New social networks are always popping up on a regular basis, and one of the true facts is that these specialized communities don’t have Facebook’s 800 million users. That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t great places for brands to be. In many cases, brands are adopting niche social networks based on the quality of interactions as opposed to broad-based reach and are reaping the benefits.
Some of the rising social networks include Pinterest, Houzz, Tumblr, Instagram, GetGlue, IntoNow, PlayUp etc… Each of these networks courts a different demographic and audience, and each offers unique ways to share content like photos, links, and comments.
But remember, brands shouldn’t rush to create pages or advertise on these social networks, even if the audience seems like a perfect fit. To take full advantage of focused social networks, it pays to create specific engagement programs for each community.
Before taking the plunge on smaller social networks, marketers have to take a chance to ask these below five questions:
1. Is there at least one Target Audience?
When you have a goal to engage with potential clients and customers, then the quality and focus of the social network members are critical. So you have to do a bit research and make sure your target audiences are represented on the social network.
2. How much Time will you need?
When you begin connecting with a new community; remember that you are building out your brand page/presence as well as daily community management task for your new community, so think about how much time you’ll need to get connected.
Approximately you will need 10-12 hours to create new assets, crafts messaging specific to the channel and deploy the new presence. Where else ongoing community management will vary depending on how active you want to be on the new network.
3. How will use the New Channel?
Think about the following questions before using the new channel:
1. Will you have presence on a new social network to promote one aspect of your business?
2. Will the network be a place for you to ask for product feedback?
3. Will there be place for consumers to take part in the development cycle? etc…
Instead you can use the new social channel to build your brand reach in a global way. With board-based communities like Pinterest, brands which are simply showcasing their brand voice through images and ideas bring users closer to the brand.
4. How to work on the progress for Success?
Setting specific engagement goals for each social network is critical. But by setting short-term, growth related goals at the onset; you can more easily manage for success.
Remember these are new communities for you, so you can’t see huge brand sales or sales impact right away. So the community has to grow and get matured as well as your metrics and goals. Map out specific goal for engagement user action, sharing metrics, etc…
5. Where will this channel be after Two Years?
There are plenty and plenty of social media futurists out there; but no one can assure whether a social network will stick around in consumer’s heart and mind for the long haul.
First take some time to map out which feature you hope the channel will add in the next two years such as new functionalities, enhancement to usability, and new marketing and advertising methods, and whether this meets your brand requirements accordingly. Maybe the communities might never deliver these but create a “wish list” instead.
It will help you to assess whether your network is delivering the feature that matters to your brand now and down the line.
The newest social networks always look shiny and new, but the real goal for brands is to participate in niche communities to reach specific, engaged audiences. By asking these above few questions you can engage with a new network, and you can bring a little strategy and structure to your social marketing strategy. Good Luck!