How to lose friends and alienate people: Why brands can’t get lazy with social media
Facebook doesn’t have a lot of friends right now. Fresh revelations are coming to light over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and it was reported that the data of 87 million users were improperly shared with the political consultancy firm.
I’ve argued elsewhere that we shouldn’t give up on social media in the wake of this debacle but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned from recent events. As a brand, removing yourself from Facebook and social media would be both foolish and impractical, but companies do need to take this opportunity to shake up their digital marketing offering. Social media isn’t a one-time tick box you can check off with the help of a few scheduled posts. It’s a constantly evolving sphere and to keep relevant, companies need to keep up.
Diversification is the name of the game for brands. While it’s doubtful Facebook will disappear from our lives any time soon, brands need to remember the lesson of Cambridge Analytica and realise you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s vital to utilise a wide variety of different broadcasting platforms to promote your content. This not only increases your brand’s online presence but allows you to tap into the different demographics available on each platform. Don’t think the same audience exists on Twitter as on Twitch.
And there’s a host of different broadcasting competitors out there when it comes to releasing your videos. Facebook’s biggest competitors are obviously YouTube and Twitter, with all three social media giants currently investing heavily in their live streaming options. The failures of Facebook will have pushed users to previously unconsidered platforms, and brands need to re-follow them if they don’t want to lose out.
Although it’s expected that for video, YouTube will be the biggest winner from the Facebook fallout, digital marketers shouldn’t dismiss the alternate options available. Twitch, the live streaming platform primarily used for eSports, hit headlines recently when infamous YouTuber Logan Paul launched a channel and gained 190,000 followers in 24 hours. The move generated upset from regular Twitch-ers who felt Paul’s presence would sully its name but it ultimately demonstrated that all savvy content creators are constantly looking to increase their digital footprint.
Periscope is another broadcast option whose full potential has yet to be realised by users and digital marketers alike. It was launched in 2015 and allows users to live stream from a mobile device anytime and anywhere, sharing content with viewers who join your broadcast. There’s also Caffeine.tv, the new social broadcasting app on the block, set up to rival Twitch but with a more ‘personal experience’. And I’ve no doubt we’ll soon be seeing many more besides, including from China and other successful markets. Niche platforms are also emerging, with live shopping channels, like TalkShopLive and ShopShops, gaining popularity
Diversifying broadcast platform options is a way of empowering the content creator and taking control back from tech giants. Stream Time’s vision is for a digital world where the creator is put first and can own their audience, directing them to wherever they want to go and choosing when and where to go live. Increasing your broadcast options doesn’t have to mean spreading yourself thin, if properly managed.
Facebook’s lesson is that now, more than ever, we need to be serious about social media. Refusing to be lazy with your marketing strategy is what will be putting certain brands ahead of others. There are massive social media opportunities available but companies and creators need to be proactive if they are to reap the rewards.