Do You Really Need the Next Best Thing in Social Media?

Online Marketing

Small businesses don’t need to be innovators when it comes to finding new social media or marketing platforms.

But many small business owners often do feel pressured to get the attention of their target market by jumping on the bandwagon of the next new ‘must-try’ platform. They become overwhelmed by choice and often act for the sake of doing something.

But the knee jerk approach isn’t always the best way to attract more customers, and can lead to all kinds of costly and wasteful decisions. I would liken this approach to gold mining, where any new sighting of customer ‘gold’ acts like a magnet for all other would be gold miners.

Small businesses often don’t have the resources or expertise to take advantage of these new marketing platforms and work them to their best advantage either. Let’s take the example of Periscope, a new video service that operates in real time to enable users to access live broadcasts so they can ‘explore the world through someone else’s eyes’.

This innovative platform for reaching audiences has grown quickly since it was established in 2014 and in August 2015 had over 10 million accounts. Periscope presents many exciting opportunities to get closer to potential and existing customers. But there’s a catch, your customers have to know about it and already hang out there. If they don’t know about it then you need to spend time trying to encourage your prospective customers to open an account on this site they’ve never heard of and then view your offerings.

If you have a small business budget, and you aren’t a well-known brand amongst your prospective audience, the time and money you spend building an audience on that platform could be better used elsewhere. Focus on being innovative with how you communicate or the products or services you offer, rather than the medium you communicate through.

So what’s the right approach?

  • Focus your attention on the social media platforms that already work for your business and that you can regularly service and keep up-to-date. If Twitter is a platform you enjoy using, and your audience is engaged with, then stick with that. If it’s Facebook, then by all means concentrate on that.
  • Try something different with the social media content you provide, there’s always room for being more creative – check out what your competitors are doing and see if can work for you.
  • Test out different approaches and measure the results to see what works. This iterative approach will teach you a lot about your target market and improve your results.

By taking a conservative approach you avoid the kind of ‘promotional origami’ that many small businesses feel the need to put themselves through. Focus on the key platforms that matter to your customers, rather than running after the next shiny platform which, ultimately, your business doesn’t really need.