a network’s potential.

Find someone internally who gets it, and keep moving forward. Just don’t wait until your strategy is so broken that you have no other choice but to fix it. That never works.

Image courtesy of Wachiwit/Shutterstock.