Wednesday, March 20, 2013

4 Survival Strategies for the Social Network Boom

It feels like new social networks spring up every day. This is a problem for time-strapped social marketers: you want to be where consumers are, but human cloning is still frowned upon.

There are steps you can take, though. These survival tips are designed to help extend your brand presence across multiple social networks without a huge time investment.
1. Study the Native Tongue
Every social network has a distinctive personality. Study what’s unique about the way people use each channel, and create content that reflects that. One brand that does this well is TOMS – from curated, quirky boards on Pinterest to Facebook posts that put the spotlight on fans. 
Sounds like a lot of upfront work. But sharing relevant, engaging content means that you can post less frequently and still grow your fan base.  
2. But Don’t Lose your Brand’s Voice
Some brands are so good at evoking the spirit of a given social channel that they blend in. Aim to be fun and authentic while still showcasing your brand. 
Sharpie uses Instagram to share bright, timely artwork sketched with their line of markers. They’re creating product-related content that people genuinely want to share. 
3. Connect Your Campaigns
Running social campaigns across multiple channels is a simple way to extend reach. Brands like Rent the Runway and Warner Bros. run photo contests that accept entries from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Plus, they make it easy to pin submissions to Pinterest with just one click. 
You can ramp up participation across all networks by posting the most compelling photo entries across all of your feeds or creating a blog post of the best. 
4. Measure and Mix
Track the KPIs for every channel, and use your findings to determine where you spend your time. PTAT score flatlining? Give your Facebook page some love. Getting lots of site clickthroughs from Pinterest?  Go on a pinning spree.
You also need to figure out whether the extra effort is worth it. If you’re a small insurance firm, your time might be better spent on LinkedIn than Flickr. And regardless of vertical, your message will probably have the biggest reach on Facebook. Continuous research and testing will help you nail the social marketing mix. 

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