If you want to future-proof your business, don’t put all your eggs in one social media basket.
Often I mentor businesses who have put huge effort into one platform, as they consider that is predominantly where their ideal customer lurks. If they’re in eCommerce, they may have heavily invested in growing their Instagram or Facebook audience. If they’re service-based, they may be solely focused on LinkedIn content.
Both of these approaches to digital strategy are risky. Here’s why putting all your ‘eggs’ in one digital ‘basket’ leaves your business at the mercy of big tech.
- You don’t have control over social media platforms. As your business may already have experienced, Facebook and Instagram regularly change their rules. Users have zero say or negotiating power. In real terms, this has taken influencers from having a huge audience reach with massive engagement to being restricted to having their content shown to just 10 or 15% of their followership. If you put all your energy and resources into cultivating followers on one channel, you can be cut off from your audience with the change of an algorithm.
- Your customers exist on all social media platforms. In Ruby Assembly’s social media workshops, we’re often asked by participants whether it is worth their while being on LinkedIn (for example), when they consider their customers to be predominantly parents. Equally, we’re asked by service-centric businesses if Facebook or Instagram will be most effective for their offering. It is important to understand that we are all consumers, all the time. Our desire for a particular offering or product doesn’t switch off when we log in to a social media platform. We don’t stop being Dads, or divorcees, or keen surfers or cupcake bakers based on the social site we’re browsing. By taking a myopic approach to your social media marketing and focusing on one platform only, you are reducing your potential for influence. Be wise, and create content for all key social media platforms.
- Social media platforms are not your friend. It is entirely possible that you could have your account hacked. Through no fault of your own, one of your social media assets may fail to behave as you expect. You could get locked out, or banned. When you then go through the customer service process to have your account re-instated or corrected, you may find that you are given no assistance whatsoever. This happens to established businesses, and more often than you might think. If you have invested all your time into building a followership and your account is nixed, you’ve literally flushed what could be years of relationship building down the drain. Gonzo.
In terms of where to share your identity’s social media goodies, I recommend you share them everywhere – predominantly on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You’ll want to make sure that you craft your messages to best effect on each platform – as what will work well on Instagram may not fare the same way on LinkedIn. The point is: don’t relentlessly favour one platform – as you have less control over your audience relationship than you may understand.
The end-game of social media? Ultimately, it’s about building focused, super-clean and segmented customer databases – using social media platforms as a way of funnelling your audience to your website, and having them download an eBook or subscribe to your blog. It’s easy to lull ourselves into the sense that popping a RG or a post on Facebook or Instagram fulfils your business’ social media strategy. In reality, a social media ecosystem is what you will need to construct – one that utilises the strengths of your social media platforms to build customer lists that you have complete control over.
Want support to build a social media ecosystem for your business? We can help with that.