You’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” right? These wise words can and should be applied to social media marketing (in this humble Australian’s opinion).
In 2019, it’s pretty clear that many brands are over-indexing on Facebook and Instagram as the key social media platforms underpinning their entire social and digital media strategies. I believe this approach leaves brands exposed and susceptible to platform and algorithm changes. Essentially, they’re at the mercy of Facebook (who, as I’m sure you know, owns Instagram). One tweak, one algorithm update, and engagement, traffic, performance, and ROI can be greatly affected. What’s been a winning approach for years, may no longer yield the results brands are used to experiencing.
It’s time for brands to diversify the social media platforms they occupy. Take a step back and ask yourself, where are my audiences hanging out, what are their key demographics, what are their habits? And, based on the results, would it make more sense to connect with these audiences via YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, Imgur, Twitch, LinkedIn or Twitter? If so, then now’s the time for a pilot test to evaluate the validity of these platforms for your brand.
One response could be to focus more on your owned properties, which are inherently less susceptible to environment changes, such as your website, microsite or blog. Spending time conducting SEO to get the audience to your site, running some SEM campaigns or even trying out a newsletter/email campaign might yield more promising results than you originally anticipated. Owned properties are still very much alive and well, and millions of individuals are visiting them every day.
Are your customers/audiences truly only reachable via Facebook and Instagram? Then why not increase the number of accounts that distribute your message? No, I don’t mean set up bots or multiple accounts, we’re talking about training and empowering your workforce to share your brand’s messages and tell you brand’s story across their social channels. You’ve now gone from one account to potentially hundreds all combining to drive better results. With an engaged workforce, changes in platform algorithm, reach and engagement metrics aren’t going to have such a dramatic effect.
By employing a combination of platforms, you’re able to hedge your bets. It’s not advised to spread your resources too thin and start channels for the sake of it, but spreading some of your (social media) risk out across multiple platforms where it makes sense and where resources afford is a smart tactic.
This strategy allows you to connect with new audiences, discover untapped markets, compete in less competitive environments, gain valuable market intel and product feedback—all of which drives ROI and improved business results. Let’s not forget that more platforms means more data, which allows you to understand more about the content habits of your target audience and overall effectiveness of your creative.
Facebook and Instagram can still play a vital role in your social media strategy, but remember, the digital world is a wild one. There’s no telling when today’s hot social platform will become tomorrow’s MySpace.