Finger hovering over a tablet screen social platform

Does your business need to join the newest digital platform?

Since the dawn of social media in the early 2000s, businesses have been forced to make a new choice every few years: Should we join the new popular platform or social network?

It feels like a tough decision because the stakes seem high. If we commit now, can we ever get out? Do we have the resources to take on another task? Will we embarrass ourselves if we don’t understand the conversational nuances of the new platform?

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it can seem.

In short, if your customers are there (or are likely to be there in the future), the platform’s policies aren’t contrary to your brand position, and you have the resources to spare, then secure your username and start working toward a plan for experimental engagement.

If your customers aren’t there, nor are they likely to be, or the platform’s policies, prevailing tone, sentiment, or political angle is contrary to your brand position, it’s likely best to hold off for now.

To help you determine which camp your business falls in, consider the following questions:

  1. Why do you feel like a decision needs to be made now at all? Does your hand feel forced? Is it possible to delay the decision until you have more information? Can you easily secure your username on the new platform and wait to see if it takes off? If there’s no downside to securing your username, do that now, and then begin deeper research and a review of the platform and opportunity for your brand.
  2. What type of conversation is the platform attracting, and what is the “message” behind the medium? Is it becoming known for illegal, unethical, or especially controversial conversations? Is it the kind of place with which you want to associate your business? If you’re uncomfortable with the platform’s prevailing tone or sentiment, hold off.
  3. Is your customer base already there, or likely to be in the future? Does your business attract early adopters, the tech savvy, or those who see themselves as tastemakers or influencers? Or does it target the tech skeptics, cautious consumers, or those with more traditional tastes? The former is more likely to embrace the new platform and present an opportunity. But if it’s unlikely your customers will be there anytime soon, you may want to wait until a better opportunity for your brand arises.
  4. Do you have the capacity and capabilities to be present on this platform? Do you have someone, or are you that someone, who will be managing the account? Do you have the right tools for the job, the camera, apps, curiosity, and enthusiasm, and the time to create good and consistent content? You know your standard for marketing, and if adding a channel to your mix would strain the current process and people, you’ll want to free up more resources before committing.
  5. Can you start small and devise an experiment to reveal more information? Do you need to go all-in immediately, or are there ways to dip your toe in to see if it’s worth pursuing with more resources? Perhaps one of your products gets its own profile on the platform rather than your whole brand or business, allowing you to experiment with less pressure?

While you don’t want to delay so long that if you do join the platform you’re the last to get onboard, you don’t need to feel rushed. Nor should you overly worry about changing your mind.

We can often fear that people are watching us, that if we go on a new platform we have to stay there forever, or else we’ll get called out for our lack of engagement. And perhaps that was once the case. But as marketers we know one thing: we have to try hard to get people to notice us. We would be lucky if people were paying such close attention to our social profiles.

Of course, don’t be hasty, and do nothing to sacrifice or diminish what your brand stands for.

But feel free to experiment, to be less stressed about the implications of each new platform, and to gain the motivation to try new things and explore new opportunities.

Even if it’s just temporarily.

If you need support with the content marketing strategy of your business, contact us and we can help.

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