15 May Beware the Hype
The easiest way to start this post would be with some staggering statistics on the constantly changing landscape of social media. That said, I’m not going to go into how often social media changes for two reasons.
1.) I hate stating the obvious.
2.) By the time this post goes up, any example I could give to prove how quickly social media changes will most likely be irrelevant.
Unfortunately, the focus of this post relates to how often social media changes. But not the ever-changing format of existing platforms. I work with social media every day, I read articles about social media every day, and most importantly, between personal use and work, I am on social media every day. And yet, there are still new social media platforms that I have installed on my phone that I know next to nothing about.
As a marketer, it can be tempting to not only jump on every social media bandwagon, but also suggest every new platform to every client. After all, we’re the professionals, we are supposed to be on the bleeding edge of social media and see the newest trend coming months before it launches, right? Well, yeah. But that doesn’t mean every single client needs to be on every single platform, just so that you look like you know what you’re doing. As with anything where you overload yourself, it leads to burnout and you find you can’t do anything well.
Figure out your client and audience (if you’re doing your own social media, this should be easy) and then figure out the various social media platforms and their audiences. Cross-reference these two audiences and match up the right platform to the right client. Still having some trouble? Here are some audience demographics to consider before pushing a platform.
While the key social media players (Facebook and Twitter) are growing to the point of an almost universal appeal, many of the newer platforms cater to a more targeted age range. Instagram, for example is much more popular with the under 30 group than it is with empty nesters in their 50s and 60s. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re trying to market to teens and college-aged kids, HOUZZ.com, which appeals to home owners and those looking to be home owners, is not exactly going to be your gold mine.
Again, certain platforms like Facebook and Twitter are edging to universal appeal to both men and women. The problem comes when discussing a fairly gender-specific social media platform like Pinterest. There’s no rule or even a marketing campaign saying that Pinterest is for female users only, but it takes a little digging to find male users with active accounts.
Is your (client’s) audience even on social media? This question is getting closer and closer to irrelevance these days, but it’s not there yet. Especially since it is now a two-fold question. The first question is if the audience is on social media, and if your answer to that is yes, the next question is how is the audience accessing social media. Certain platforms, including Vine and Instagram, only allow users to create content from a smart phone, while others are more easily accessed and utilized on tablet or desktop.
What about you? Do you tell your clients that they must have profiles on all the latest and greatest shiny new social networks or do you ignore the hype and use strategy? Share by commenting below or posting to our Facebook page!