When Everywhere Means Nowhere

Social media planning comes with a lot of questions, and one of those questions often is, “Are we present on enough platforms in the social space?” There’s Twitter, Facebook and others, but now, Pinterest and Tumblr are gaining attention.

There are a lot of tools out there. Some might help your brand. Others probably won’t, but that’s why setting strategy with goals and objectives is so important. It will be your go-to guide when it’s platform decision time.

It’s vital to maintain that level of focus.

Everywhere Can Mean Nowhere

When hearing about the growing popularity of Tumblr or the referral traffic potential of Pinterest or even after seeing a competitor take off with a Facebook Page, it can be difficult to stay focused. Instead, brands can find themselves feeling that they need to present on every platform out there, but that’s not the answer.

Time, money and resources are limited, and every platform must be evaluated through that filter. Maybe referral traffic from Pinterest is really important, but it might be less resource intensive to incorporate more tactics that will drive referral traffic in on an already established platform like a Facebook Page.

New platforms don’t come with new resources, and without the people, processes and tools in place to support them, brands can find themselves with such a light presence on multiple platforms that they’re not being effective anywhere.

Evaluate and Re-evaluate

Social media isn’t stagnant. Brands should always be evaluating their current efforts, thinking about additional opportunities and identifying if what they’re doing is as effective as it once was or could be more effective.

It comes down to a few key questions.

First, what budget, time and resources can be devoted? If there’s just enough for a small number of platforms (or even one), that’s fine. Invest in them to their fullest, measure and prove their value to earn additional investment for more.

Second, follow the customer or prospect. Don’t jump on a tool because it’s new and grabbing headlines. Jump on it because your audience is.

Third, think about the story your brand has to tell and how consumers interact with it. Some platforms are better than others, depending on the brand and the content it has to share. The type of media has a big impact. More visual brands might look to a more niche platform like Instagram (pending the qualifications above, of course), while brands that connect with customers through thought leadership might look at corporate blogging as a potential outlet.

There isn’t a magic formula. Some brands can and should be present across multiple platforms, but brands shouldn’t try this unless they have the infrastructure in place to maximize each of the platforms’ potential. Social media marketing is an investment of much more than money. It takes a lot of time, too. Invest where it matters.