Why It Might Make Sense To Focus On Secondary Networks And Leave The Big Guys Behind
While authentic and meaningful content plays a vital role in growing an online presence, recent studies prove that social media success comes to those that join networks early.
We encourage our clients to join various social networks for this reason; however, as algorithms change and networks evolve it’s clear that organizations need to be more strategic with the networks they join.
These changes have prompted us to take a good, hard look at where our clients are putting their social media dollars—And it might not be Facebook or Twitter.
Are Facebook And Twitter Still The “IT” Networks?
Facebook has done a complete overhaul.
In the last 6 months the network become quite expensive, especially for small and medium sized businesses, making it harder for them to get the ROI they’re looking for.
With Twitter growing steadily every day, it’s getting harder to cut through the noise. In fact, most smaller companies are having a hard time getting any traction without tweeting 20-25 times a day.
That’s not to say it’s impossible to get ROI on either of these networks. With the right budget and marketing strategy, it’s easy to grow and succeed.
But as the larger networks become more costly, it’s important for brands to take a fresh look at the more secondary networks that can help build their online presence without breaking their budget.
On Which Social Media Network Will Your Brand Thrive?
“What category does our brand fall into?” Companies must keep this in mind when deciding on a secondary network.
For instance, a home décor company might consider joining Houzz and Pinterest. These image-focused platforms not only highlight their products, but drive traffic to purchase them directly.
Instagram is another image-focused platform to consider. They have over 200 million monthly active users, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at!
As an author, it pays to create a .com blog with weekly updates; or if they’re not that web-savvy, they can sign up for a Tumblr blog to promote and share their ongoing work.
What about fashion companies? The creativity on Polyvore is endless. Brands can create and share beautiful fashion collages, browse the top fashion sets, shop the latest ensembles and follow the latest trends and styles they love.
It just goes to show that there are plenty of thriving secondary networks that strategically build a brand for a fraction of the price of the larger ones.
Factors Brands Should Consider When Joining A Secondary Network
1) The Main Demographic Of The Network
Brands must consider the main demographic of the network in question. If it’s adult males aged 18-34, and they sell custom-made skirts, they might want to reconsider joining that network.
Research where the target is, and set up shop there.
2) In-House Capability To Produce Legitimate Content
Users must look at the content on the network they want to join and make sure they have the in-house capability to generate it.
If they want to join Instagram but have no authentic photos to represent their brand, it won’t work.
If they’re not great at writing, it doesn’t make sense to have a blog.
It’s important to be capable of what the network requires to gain steady traffic and inspire good feedback on the content.
3) Long-Term Sustainability Of The Network
How long has the network been around? Who owns the network? Are they stable? If the network was recently purchased, are the new owners looking to shut it down or expand it?
Brands must look at the numbers and analytics behind the network to ensure it has the longevity they’re looking for; otherwise they could invest time and money building a community for nothing.
They must also look at advertising and filtering. Does the network require a hefty advertising budget or is organic content enough to break through the noise? How can they be sure their desired target will see their social media content?
4) Ease Of Use
Brands must determine the complexity of the network and decide if it’s worth it.
For instance, Pinterest has a closed API, making it impossible to use third-party apps for scheduling and analytics. This is a headache for marketers.
What will the network will add to the workload? If it’s too complicated or adds stress to the plate, they might want to reconsider.
5) User Interaction
Every company should consider how they want users to interact with their community on the network.
If their intent is to sell, they have to be able to sell from whichever platform they choose. They must ask themselves, will people really buy from our posts? Are they using this particular network to shop?
With Instagram, although it’s possible to build a large, thriving community, it rarely drives e-commerce traffic, whereas Pinterest does.
They must be mindful of this and choose their network accordingly.
The Bottom Line
With changes in algorithms, increased filtration and advertising, it’s getting tougher for smaller companies to reach their target market with organic posts; therefore if they want to join the larger networks, having an ongoing budget to break through the algorithm changes is key.
On the other hand, if they’re not prepared to devote a good portion of their social media budget to that, the Lyra team is happy to strategically help them build their brand on the secondary networks.
Are you being strategic with your social media? Get in touch with us and we’ll advise you on what social networks work best for your brand and marketing budget!