Are all your social media eggs in one basket? – The risk of focusing just on Facebook or Twitter

on Apr 12 in business, facebook, marketing, strategy, trends, Twitter posted by

If you are focused just on one or two social media channels, such as Facebook or Twitter, you need to rethink your approach.

Ever since the demise of platforms such as Friendster and then MySpace, the social media landscape is littered with the corpses of once-great leaders. More recently, the popular blogging platform Posterous announced it was closing its doors.

The moral of this story is that brands run a risk by focusing only on Facebook and Twitter. Most of my clients come to me with just a Facebook profile. Some might have a Twitter account. Few of them have a presence on other social channels. This singular focus is a big mistake!

While Facebook and Twitter are undoubtedly the leaders of the pack, equally undoubted is the fact that other platforms are emerging to establish their market share, and trends among audiences are shifting like desert sands. It is perfectly possible for Twitter or Facebook to go the same way as Friendster, as a recent MIT analysis concludes: “It’s far from unlikely that Facebook itself will one day be a victim of a similar set of circumstances.” (An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network)

According to a new Piper Jaffrey study, popularity among teens of the leading social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even YouTube (gasp!), has declined from two years ago (reported in the UK’s Daily Mail: The social networking teen turn-off: MORE evidence chat apps are set to take over from Facebook and Twitter).

Compared to a year ago, ten percent fewer teens named Facebook as their ‘most important’ site. Teens are ditching legacy sites in favor of lesser-known chat platforms such as Kik, Snapchat and Vine.

What does this mean for social marketers? The bottom line is that embracing only the 800 pound Facebook gorilla will hurt. It’s important therefore to spread your eggs among several social media baskets. 

For instance, Pinterest is the only big social platform showing growth among teens, so it makes sense to include it in your strategy, especially if teens are an important demographic. The challenge is to spread your efforts (risk) without diluting your presence in any of your platforms. Inevitably, this means higher costs as more investment is needed to maintain an effective presence in multiple platforms.

More importantly than jumping on the latest bandwagon is to monitor technology trends and to strategize around those trends. Also, your digital strategy needs to consider if trends among teens will translate to other demographics. And how does your strategy include engagement on chat platforms (if that is even tenable)?

A comprehensive strategy that incorporates multiple social platforms really is the only way to ensure the competition doesn’t crush your precious social media eggs.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Roger, you're 100% on the money – but all things in balance should be the goal. Yes, it's true Twitter and FB could one day become social media dinosaurs – but in the foreseeable future, highly unlikely. Even G+, which nobody thought had legs is all of sudden a contender.

    Some of the upstarts such as Pinterest, Quora, and Instagram are important entities and should be considered in a comprehensive social media marketing strategy – but should only be given the amount of attention they are able to warrant themselves. The trick is to weigh the influx of updates on all – and weigh your time allocations accordingly.

    Comment by Ron Callari — April 12, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

  2. I appreciate the insights, Roger. I think the principle is true for all resources that we use. If we become too dependent on one resource, tool, client, then we are disproportionately impacted by their changes, both good and bad.

    Comment by Robert Rogers — April 12, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  3. Good comments thank you. It's interesting that folks such as Steve Rubel and Seth Godin have advocated focusing on just a single channel. I agree that it's important not to dilute efforts but the fast-changing world of social media makes that strategy rather risky. as you say Ron, trick is to balance our time according to the relative weight of each channel.

    Comment by Roger — April 12, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

  4. I agree. With information and media becoming instantaneous and more than readily accessible, it's a no brainer to be spread across as many platforms as possible. Great article.

    Comment by Francesco — April 16, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

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