Marketers Must Focus On Social Media Diversification
What is the parallel between a successful financial portfolio and a successful social media strategy? Diversification. In both cases it is imperative that all eggs are not put into one basket. When it comes to finances, advisors will often encourage their clients to place their money in a wide variety of investment vehicles, from stocks and mutual funds to bonds and annuities. The idea is that if one part of the portfolio is negatively impacted, the rest will keep it afloat (or at least be impacted less so).
Social strategy should be perceived the same way for several reasons. However, what stands out the most is the unpredictability of the channel. Social networks are constantly changing the methods in which they handle advertising. The most glaring example is the recent revelation that Facebook is reportedly limiting organic reach for brand pages. While the true value of Facebook pages has always been questioned, there is no denying that a limit on organic reach could severely disrupt a brand’s strategy for engaging followers and loyalists. With organic reach limited to one to two percent of followers, most speculate that from the beginning, the move has been an attempt to encourage more ad spending. However, the blow certainly lessens for brands with lighter wallets if they have an array of social tactics.
The risk of changing advertising policies isn’t the only reason to diversify your social media strategy – just ask the folks on Wall Street. Twitter’s stock price, which hit a high of $74.73 back in January, has now plummeted by $40 due to the overwhelming concern about a slowing user rate. Twitter has stated that they don’t see a declining user rate as a big deal; they believe the platform better serves as a content aggregator rather than a social network. Still, it speaks to the fact that what is popular now might not be popular tomorrow, especially if a large portion of your targeted audience is of the Millennial generation. This isn’t to say that Twitter is doomed – far from it. But, no matter what the company says publically, it is worth it for your brand to, once again, have alternatives to spread your message.
Of course, any campaign executed by your brand should involve multiple channels. Integration is a key to engaging consumers and creating advocates. However, social media’s volatility means special attention has to be paid to how your brand’s marketing dollars are spread out.
Pinterest recently announced that it is “testing” paid posts in what has been the latest example of a social media giant succumbing to the call of ad dollars. After four years of operating without considering advertising as a paid service, brands that use the platform are likely to see some changes in the coming months. Whether they will be positive or negative remains to be seen, but it reiterates the fact that social media will continue to change, meaning that brands must find partners that are willing to embrace a multiplatform, and multichannel, approach.