How to Prioritize Your Social Channels in the New Year

Posted by | Community Management · Social Media Strategy

2016 is undoubtedly going to give rise to a handful of new and seemingly viable social channels. As that happens, it’s normal to ask yourself: “Which social channels should my brand be on?” Actually, it’s not just normal, it’s necessary.

We’re of the school of thought that not every social media network is right for every brand. It’s important to be strategic about where you position yourself, and when. But there’s also something to be said for being daring and bold. The greatest achievements in social media marketing weren’t made by someone who said, “I’m not sure, so we’re just not doing it.”

As you chart your social media course for 2016, I encourage you to think in a ‘Yes/And’ way. These 3 mantras will help you keep your cool as you navigate which social media channels your brand should be on this year. I won’t judge you if you need to repeat them aloud every now and then. I’d actually be kinda flattered ;).

I Can’t Know Ahead of Time if Every Social Media Network is Right for My Brand.

Never overestimate what an existing social media channel can do for your brand. On the flipside, never underestimate the power of a new social network. Whatever opportunities you’re looking at, you do need to vet them out carefully. First, figure out if the social media network at hand caters to your key demographics. If you’re eyeing baby boomers instead of Gen Z, then Snapchat won’t be right for you. Try to gather the data that’s available to inform your choice. Hopping on a new social media channel means an investment of time, energy, and talent. The worst thing would be to dive in head first only to realize you’ve totally misallocated resources.

That being said, there’s some data that you’ll just never have access to. There are some answers about a given social channel that will always go unanswered. As long as you’ve got enough information pulled together to create a compelling case, consider the opportunity. Maybe you’ve heard that Instagram’s engagement rate seems to be declining across the board. So what? If you’ve got your eye on millennial geeks (What? Who said my name?), then maybe it’s the worth the risk. If your Gen X B2B audience loves having lively discussions in person, why not try bridging the gaps in geography with Blab?

My Brand Can’t Be in Every Place at All Times.

On the heels of mantra #1, it’s important to be honest and accept the fact that your brand likely cannot be on every new or existing social media channel. Unless you’ve got a large team of community managers and content creators who are able to create, push out, and engage with content across every channel, you’re bound to have to let some channels go dark.

In other words, only bite off what you know you or your team can chew. Some new social channels are worth experimenting with, but others, like Peach, are too fuzzy to hop aboard right away. Also, some channels may not be worth staying on. If your brand has been on Google+ for a long time with no actionable result, it may be time to phase that channel out.

Brand’s Content Needs to be in Places where it can be Discovered.

Remember what I said about thinking in a Yes/And way? Here’s where that becomes vital. So, you can’t know ahead of time if a channel is 100% right for your brand? Yes, and you know your brand can’t be in every place at all times? Yes, and still, you need to have content in the right places so that it’s ready when your audience discovers it.

Channel Prioritization We know now that people don’t see content, they discover it. Since that’s the case, place your content on channels that ladder up to your overall business and marketing strategy. If you’re trying to build awareness of your furniture brand, then Pinterest’s guided search functionality and infinite scrolling are ripe for your brand’s content. If you’re trying to expand your CPG brand’s reach via influencers or live-streaming at events, then Twitter may make more sense. Think carefully about that aspect of discovery. Nobody knows they need your brand until you’re there at just the right moment, correct? Yes, and we can help you make it happen!