April 1, 2015 | Posted in:Social Media Management
In April 2014, the World Wildlife Fund gave the world an inspiring lesson in social media and wildlife conservation by using Snapchat for its #LastSelfie campaign. The photography app, which allows users to view shared pictures and video for a few seconds before they’re automatically deleted, mimicked the very real disappearance threat that plagues animal populations today. The campaign itself was a call to action for Snapchat’s young audience to fight mass extinctions, but it was also a wake-up call for brands that limit their social presence to Facebook and Twitter. According to BusinessInsider.com, Snapchat’s audience is mostly made up of young females in their teens and early twenties, and that audience is one of the hardest to reach. Was the WWF on to something?
As Caitlin Burns, business strategist for media companies, puts it, “It’s hard to tell which platforms will be the next big thing,” but she sees a clear trend of moving away from data-hungry platforms into “public-ish” or rather, more private communities.
Snapchat is not the only platform that is pulling the social rug from under the more conventional social media; Tumblr and Instagram are also emerging as millennial-oriented, actionable social spaces in terms of marketing efforts and return on investment. Facebook took a hint and launched Messenger as a stand-alone app meant to enhance the private messaging experience, and while reviews have been mixed so far, the app is clearly rooted in the need to include money and business in the conversation.
Let’s take a look at what each platform can bring to your brand.
Snapchat A video or picture message on this platform will permanently delete itself after a few seconds, which makes each second invaluable real-estate. Brands should view this feature as an advantage rather than a limitation. Instead of trying to fit their message in such a time-constricted social environment, they should use the time limit as an angle to their stories. A quick glimpse of an upcoming product, a suspense-filled video, or an intimate invitation to meet on another platform are suggestions that can be cleverly implemented. And remember, the sender decides how long a picture is viewed, from one to ten seconds, so there are ways to control some of the effect.
Tumblr It’s probably not a coincidence that the company just hired its first Chief Marketing Officer, Stephanie Dolgins. A platform that largely caters to the prized millennials, Tumblr has become known, among other things, for its humorous GIFs, but the possibilities are endless. With its unlimited post character count and the prominent place that is given to visual content, Tumblr is the platform of choice for many brands, such as Kraft or Sephora, to showcase the culture around their products. Recipes, tutorials, and how-tos are some of the angles of a brand’s social storytelling that definitely belong on Tumblr.
Instagram Marketers started using Instagram early on, capitalizing on the platform’s exclusively visual appeal. The website’s guidelines for businesses encourages brands to post pictures that follow a certain theme, as this would help them remain consistent and allow them to cultivate a loyal and regular following. But the latest business feature gives motivated brands real edge vis-à-vis their competitors, since they can now pay to target their video viewers based on market segments such as gender or age. And whether a brand is using Instagram for behind-the-scenes shots or avant-garde inspiration, it always pays to jump in the global conversation using the hashtags that their audience uses the most. If #catsofinstagram and #picoftheday are remotely relevant to your pictures, use them. Nothing goes a long way with the audience as much as a brand with a human voice.
In conclusion, I leave you with these words of wisdom from Caitlin. “All of these platforms are different tools you can use to be the voice of your business and to interact directly with your customer base, with the audience you’re trying to reach. Figuring out the best way to put your business out there in the world requires you to know yourself, it requires you to understand what is going to be the best way to feature your project.”
Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 3 things you need to know about hiring a social media manager
Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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