Is Branching Out a Good Idea?
Is Branching Out a Good Idea?
Social media is tempting. With so many options out there today, it can be hard choosing the right one. It can also be difficult once you’ve chosen one or two social media sites that work best for you, to keep it under control, and not branch so far out in social media that you lose count of your accounts. In this article we will take a look at some pros and cons of branching out onto a few social media websites beyond the “base” or popular social media platforms like of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Let’s start off by taking a look at some of the most popular social media networks. Facebook has been king for a while now, with over 2 billion (active monthly) users, it’s the most used social media site hands down. This is a fantastic thing if you are looking to get to an audience because on Facebook many people will search things out. With the addition of Facebook’s simple and easy to use page set-ups, Facebook can be a great place to branch out. One of the drawbacks to Facebook is that they have an option to “boost” your posts otherwise known as a way to promote your post to a wider range of people. Why is this a bad thing? It’s bad because you have to pay a fee for broader reach, in addition to the promotion of your post only lasting so long. While it might not be much for one post, you should consider if you’re going to really want to keep spending money on every single post you have. It’s a good idea if you’re trying to promote a new product, but maybe not on every single post.
Next up we have Instagram, which has over 500 million active daily users, a jump down from Facebook, but it's nothing to complain about about. Instagram is a great social media app, but it;s geared heavily to mobile use, and this may present a problem if everyone in your target demographic doesn't have the same access or capabilities. This could be a large issue for older demographics. Your target audience also may not be aware that there is a desktop version of it. Even though you might want to show off your new products or services in a picture-oriented manor, Instagram may not be the right app for you depending on your target audience. But if you're research has proven that your demographic is smart phone savvy, then go for it! This sort of sentiment is the same with the next app.
Twitter is one of those apps (again heed the target audience warning) that’s great at communicating ideas quickly, and fairly effectively. With 140 characters (and possibly 280 characters soon?) people have gotten their way of communicating on Twitter down to a science. With every word meticulously laid out, it’s a good site if you’re looking for quick bursts of information about a product or service, but nothing longer. Some people go as far as to put longer stories or descriptions into a “Twitter Thread” but not everyone enjoys reading a story or description broken up into 140 characters,Twelve times.
Now we'll cover social media apps that are often overlooked or wearily accessed, to see what their pros and cons are.
YouTube. You might be thinking, why is YouTube on this list? Well even though its well-known, and has over 1.5 Billion active monthly users, it’s one of the most difficult social media platforms to maintain. When you go to YouTube (and mind you, this is one of the only sites that you don’t need an account to use), you'll find creators who are uploading content weekly or daily, and they work diligently to keep things fresh and interesting all the time. Now this is not to say that a company can’t do this, but if you're a small company with only a few people, and a few products, maintaining a YouTube channel with interesting videos, consistent uploads, informative descriptions, titles, and thumbnails, can be a daunting task. If you are super ambitious, and think a video format would best suit your needs or product, then by all means go right ahead!
If you thought you were ambitious before then beware this app because it can swallow up accounts like no tomorrow. Tumblr is one of those sites that many people have heard if, but not a lot of people use. Since it was acquired by Yahoo in 2013 the way it's used as a platform has changed. Sort of. It’s not great for advertising or seeking increased visibility for your business. Blogs are hard to find, usernames are even harder to come by, and you can’t really advertise. The people have to come to you. This is why it works well for people that are celebrities or are YouTube personalities, but not so much businesses. When there are ads on the site they are usually big brand name businesses that have paid to put their name in the ad.
For these last few social media platforms, I’m going to lump them together into a sort of Do Not Recommend pile; Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit. These sites have very specific functions. Snapchat is meant for peer to peer picture sharing, Reddit is similar to a blog or Tumblr, but with sub-blogs inside of them (it has a lot of moving parts), and Pinterest is an idea board or inspirational website. These are all very niche, and aren’t great if you've just started thinking about your advertising strategy, especially if you're a small business or just starting out. The more specific a social media platform is, the more I recommend putting it on the back-burner in your strategy. Try using personal profiles for these platforms to gauge their effectiveness & if it would be meaningful for your business & bottom line.
Is branching out a good idea? For the most part yes, but be wary of what apps or social media sites you spread yourself onto. And remember don’t go too far! You don’t want to spend all of your time invested in keeping your social media up to date and forget about your product or service. Start slow, and take the time to grow. If you’re on Facebook right now, and have a good following, continue to grow that following, & maybe try Twitter when you are ready to explore new territory & can handle the additional upkeep.
With that being said, it’s time to make like a tree, and branch!