Nine benefits of social media focus

I haven’t been posting anything recently on commercial issues as I focus on HR, but a recent post on business insider  based on their original social media research, could be a useful addition to our resources section.

After several decades of engaging with consumers I am a strong advocate of focus, and so this article really resonated. In my current NGO role we (mis-)use twitter, facebook and linkedin– and the team remain confused what style of content links with each contact and with different consumers attentive to each social media channel.

All to often, we try to do everything, primarily because we are afraid of missing out. And so Business Insider’s list of the reasons to focus is a valuable resource both to prompt your review of social media as well as providing reasons to support your focus

Here are the 10 major benefits social media FOCUS with my commentary:

1. Social media budgets become more manageable. Your organisation will no longer leak dollars with a half-hearted attempt to be, and post, everywhere. This, I believe in the current economic environment, is the key reason for focus. The reduced spread of spend will enable you to increase investment in the social media platform you believe us most appropriate. A key learning from my experience is that below a certaind spend level, your activity is useless, consumers don’t perceive your activities and so all your spend is wasted. So spend appropriately to make an impact, and measure using Integration IMC s Market Contact Audit.

2. Brands and businesses will gain a more authentic voice. It’s difficult to develop a genuine, humanized brand voice on each different platform. Attention to a single channel will help brands cultivate a more persuasive personality. Obviously brands with personality are more believable and persuasive.

3. Improve your chances at earned media and viral success. These grow out of a deep understanding of a social network’s idiosyncrasies, not by throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. Focus enables you to better understand how to engage with consumers within a specific media and to enable everyone in your business how to use your specific media.

4. Develop a knack for avoiding social media failures. Many of the social media foot-in-mouth moments of recent years grow out of a lack of comprehension for what makes each network tick. Focus builds your expertise.

5. Users have developed sophisticated network-specific cultures. They can spot a poser from a mile a way. Authentic brand voices are the most persuasive to consumers.

6. Creative freedom: This may sound wrong headed, as you may feel that choosing to focus energies on a single platform would seem to close off creative options. But focus actually opens up opportunities. Ideas come more easily once a single primary platform is chosen and these creative ideas are tailored for the selected channel.

7. Avoid top-down strategies that try to fit round pegs into square holes. Ideas for posts and campaigns will be driven by a more bottom-up thought process. Avoid senior management questions like “What’s our social media strategy?” by a clear focus on a single or limited range if social media channels. This enables the whole business to easily understand and to support your social media strategy. Even the Board will understand.

8. Drive better recruiting and contracting decisions. If a single channel is prioritised, the search for social media talent to manage the media becomes clearer. Different kinds of expertise are required for each channel.

9. Finally, a deliberate platform-centric approach allows for more straightforward testing and tracking of results. If one platform focus doesn’t work, another channel can be tried. But data will be cleaner and priorities will be easier to rearrange. You will know that a particular channel works (or doesn’t), enabling both better creative, and funding decisions.

For me, these are 9 GREAT reasons for focus on a single sopcial media channel. Select the channel with the characteritics that best links your business and brand to your target consumers, research the channel well, and start.  Measure regularly and address any shortfall.  You’ll soon become an expert in facebook or twitter or pinterest, and rom their your connection with consumers will grow.