pick a platform, any platform…

One thing a lot of our clients have expressed is platform overload. There are so many different social platforms, with new ones emerging constantly, so how is it possible to be part of them all? In a last ditch effort, several organizations have gone with quantity over quality. They (or their nephews who are very tech-savvy) have set up pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. They even downloaded the Snapchat app but they have yet to figure out how to use it. Since they need to be where the people are, and the people are on social media, they need to be on all the channels, right?

Quality over quantity

Instead of jumping in and becoming part of every social platform possible, it’s important to ask yourself at least two critical questions:

  1. Who am I trying to engage?  Are you focused on reaching millennials with your message? Do you want baby boomers to connect with your product? Are you focused on reaching communities that speak a specific language or live in a certain type of location? Rural or urban? Men or women? All of these questions (and many more) will help you determine which social platforms will help you engage in a meaningful way.
  2. What can our organization handle?  Managing multiple social platforms can be challenging and time consuming, especially if you are in unfamiliar territory. Be realistic with your team about how much time, money and effort you are willing to invest in these channels. We generally recommend that it is more important that brands hit a home run on a limited number of social channels rather than just being present on all of them.

Atomizing your content creation

Once your team has established your audience, it’s time to think through the atomization of your content. At Social Media Week, Code & Theory and BuzzFeed both talked a lot about this process. The underlying concept is that content can exist across all your social channels, but not in the same form. Basically, in order to be successful, it is our creative responsibility to have great ideas but to express them in ways that are contextualized for the platform.

A real world example

For instance, perhaps you are managing a shoe company and trying to get the word out about a new product launch. You have some great photography assets, a pair of the shoes that your product team has given you, and not much else. How would you get the content out in a meaningful way? Depending on the social platforms, an atomized approach might look like the following:

IDEA: We have this great new athletic shoe! It is great for all these reasons. You should come and buy it!

Facebook – Run a targeted ad campaign featuring some home run photography of the shoe in the wild. Use different photos that will appeal to various audience segments. Change copywriting in the post relevant to the product launch date to build excitement and engage post-product launch. Include links to purchase the shoe. Without these ads, only about 6% of your fans will see your post…make sure they are seeing it by effectively boosting them!

Pinterest – Create a lifestyle board that matches the demographic that will most appreciate your new shoe. Include pins about delicious, healthy food, new exercise ideas and some great heath apps. Oh, also include a pin with a link to buy the new shoes.

Instagram – Using a combination of video loops and artistic photography, let fans know what your shoe can do and who would wear it. Use a broad spectrum of models in the imagery that will appeal to your key demographics. Make them beautiful, make them authentic, and make sure they are on brand. Run some ads on Instagram to make sure relevant, new folks are seeing posts about your shoes. Don’t include a link to the shoes – the goal here is awareness and social feedback from your fans. You can learn a lot if you listen.

Twitter – Put together a slough of tweets about various health trends and shoe statistics. Create a hashtag and ask your followers to use it when they tweet about their new shoes. Retweet, engage tweets, and document any critical feedback so you can get it to the product team.

Snapchat – Leverage your social channels to drive traffic to Snapchat by promising a special “sneak peak” about a feature of the brand or the specific product release date. A week before the shoes come out, give the keys to your Snapchat account to a well known fitness blogger so that she can show what the shoes can do in the wild. Remember that 70% of snapchat users are women at this point and act accordingly!

Next Steps

  1. Get a clear content strategy in place that aligns with your business goals, target audience and can be measured as a KPI.
  2. Think through the coming months and make sure your plan integrates all important information and events, company-wide.
  3. Create visually engaging content that atomizes your big ideas into platform-specific executions.
  4. Give us a call if you want some help creating these atomized strategies in a way that will make a big impact.