When Life Gives You Peaches, Make Peach Juice· January 22, 2016
Last week, the hottest new iPhone app, Peach, deployed to widespread acclaim and success.
Hootsuite asked whether it was the “next great social network.” The Huffington Post declared it would be your next social media obsession. CBS went so far as to call it the hottest thing in social media.
We’ll wait and see if an Android release or a buyout from one of the big players turns things around before we drive in the final stake.
But in the meantime, Peach offers a good reminder on how marketers and communicators should best approach emerging social media platforms.
Four questions to ask before jumping on a hot new platform
- Do I have the budget and/or resources?
Far too often, the social media portfolio falls on the shoulders of an employee already busy leading other communications, marketing or web initiatives. Or worse, the person running your company or organization.
Jumping onto a new platform requires a lot of time and resources, not just for onboarding as a user but to also identify the best ways to further your strategy on the platform. Depending on the type of content the platform is optimized for, productions costs may increase as well if you have to change your content strategy. So the first step must always be making sure you have the time and resources to allocate.
- Who is my audience?
It can be tempting to jump on every new platform that seems to be taking off. But if your message won’t reach your audience and move your strategic communications objectives forward, there’s no reason to be there talking into the abyss.
As we saw during the election, few politicians move outside of the confines of Facebook and Twitter. Plus, given that Peach was only offered to iPhone users, it wouldn’t resonate with the BlackBerry-wielding crowd on the Hill, if that’s your audience.
Typically, emerging platforms start with a younger demographic, so be sure that’s your target audience. At least to start.
- How do I earn a return on investment (ROI)?
On some social platforms, how you will actually see a return can be quite obvious. One good example is running ads on Facebook that only charges if a user clicks on your ad. However, more and more, marketing on these platforms is an afterthought. Snapchat took a year before they developed a system that allowed brands to appear alongside user photos.
The final big piece of research is understanding how exactly you’ll improve your chances of realizing your communications’ objectives through the platform. Does it allow you to post photos of products you have for sale? Can you drive traffic to your website? Or, is it strictly a messaging app that doesn’t give much room to engage with your audience?
- What kind of content do I need to create?
The platform has passed all of your sniff tests! Now it’s time to fire up an account.
But before you start posting/sharing/whatever the platform calls it, you have to make sure you have content that will perform well. Remember, content is always king when it comes to social media performance, and it’s often not as easy as simply copying and pasting a Facebook update.
Take some time to research and understand what’s performing well – is it an image presented in a certain way, or a specific way of using language – and create content to match that. Always monitor how content is performing, especially in the early going, so you can alter your strategy if needed.
Now you can hit the ground running!