Diversify – Here’s Why You Need Multiple Social Media Platforms…
Running an online business? Looking to generate and maintain old leads?
If so, we recommend diversifying social platforms. You need to be on more than website, and for multiple reasons.
We’ll discuss those below. We’ll break down the “single” vs. “multiple” social media approach, presenting their pros and cons!
Specifically, we’ll look at…
- Single website presence.
- Multiple website presence.
- The right strategy for social media marketing.
To start off…
(First): Single Website Presence.
Many marketers recommend that businesses focus on 1-2 platforms at a time.
This isn’t a bad strategy. After all, being selective allows you to better specialise when marketing per platform. And this means “more followers” on that single site.
Plus, with more followers – you have better popularity metrics. That is, you get more likes, more comments/engagement, and your business looks trusted and alive.
It’s a Risky Strategy.
You’re putting all your eggs in one basket.
By focusing on `1-2 platforms, you limit yourself. You bind yourself to the rules of those platforms and their updates (which may damage your marketing).
And by updates, we mean algorithms. Changes in those can affect your reach, thus your ability to generate more leads. Plus, it may affect your ability to keep the attention of old ones!
And this leads to the possibility of your business collapsing.
After all, what if an algorithm change destroys your reach to new customers? What if algorithms start to “prioritise posts” that have nothing to do with your business?
The answer is trouble.
Example – Facebook.
Let’s look at Facebook’s most recent “algorithm update.”
In late 2018 (just a few months ago), FB decided to change what shows up in news feeds (source). There is now a greater focus on displaying posts from “family and friends” more than businesses and liked pages.
This is bad news for heavily FB-reliant businesses. Because now, it’s harder to reach new followers. Plus, new posts are less likely to be fed to existing ones!
Another Problem – Relocating Customers.
Let’s say you run a business. And you end up becoming “extremely popular” on a specific platform. Your followers will start to perceive “your default” presence as social media, instead of your website.
This is a problem. After all, if your website is less known and visited, you won’t get as much engagement. It’ll look abandoned, with less comments and feedback on pages. As a result, less people bother to visit, and they’re less likely to find your shops.
They’ll stick to where the crowd is – being your social media.
Now, this isn’t an issue if you’re a content creator. But, it is a problem if you run an online retailer.
It Gets Worse.
Think your customers really belong to you? If so, think again.
You share your customers with social media platforms. That is, your followers on Facebook also belong to Facebook. So do your followers on Twitter, Instagram, etc.
After all, remember that social platforms are businesses too. And they mainly profit from ad revenue. So they’re trying to “keep your customers on their site.”
This means that you’re playing a tug of war with social media algorithms. You see, their updates reduce their own bounce rates. And this makes it harder for you to convert customers.
Example – Twitter Updates.
Twitter is in the process of testing a Progressive Web App (PWA) system for its site (source).
If you didn’t know, PWAs let you access many “off-site” features, without ever leaving a site. Thus, in the future, your Twitter followers can access Twitter easier than reaching your site. Plus even better updates may let Twitter bring off-site content right to its domain.
Now, Twitter isn’t just doing this for an easier client experience. They’re doing it to keep your customers on their site, where estimates show a 20% bounce rate reduction in Twitter metrics (source).
This is a disaster, because now, your customers’ attention will be divided. And you’re less likely to get clicks!
It’s Happening on FB Too.
FB has recently rolled out its “Instant Articles” feature (source). This allows new sites to bring their content right to FB’s domain.
Guess what that means? It means your competitors are publishing their articles on Facebook. But it also means that “your FB followers” will never have to visit your blogs. And this leads to a drop in the traffic your website receives.
Summarising the Single Site Approach.
You’re competing with social media platforms for conversions. And since they control the updates, it’s a losing battle for you.
What this means is, you can’t focus on platforms. Because specialization means you rely too much on social media to engage followers. Instead, you need to spread yourself on multiple platforms. And, you need to focus on bringing that traffic back to your site.
But before you do that, it’s necessary to understand the “multi-platform approach,” and we’ll look at that below!
(Second): Multi-Platform Presence.
Unlike the single site approach, there are more pros than cons.
At a basic level, you market to multiple demographics. After all, certain age groups are known to prefer certain platforms over others.
Instagram and Snapchat are more popular to youth – specifically those aged 18-24 (source).
If you’re looking for an audience in those age groups, you can expand your marketing there. You’ll have more success than say FB – which is slowly becoming a senior platform.
And that’s not to say that FB marketing is bad. In fact, the situation is the opposite. If you have a primarily youthful audience, and want older people – you can expand to Facebook.
Another Pro – Re-Establish Your Marketing Focus.
As we emphasised before, with a single platform approach, it’s harder to convert traffic. Plus, your business ends up relying heavily on social media for branding, when that should be your website’s job.
With a multiple platform approach – you keep reminding yourself of that fact.
You’ll end up using them (by default) for lead generation only. And your focus will shift more towards sales tactics that earn you conversions – instead of social media popularity.
You can expand your demographic reach by spreading social media platforms.
Obviously, you’ll need a different approach per platform. In fact, you’ll need different content, where some are more visual, and others are more text based.
However, with more than 1 platform, your website becomes “the base.” You restore to it the function of branding, which is its original purpose anyway.
(Third): The Right Strategy for Social Media.
Go for a sales funnel approach.
The start of it is your social media. You should design it to “attract clicks” to a landing page, which eventually leads to a “branding channel you control.”
That channel is your website. But it can also be your email list, which we think is an equal (if not greater) priority.
Social media “reminds” followers of your presence. However, email can do that too. And we actually recommend it more, since it gives you self-reliance. Also, the stats show that it’s more effective than social media (source).
Email is 30% more effective in acquiring customers. And it’s 36% more effective in retaining them.
You’re not playing a tug of war with social media sites. You’re not competing with ads for your customer’s attention. Instead, your customers are exclusively yours. Once customers click on your email, it’s all eyes on you, and no one else.
Plus, email is a platform you can concentrate your followers on, without fear of algorithms.
Speaking of Concentration.
Just like with social media, you can show off your email follower count.
Just setup a portion of your site which showcases “current subscriber counts.” It’s a common marketing tactic that businesses use to grow their email lists. And you can do the same!
After Building an Email List – Substitute Engagement.
Building an email list isn’t enough. After all, you still need to drive customers to your website. And the best landing location is content.
Why? Because that’s where the engagement is. If you drive viewers to content, they’ll have information to read, plus a comments section to explore. And that’s what’ll encourage them to stay.
From there – we recommend using “subtlety” to advertise any products you have.
Maybe your site can have a “store section” in its navigation bar, and that’s where viewers can explore your store. Or, maybe you can dedicate a certain % of your content to indirectly market your products.
If you want to rely less on a single social media platform – then your website or email list should take over its functions.
Through your Website and Email List, you should release updates and offers first. Plus, those are the channels where you offer customer service, and encourage client engagement.
Social media marketing is a complex world.
Regardless, there are realities that’ll never change. And they include algorithms, your competition with social platforms, and the fact that you need your own website and email list. We suggest you create an OmniChannel marketing plan so you won’t be relying heavily on one social platform.
But once you get those right, everything becomes easy. Even if you don’t have the “best tactics” in effect, you’ll still grow (and more importantly) retain your business!