Marketing over social media, like most online endeavors, is less a monetary investment, and more an investment of time and effort. It takes work to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or however many other social networks you belong to, and keeping those conversations going strong is the key to making the effort worth it. So when you run across a new smaller, niche social network that seems like it could be promising for your business, it can be difficult to decide what to do. Do you really have time to be taking on another set of social media responsibilities? On the other hand, could a social network more tailored to your specific audience be exactly the boost your strategy needs?
The key, of course, is to run some experiments that can be judged on the basis of ROI. You never want to shoot any new idea down simply on the basis that it would take up too much time; after all, it could end up being an either/or situation where the new idea turns out to be more profitable than the things you were already doing.
For example, let’s say you’re getting a really good return on your efforts on Facebook, but your Twitter presence is struggling due to more of your audience preferring Facebook for social media interaction. Nonetheless, you spend time keeping your Twitter account active simply because you feel you should, because “everyone” is on Twitter and you don’t want to be behind the times.
Now, let’s say you discover a smaller, less-populated social network that is geared toward people in your target demographic. Should you give up some of your Twitter maintenance time to pursue interaction on this smaller social network? Initially you might be hesitant, but if your Twitter presence (for example) is not performing all that well anyway, it doesn’t hurt to give a new social network a try, to see if maybe, despite lower user numbers on the network overall, you manage to get a higher number of active followers for the amount of time you’re putting in.
In other words, don’t automatically assume that a smaller social network equals smaller returns. Some smaller communities are quite active and responsive, whereas your message may get drowned out with the giants like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to spend less time on some more well-known social networks and adopt lesser-known ones if that’s what your metrics tell you to do – your audience is where it is, and if that happens to be in a remote corner of the internet, then that’s where you should be, too.
Do you belong to any niche social networks that have given you a boost in numbers?