4 Questions to ask before you join a new social network

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  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017
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4 Questions to ask before you join a new social network

How do you keep up with the influx of new social media channels and platforms? A new network or tool seems to pop up every month at least, and trying to get your business set up on all of them can take up a lot of time. 

As each new platform appears, you have to decide whether or not to sign up. But how do you decide which ones are worth it, and which are a diversion?

 

Should we be on it?

Before you get started creating your profile on the latest new site, ask yourself whether this platform is relevant - to your business, your brand, your goals, and your audience. 

If your audience isn't using that network, there's no sense in you doing so. You should have an idea of who your audience is, and where they hang out online, from your personas. Use those to identify whether or not a new network is worth pursuing. 

If you're a B2B technology company, LinkedIn is usually where you'll be found. If you offer kitchen design services, a platform like Houzz could be far better for you. If you're a visual brand, Pinterest and Instagram are ideal. Look at how a new network fits into the landscape - does it match the type of network and audience that already works for you? 

If your personas are all over the age of 60, there’s no point signing up to a new site aimed at the 18-30 demographic.

How much time do we have?

When you set up a new account, you have to spend time getting it right, then more time building up an audience, and yet more time running that profile. 

How much time do you have to spend on social media? Can you fit another network in? 

It’s better to focus on one or two of the main platforms, and do them well, rather than spread yourself too thin because a new network has appeared. If you use a channel sporadically, you won't build up any engagement or goodwill, making your presence insignificant, at best. 

 

Posting best practices suggest 3-5 tweets per day, 3 facebook updates per week, and 1-2 instagram posts per day. Do you have enough time to keep that up consistently?

 

If you don’t have much time for social media, or other marketing, check out our free guide to marketing with limited resources.

Is the platform growing?

When a new platform comes out, a lot of big brands jump straight in and build up their profile and audience, becoming an early-adopter. They have the resources to take a chance on the platform growing and taking off. But if you don't have the resources to negotiate every new platform that pops up, especially considering many of them go nowhere, being an early adopter isn't necessary. 

Wait and see - until there is a reasonable size of userbase, it's not always easy to see if your audience is using the platform in numbers that makes your presence worthwhile. 

A highly targeted network that caters to your specific industry might be worth joining early on, however. Houzz may not be the most active site in terms of social media, but it's definitely worth being on if you work in home improvement. For the more generalised networks, wait until they're a little more proven. 

What content do we need?

If you're signing up to a new site, you need to make sure it shares the right type of content for your business and your brand. If you're a visual brand, choose visual networks. If you want to publish long-form B2B content, somewhere like Medium or LinkedIn is a better bet - those posts won't do anything on a more B2C or image-based channel. 

It’s not just the type of content you have that matters, it’s also important to consider the time it takes to generate that content (see "how much time do we have"). 

Make an informed choice

If your audience are there (in big enough numbers), you have the time, and you have the content, by all means get your business signed up. But if you don't have those three things in place, don't jump on the bandwagon. 

If your audience isn't on the new network, find out where they are and post there instead. 

If the user base is too small to identify the impact of the site, watch and wait. 

If you don't have time for a new channel, focus on doing your existing networks well. 

If you don't have the right content, find a network that suits your business better. 

 


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