If quality is better than quality, 2019 has been here to show us that brands should stick to one social network and not all of them, in order to have greater impact.
It’s not only the turbulences and hacks that brought a lot of social media networks into an existential crisis. It’s also the fatigue, the digital literacy and the general trend of users ‘switching off’ that has a lot of brands reconsidering their approach to social media marketing.
In this article, we make the case for marketers to rethink their approach and not abandon all their social media presence, but instead focus on the one channel that brings greater impact – whether that is awareness, conversions or anything else in between.
Everything is visual. Some of the leading, digital native brands are doing great things at the world’s leading visual feed: Instagram. Have a look at the efforts of Glossier, Away and so many more and you’ll realise they have one thing in common. They leverage the power of their community to get the message across. Adding the shopping tags is merely a nice-to-add-on option for them, as the main goal is to create greater awareness and position the brand as a core item of their consumers’ everyday lives. Both brands (and so many more) retain presence on Facebook, YouTube and so on; but all the orchestrated effort goes to their visual social media network of choice.
Brands that abandon the ship or the case of Lush. Earlier this year, Lush, the renowned cosmetics brand, decided to cease all owned social media presence. The decision left a lot of connoisseurs puzzled – ‘A beauty brand which opts out of social media?’ – but in fact it made a lot of sense. Lush will be focussing on its other digital properties, engaging with its customers via email or the website. Moreover, it will strengthen its ties with the influencer community and let third parties carry their branded message. Will it work? We’re confident it already does.
However, partnerships with influencers bring more questions than answers. The many faces of influencers and some questionable practices of theirs, in conjunction with the rise of digital literacy, have led a lot of social media users questioning the legitimacy of the promotions they see on their feeds. As a result, brands should reconsider their whole social media strategy, to better vet the spokespersons they choose to work with. How does this tie with our one focus approach? Brands should put their efforts towards the social network(s) which brings organic growth, as this could be the one to have a greater impact.
What about the ads? A lot has been said and written about the actual impact of ads on social media networks. The truth is that the media landscape is becoming increasingly saturated and what separates one ad from another is only a few thumb scrolls. That being said, creating thumb stopping content is not a one size fits all kind of business. Treating social media networks as the decades prime time should be the first though in media buyers head. Focus on the channel that has the most potential and play all in.
All in all, catching customers across all social media networks sounds more like an ambush game, rather than a solid strategy. Whereas a few years ago we would marvel at the wonders of retargeting, users are now much more aware of their choices and cringe at the thought of being followed everywhere by brands that want to sell their products.
Blending seamlessly in the workings of an social media network is a balancing act. Therefore, focusing on what matters most should not scare marketers away. The rewards of investing wisely on the channels that bring higher value should be of paramount, first and foremost importance.