When a business declares they active on social media, and yet they are only on Facebook than that brand really isn’t active on social media. That brand would only be active on Facebook. And while Facebook is the biggest social media network with over 1 Billion subscribers, there is more to social media than just Facebook.
Social media can offer brands many advantages. However, some of these advantages aren’t attainable if Facebook is the only social network you are active on. One of the reasons social media is so popular is because it’s inclusionary. When you limit the network you are active on you are being exclusionary. You are also being limited with the types of content you can share and above all else you are giving up control. Facebook can be a lot of things but one thing it is not is willing to give brands total control.
Search is a very powerful tool for brands. Remember content that is shared on Facebook is limited in its impact outside of the walls of Facebook. Social is about building relationships but an added value, an underestimated value of social media comes from its impact on search. Facebook might be a leader when it comes to active members, but when it comes to the impact on search it trails both Twitter and Google+. The value of search and SEO as a by product of social activity should not be ignored by brands.
When brands share content on social media the impact can be both short and long-term. Through social posts and content, brands are building relationships with customers and becoming a trusted resource. By teaching consumers how to use their brand they are building credibility all the while creating searchable content. Semantic search is the concept of asking questions naturally versus searching by keywords. Let me be crystal clear, social media is good for SEO and good for referral traffic, which is good for a brand’s awareness.
Take advantage of the benefits of social media.
Social networks such as Google+ and Twitter offer brands the opportunity to expand their audience and allow their content to be found by new eyes. Yes, Facebook is great for the fans you already have, but what about new fans? Every brand can benefit from more fans and new customers.
Image driven social networks like Instagram and Pinterest continue to gain popularity and effectiveness for brands. Image search is a powerful tool for people, brands can benefit from sharing more images on the web.
Even if you don’t use Social Media your customers do.
I have heard all the excuses. I am not telling you that social media is easy, what I am telling you is that it is worth the effort. Why? Quite simply because your customers are there and they find time to be there. Shouldn’t that be enough?
The newness of social media has wore off, it’s no longer new and the unknown. What it is is a marketing game changer. Every marketer wants to know more about their audience. Social media provides real, and actionable information about customers thanks to data. Your customers. Like actual guests who have walked in your restaurant. Guests who have taken the time to document their affiliation, shared a check-in on Foursquare or left a tip or review on Yelp or TripAdvisor. All these guests are potential influencers and advocates.
So while Facebook has big numbers and is the most well known social network, it is not the only game in town. With brands having less and less control of which posts “their” fans see on Facebook, the time to expand your social presence has arrived. As organic reach continues to decline, you have to expand your social media options so you are not at the mercy of one and only one social network.
Even Facebook knows it needs outside help, why do you think it bought Instagram?
What do you say, ready to join Twitter? Set up a brand profile on Instagram, create boards on Pinterest. Take advantage of the combined power of Google+ and YouTube. Ready to utilize LinkedIn or Foursquare for their specific uses?
Once you’ve gotten on-board with sharing and creating content, you might as well maximize your effectiveness by utilizing the other social media networks not named Facebook.