The Evolution of Social Media Platforms – Which Channel(s) Should You Be Engaging On?

10 Nov The Evolution of Social Media Platforms – Which Channel(s) Should You Be Engaging On?

As a millennial who used to have a MySpace account (don’t judge, it was cool), it has been interesting to watch and evaluate the progression of social media adoption over the years – especially from the PR side in the B2B space.

On one hand, we have seen companies who are and were hesitant to get involved with anything social. The fear of what limitless external content could do to their brand, and how it could go badly, made the exploration into the social world seem like more trouble than it could possibly be worth.

On the flip side, many companies have jumped at the chance to engage with their audiences in new and creative ways. While we love clients that want to try out new platforms and test the waters, it’s important to be strategic about which platforms you choose to engage on. We have seen companies create profiles on every social media platform under the sun, only to discover that their target audience is not actually those platforms, resulting in a wasted effort.

Across the board, organizations are finding the most success not by having a shallow presence across every social media platform, but by measuring audience behaviors and preferences. Using tools like Google Analytics, brands can get extensive insight into where followers are coming from and where they go next, unlocking massive potential for custom engagement. Currently there are more than 3,500 marketing tools for organizations to choose from to target the audiences they want to engage with and identify the appropriate channel to reach them.

The Economist is a good example of an organization that decisively reevaluated its social priorities, and adjusted its efforts based on the audiences they were trying to engage. Recently, the publisher announced that it was cutting its Pinterest and Tumblr efforts. Even with creative social strategies, carried out by talented social media experts, the accounts were not gaining traction and were not moving the needle for the company.

As a result of their audit, the company shifted its efforts to LinkedIn. Analyzing the behavior and preferences of its targeted followers, social media gurus at The Economist discovered how best to diversify the content they published on the professional social network, how often to publish and even what format to publish in. The results have been incredible. In a recent Digiday article, Denise Law, a community editor at The Economist said, “By tweaking its approach to publish a broader spectrum of content, The Economist saw its LinkedIn follower count grow from half a million last year to 2.4 million, and it continues to grow at a rate of 25,000 followers a week.”

The moral of the story here is simple – social media is a constant evolution, and it will take a lot of love and labor, and trial and error, to build a robust and engaged community. That said – don’t be afraid to test out the unknown waters of social media just make sure you are strategic about it.


**photo credit: mkhmarketing**

Sally McHugh
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